Homemade, sustainable, eco-friendly, retro, refashioned, recycled and reimagined are the buzzwords surrounding crafts these days. No longer are knitted, sewn, painted, blasted, dyed and crotched items the domain of grandmothers selling doilies at country stalls. Instead, the appeal of handcrafts is now cross-generational and you can find it thriving on blogs, in magazines, at markets and on online stores.
The demand for handmade goods is insatiable, but why is it booming? And how does one become involved in making and selling crafts?
Lisa Haas, Midlifexpress’s resident craftswoman, believes handmade products are increasingly popular because people want unique and original pieces for their wardrobes, homes and gardens. They want a product with a bit of history and life and purpose rather than a mass-produced trinket from a third-world sweatshop.
Lisa says people now treasure things they find tucked away in their grandmother’s cupboard, particularly if they are unused. Old tea-towels are very popular because they were stored away and remain clean. These are used for material covered buttons and to make pillow slips, laptop cover bags, purses, pencil cases and makeup holders.
She feels that the popularity of homemade crafts is also associated with planetary uncertainty — people are aware that we must stop using resources at our current pace and that we need to recycle and reduce our waste.
Also, people want to rediscover skills that were once passed down from generation to generation. With the advent of mass produced plastics and materials, handicrafts fell out of favour as people bought everything they needed. Now, we’re witnessing a craft renaissance and a dedicated band of expert artisans are here to give us all a hand.
Here are some of Lisa’s blog and magazine recommendations to get you started:
Frankie and Peppermint are great for reading about the latest trends and the artisans involved. Bespoke differs from Frankie and Peppermint in that it publishes readership contributions and provides practical skills and contact information for those wanting to make and sell their crafts.