What's new in various product categories; monthly
CHA Show Trends & Products
So many products, so little time.
by Ellie Joos and Judy Westegaard (February 20, 2006)
There were no new major trends that emerged, rather an evolution
of those that have been important for the last few years and some
new products to expand our horizons.
Knitting and Yarn Crafts.
In a very optimistic presentation, the Craft Yarn Council of
America presented the results of their 2005 Tracking Study of
Consumer Purchasing, Habits and Motivation. The conclusions are:
Women who participate in knitting and crocheting are more active
than ever before ... The number of projects made with yarn continues
to increase, more money is being spent, and fashion yarns are more
popular ... Small pattern books and magazines continue to be the
main source for ideas for projects with internet usage growing ...
42% purchased fashion yarns in 2005, compared to 27% in 2004 ...
Classes can provide a huge opportunity for all levels of knitters/crocheters,
from those wanting the basics to those interested in learning more
advanced techniques. (Source: Craft Yarn Council of America www.craftyarncouncil.com)
Here’s a sampling of some of the new items I spotted:
Potter Crafts, an imprint of Clarkson Potter, exhibited for the
first time with a focus on their gorgeous knitting and yarn craft
books including Sexy Little Knits and several done with Lion
Brand Yarn that are just perfect for the fashion minded consumers
looking for hot patterns for bags, shawls, and shrugs. Look for Just
Bags and Just Wraps. Also quite nice is Vintage Styles
for Today, which features great vintage fashions with a modern
interpretation. In the Lion booth, visitors were invited to try
their Speed Stix, size 50 needles! They also have Speed
Hook for crocheters. www.LionBrand.com
Authentic Knitting Board, available in three sizes, creates a
double-knit product. DVD’s and pattern books also available. www.knittingboard.com
The Sassy Skein is a first-time exhibitor selling adorable kits
for children’s clothing in great packages. Yarns and patterns also
In the Attic offered flexible round knitting looms in four sizes,
plus pattern books. www.knittinglooms.com
Plaid/Bucilla introduced the "Knit Wit" tool for making
square or round rosettes for a new look in knitting. Their display
of garments made from this tool was spectacular. Also, the Doodle
Loom for making pompons. www.plaidonline.com
Clover Needlecraft - because pom poms have become important
decorative details for fashion apparel, its Pom Pom Maker with
a built in protective shield is available in two sizes to make
perfect pom poms. Clover also introduced its Felting Needle Tool and
Felting Needle Mats. www.clover-usa.com
Offray introduced Ribbon Knitz, knitting ribbons and yarns
in exclusive, patented packaging that will eliminate knotting and
snarls. Available in twelve patterns for a total of 60 sku’s.
Scrapbooking and Cardmaking
Just when you wonder what could possibly be new in scrapbooking
products, new designs, motifs, tools, and gadgets appear to keep the
creative juices flowing.
Pop-Eez cards and Tags allow consumers to make their your own
pop-up cards with these products. www.pop-eez.com
EK Success and Martha Stewart – need I say more? Additionally,
this leader in the industry introduced a number of other new
products done with their exceptional style and creativity. www.eksuccess.com
Janome – stitching papercrafts is easily achieved with Janome’s
new lightweight, half-size sewing machine. www.janome-america.com
GlueArts – this first time exhibitor with roots in industrial
manufacturing introduced Crop & Glue, repositionable or
permanent adhesives in several sizes and in reusable storage
Lasting Impressions – with more than 20 million digital cameras
sold last year, digital scrapbooking was bound to happen. This
company has expanded their line to include MemoryMixer, a
software product that combines photos, video, and music into a
multimedia experience. Files can then be saved on CD, DVD or printed
onto paper for the addition of three dimension elements. www.memorymixer.com
Provenance LLC – this first time exhibitor introduced PaperSaver
to neutralize the acid particles in paper and prevent further
deterioration, available in aerosol cans now and in liquid form this
Cottage Mills – keep your favorite photo nearby with PixPen,
to display a small photo in the clear barrel. www.cottagemills.com
Far and Away introduced a gorgeous line of Asian inspired printed
papers with coordinating ribbons and charms. www.farandawayscrapbooks.com
Junkitz introduced new beautiful papers, including the trendy,
colorful Pop Rock Rhythmz Paperz www.junkitz.com
Crossed Paths offered a lovely line of spirituality-related line
of papers and accessories. www.crossedpaths.net
Crate Paper – for papers with a vintage feeling including
"aged corners and lines" but very modern and unique in
great colors and patterns. www.craftpaper.com
Other unique, new craft products: Pocket Personality,
changes the look of your jeans with these clip on pocket
embellishments from June Tailor ... Soy Silk Fusion Kits from
Conjoined Creations, includes soy silk and other products to
make a textile/paper product for multiple uses ... Custom wood
appliqués from StenSource ... Lures
by Design allows consumers to create their own fishing lures
from the Inventions Lady ... Felt Christmas and other seasonal
stickers and totes from CPE ... An elegant Russian Journey treasure
box from Dove of the East ... Organic certified hemp twine and
beading kits from Ecolution ... Kits of coordinating papers for
decoupage, producing a painted effect that can be applied to any
surfaces from Decopatch.
Now to find the time to try some of these creative, fun,
fascinating new products!
(Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates,
a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's
reports on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the
right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
(Note: Judy is an accomplished painter and serves on the
board of the Society of Decorative Painters, in addition to her work
for BoD & Painted Planet Licensing Group.)
I’m really bothered by what I didn’t see at CHA – the
decorative painting category was hard to find. I had to search for
painted samples and paint at many of the tried-and-true paint
vendors’ booths. They’re all diversifying into other categories.
We all have a lot of work to do to get the consumer interested in
painting again. It doesn’t matter how we get consumers to paint,
we just need to get them interested in applying paint to any surface
in any manner. (Ok, I’ll get off my soap box…) There are lots of
new paints and products to try in the art materials field, so let’s
get innovative with them.
Retro and scrapbooking are everywhere. I’ve been told that
scrapbooking is not quite as hot as previously, but hey, you could
have fooled me. Paper, paper, paper and more paper is everywhere.
Paper is the new canvas. Soft pastels with cocoa brown or black
seemed to be prevalent and there are more retro designs than any
person ever needs to see.
The designs on paper and executed with paper are overwhelming. I’ve
seen a quantum leap in the diversity of design and the innovative
compositions scrapbook companies are creating. Scrapbookers are
beginning to use paint, but it’s not just your mother’s bottled
acrylics. I saw lots of fun little water-based paint pots that were
being used on wood and on paper for scrapbooking; they reminded me
of make-up. What better way can you appeal to a tweener, 20-, or
30-something female with a product that looks like cosmetics?
Yarn has got everyone tied up in knots, including Plaid. I admire
the work of the yarn designers. They are bringing a cutting edge to
their craft. Knitters teaching their craft to each other one-to
-one has done marvelous things for the knitting industry.
Painters need to commit to "one on one’s" to involve and
embrace new painters. We’re also going to need to embrace ALL
methods and styles of painting to interest the younger generation.
(Didn’t I just say I’d put my soap box away….)
Scrapbooking was in a separate show hall than general crafts.
Walking into the scrapbooking hall was like inhaling a cup of strong
espresso. What a jolt to the senses! The excitement was palpable.
Folks stood in long lines to try new products (just like we painters
USED to do). The General Craft hall was busy for the first two days
of the show but not very exciting. The most excited participant I
saw was a gray pigeon that flew from booth to booth and strolled
down the aisles. He was highly entertaining but I knew it was time
to go home when he joined me for lunch at the hot dog stand.
(Note: Judy is an accomplished painter, a member of the
board of the Society of Decorative Painters, and works for a company
which licenses artists' work. She can be reached at 605-371-4262 and