Walls for the wind and a roof for the rain and drinks beside the fire ~
laughter to cheer you and those you love near you and all that your heart desires.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is needlework declining in popularity?

I must really be out of the loop...I went to a lovely LNS here in Colorado Springs in August called Needle Nutz...I was so happy to find such a well stocked shop with such friendly people...I flew back down here from Canada on the 1st of November...today I dropped in at the shop...only to discover it has closed...gone...vamoosed!...I swear they could hear my exclamation of "OH NO!!!" back home in NS....i`m heartbroken...

What is going on with regular brick and mortar LNS?...It seems so many shops are closing their doors...Is needlework declining in popularity, or are people shopping on line now?...I have shopped on line with great success, but there is nothing like chatting with a shop owner about fabric and thread choices, hearing about the latest patterns, and asking for tips on technique...or just stopping in to browse and get inspired to try something new....


Is online shopping the way of the future?

6 comments:

Suzanne said...

I have shopped online a little and have had an undelivered package, this has put me right off. I still find that shopping at my LNS is the best way to go. Not only is it a lovely drive into the mountains, but I always know that I can get advice when I need it and a great chat with the owner. Her store is always packed with such lovely things, I never leave before an hour has passed.

I do know what you mean though about a needlework decline. There are so few stores about that stock beautiful needlework supplies. All there seems to be is the large chain stores that stock the ordinary supplies and provide very little if any choice. As an avid needleworker, I think this is very sad and I think it is because people just don't have the time and are not being taught these fine crafts as they grow up.

TeresaB said...

I think there's a couple of things going on. In my case there is a local brick & mortar store in the large city I live near. I used to go there more then I do now, it's a further drive, and also, she doesn't carry a lot of the materials that I like to use, nor has she been carrying a lot of the charts I would normally purchase. No antique sampler repros, no really nice samplers that are "older" in style. She carries a couple of designers I like, but only 1 or 2. When I do buy something I find that what I want I probably can't get there, so I just order it online. I have a relationship with one of the online stores (which is also a brick & mortar store in another state) and I know I can call her and get what I need and have a lovely chat as well. It's not like being in a store, but for me much more convenient. I have found a merchant that's fairly close who sells the types of fibers and fabric I like, so I am purchasing more from her.

I think there is interest in crafts, but since we've seen an upswing in things like knitting, there's a downswing in handwork. I think that it will cycle back around. In the 90's we were lucky here in the US to have some really nice "festivals" where you could take classes from some fantastic teachers. The large ones have pretty much gone away. I think they helped people, like myself, move beyond Aida and evenweave and simple designs to more complex designs and linen. It will be interesting to see what designers emerge in the next few years, and where the industry goes. I don't think it will every go away completely, but I do see it changing some.

Wow, that was a long comment, sorry.

Stitching-by-Jean said...

I think in some areas the demographics have changed, I don't want to sound (R...)because Im not, but here in the DC suburban metro area, it has changed. The SAHM are somewhat a thing of the past at least in this are, things are moving faster, and more woman are working and frankly not stitching. You don't see it just the shops of which there are about 3 in the NoVa area which covers DC and two surrounding states. So yes it means on line shopping. I do alot of it, an have a good chat with all the ones that I frequent.

Just my thoughts sorry to be long winded. BTW I have been reading your blog for awhile, I like to keep mostly to the sampler bloggers

Anonymous said...

I am an avid cross stitcher and lover or antique samplers. I generally shop for patterns/supplies in Jan. Then I am done for the year. Your work is just beautiful. You are not alone in your love of samplers.

jo said...

I was so sad to hear that Needle Nutz had closed. I lived in the Springs back when this shop was just starting out and spent many happy moments shopping there.

I feel fortunate that here in northern VA, I've got 5, yes, 5 different needlework stores within a 30 minute drive - In Stitches, the Stitcher's Stash, Needlewoman East, Scarlet Thread, and the Hang Up. I do think the market is changing, and that if a store wants to survive it had better have an online presence. I do see a wide age range of stitchers at the store I frequent the most. There are still plenty of younger women who stitch.

Lady Heather Rose MacGordon said...

Actually I believe the trend in needle arts is falling to the wayside right now for the knitting craze that is still going strong. I know Wal-mart has even dropped DMC floss and is closing their fabric departments in the capital area of NY. Joann's no longer carries canvas or needlework fabric besides aida. You do have to order online to get anything of value or interest in needle work now adays. Very sad.