- Needlework becoming more popular among 18-to-35-year-olds
- More than 300,000 visit sewing websites for materials and advice
- Cross-stitch kits also selling fast as activity gets trendy
- Sales of sewing machines up by 216% at John Lewis
It is a gentle pastime of the older generations that was on the brink of becoming a thing of the past.
But needlework and cross-stitching classes have made a surprise comeback among 18 to 35-year-olds.
Rising sales of sewing machines and cross-stitch kits are now driven by a new generation of home craft lovers.
A few years ago, a boom in knitting was fueled by celebrity fans including Kate Moss and Julia Roberts pledging their love for the relaxing hobby.
Now, it seems the latest trend is cross stitch, a form of embroidery that uses X-shaped stitches to form a picture.
Almost half the readers of Love Sewing magazine are now aged 25 to 35.
Christmas sales of a hip-looking John Lewis sewing machine clearly aimed at a younger customer were up by 216per cent. And sales of a mini version of the model doubled over the festive season.
Last year, nearly 100,000 people aged 18-24 browsed Britain’s largest online needlecraft shop, sewandso.co.uk.
And around 200,000 people aged 25-34 visited the website to buy materials or search for advice.
Emma Hall, a customer service adviser for the website, said that younger sewers increasingly share their designs and ideas with friends on social media.
The 26-year-old told the Sunday Times: ‘Websites such as Pinterest have endless crafting inspiration. We have seen a big increase in younger people engaging with us on social media.’
Florence Watts, 23, from North London, said she started cross-stitching five years ago when she went to a ‘cupcakes, cocktails and cross stitch’ event with her mother.
The set designer said: ‘We were given cross stitching patterns to follow and all the kit. I found it really addictive, so I stocked up at my local haberdashery and brought it all to university.’
Phil Davidson runs cross-stitch events and is the founder of urban-cross-stitch.com, a website selling youthful deigns and alternative kits.
He said: ‘If cross-stitch isn’t revitalised for young people it’s a craft that is going to be lost.
‘When most people think about cross-stitch they think about grannies and kittens and puppies whereas the stuff I do is inspired by graffiti and retro computer games.’