Craft is defined as the process of creating an item by hand, using a specialised set of skills. Our desire to create and acquire functional, beautiful, handmade objects has been at the heart of human civilisation since we first shaped flint into arrowheads and threaded dried seeds together to adorn our necks.
A Nation of Artisans: The UK Craft Industry
Fast forward to now and the craft industry has broadened to encompass the production of textiles, ceramics, wood, metal, jewellery, glass, leather, toys, musical instruments and graphic crafts. In 2018, nearly 100,000 people were recorded as working in crafts, both inside and outside of the UK creative industries and in that same year, it was estimated that craft contributed £300 million to the UK economy.
Profit for Passion: How crafting becomes big business
Therefore, it is clear that the popularity and profitability of the craft sector continue to grow. In an era of mass production and cheap, disposable goods, quality, skill and creativity are still highly valued by the discerning consumer. Additionally, the revival of crafting as a pastime has created another growing source of revenue as the range of tools, equipment and supplies available to budding crafters has grown along with the rise of Internet commerce. For example, online retailers, such as www.woolcouturecompany.com offer crochet kits for completing creative projects at home.
Crafting the Future
The fusion of our desire for high-quality, handmade goods and the current zeitgeist for creating and crafting is a positive sign that the UK craft industry looks set to continue growing into the future. 88% of craft businesses operate as sole traders and a high proportion of workers within the craft industry are part-time or work within a mixed economy, supplying other businesses whilst marketing their own products and services. This, alongside the rise of global online marketplaces means that it has never been easier to become a part of the UK craft industry.