No need to get cross: Needlework and cross-stitching make a surprise comeback... | The Art of Cross Stitch

No need to get cross: Needlework and cross-stitching make a surprise comeback...

  • 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 fuelled 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,

    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 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, 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.’

    by Sara Smyth
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