The yarn industry continues to see a sea of changes at every level: consumer, retailer, wholesaler and trade-industry-wide, with no signs of slowing soon.
Here are some of the notable events from the third quarter.
Acquisitions, Closures, and Distribution
Lux Adorna closes business. After 7 years of providing cashmere to the luxury market, Lux Adorna knits announced it is shutting down. In the announcement, Heidi Hennesy announced her new venture, Heidi Hennesy Luxury Knitwear, which appears to be a ready-to-wear line.
Dragonfly Fibers is sold. After initially considering shutting down the business, Kate and Nancye of Dragonfly announced that Amy Serradell of Canon Hand Dyes and Lisa Bass of White Birch Fiber Arts will continue the business.
Twisted Owl Fiber Studio closes its doors. In a swirl of controversy, Twisted Owl, an indie hand-dyer, announced it would be ending the business. They cited an increase in divisiveness in the community as a reason for closing the company, although there was no single incident that directly caused the closure. Their statement on Facebook read, in part: “Our art was hand dyeing! Lots of work, sweat, tears, happiness, and frustration has gone into our art! We’ve made so many friends and fiber family in this industry and now all we see are people bullying each other. BOTH SIDES!!! And were (sic) done! Something that used to make us so happy to be a part of has turned into a cluster.”
Nancy’s Knit Knacks was purchased. The company that has been professional-quality ball winders and accessories in the US was bought by Michael Gallagher, who also recently purchased the Strauch Fiber Equipment company. The products will continue to be made in the US. Bob Shroyer (former owner of Nancy’s Knit Knacks) has begun a new company called Mobile Winders, providing service to NKK’s equipment and developing new products.
TNNA announces co-location with AFCI for Winter Market. The National Needlework Association announced that it would be joining the show floor at Creativation in Phoenix on January 16-20th (the show for the Association for Creative Industries, a trade organization that focuses on big-box craft stores and wholesalers), canceling the scheduled Winter Market location in Austin, TX. TNNA will ‘hold a Pavillion’ on the Creativation show floor for wholesalers to connect with attending retailers. Both shows have seen recent shrinkage, as has the trade show industry more generally. Both trade industries are now managed by association management company SmithBucklin.
New, inclusive fiber festival in England. Fibre Rocks is a new fiber festival that will take place on June 6 and 7, 2020, with a focus on inclusivity and sustainability.
Spin Together fills void left by Spinzilla. After the closure of Spinzilla, Carla Hanson of Purple Lamb Fiber Arts decided to start Spin Together to take its place. The virtual spinning event will be held the week of October 6, 2019 and participation is free. Organizers are requesting teams sponsor prizes and make a donation to Habitat for Humanity.
Knitwear design tool website launches. Knitwiz, billed as a ‘unique combination of a knitwear design tool and a marketplace’ launched September 15. The subscription website allows you to design your own sweater using basic silhouettes and stitch patterns.
New sweater-designing app scheduled for launch. The founders of Making Things have designed Bellish, a sweater-designing app. The app is scheduled to pre-launch in late October and is available to the first 500 registrants. Making Things appears to have deleted their Instagram account after controversy regarding designer compensation.
American Mill transitions to specialty yarns. Meridian Specialty Yarn Group announced that it’s transitioning to providing products for the higher-end, natural fiber and the luxury yarn market. The company had been spinning acrylic yarns for big box stores, but that business has been shifting overseas. The facility is a spinning plant and full dye house near Charlotte, NC.
Knitter’s Planner is live. The customize-able knitter’s planner, combining a traditional planner with knitting tracking and inspiration, has launched.
Schacht Spindle Company celebrates 50-year anniversary and honors influential weavers and spinners. Schacht celebrated its 50th anniversary in September and announced awards to: Maggie Casey, Deborah Chandler, Linda Ligon, Judy Steinkoenig, and Madelyn van der Hoogt for their work in the industry. In a statement, the company says, “The honorees have taught generations of weavers and spinners, provided high-quality publications, changed lives in Guatemala, and all have been cornerstones in this craft community.”
Louët celebrates 45-year anniversary and opens showroom in Haarlem. The Dutch spinning and weaving company celebrated its 45th anniversary in October. In late summer, Louët opened a showroom in Haarlem, Amsterdam, a location easily accessible to the city and visitors.
Lorna’s Laces moving. Lorna’s Laces announced it’s moving to Louisville, KY from Chicago, IL beginning November 1.
Stacey helps small businesses in the craft industry put their best foot forward in the digital world. She specializes in developing a company’s branding, marketing + social media to build customer-loyalty, community-building and engagement. She writes, teaches and consults on a variety of small business marketing topics. www.staceytrock.com