Every year, I write a post about what I think will happen in the world of cross stitch for the coming year. Last years next year in cross stitch 2019 went over the previous year’s thoughts, and honestly, I was pretty spot on. However this year has been an interesting one for cross stitch, so let’s look at what I guessed right, and what else is to come.
Cross Stitch Magazines & Books
I’ve put cross stitch magazines on my year round-ups for the last three years now, and honestly, they haven’t had a great time. With major cross stitch magazines shutting up shop for good, and others showing clear issues. I also mentioned books last year as well, as I saw a reduction in the amount of new cross stitch books come out.
Now, I wasn’t 100% correct, there have been some great books come out in 2018 and the new Xstitch Magazine has done really well, however in general, the same downturn has continued.
I keep my ear to the ground about cross stitch publishers, and many have stopped producing new cross stitch titles. On top of that, many have gone out of business. In fact, one of the biggest, F&W Media collapsed in June. Clearly, this is a trend that’s sticking.
But it isn’t all bad news! Whilst we’re seeing large cross stitch magazines and book publishers stopping production, I think we’ll start seeing more niche magazines and books come out to fill the space.
The Rise Of The Small Store Owner
One of my 2019 thoughts guessed that at least one major cross stitch supplier would go out of business. In turn, smaller businesses and stores would take up the slack. What I didn’t foresee, was the giant sewandso.co.uk went out of business; the largest European cross stitch supplier. As of writing this article, they’ve shut the store, got sold, got sold off a second time, and their stock has been moved to another online retailer. Whilst I think that they’ll see some of their trade, the new site is unknown in the industry and the higher price point along with the loss of such a massive supplier means people are looking elsewhere. For the last 6 months, people have been using replacement stores, which are smaller, but offer fantastic customer service, and usually cheaper.
I think we might see some more of this going on in 2020 as well. I still think there are a lot of big players in the cross stitch world that aren’t quite happy. As much as I’m sad to admit it, I think thread companies are going to be hit hard. Whilst DMC is releasing new ranges of threads to keep current, cheap cross stitch threads are nipping at their heels. I don’t think DMC will go down, they might be too large, but Anchor might suffer heavily.
You might be asking at this point, “why so much doom and gloom?” however it has to be seen that cross stitch isn’t as popular as it once was. In fact, three years ago I asked is cross stitch dead and whilst the answer was no, it had become less popular. But that’s only due to fringe crafts coming to play. For most cross stitchers, we can also do stuff like blackwork and sashiko.
Last year I was so very close to adding sashiko to the trends list, but I wasn’t 100% sure about it. This year, I can see that was the right choice, as whilst sashiko did have its moment in the sun, blackwork seems to be coming up as the next big thing. I foresee a lot of books coming out about it.
But honestly; I’m OK with that. As a lot of blackwork still uses cross stitch, and blackwork is still a major part of the cross stitch community.
A somewhat confusing story, cross stitch generator software has been on my list for the last 4 years. It went from doing well, to going bad, to going well again. And last year, I saw a trend for the ‘point and click’ online generators. I thought this wouldn’t be a long term trend (I think I was wrong there), however, I also thought that major players like WinStitch and PCStitch would have to adapt to survive. Not only do I think that’s still the case, but we’re seeing a bit of it too. Ursa Software (makers of WinStitch) released a new app for marking up patterns, and I hear they might be looking to make a simpler converter as well.
I don’t see anything from the makers of PCStitch, and their updates are getting smaller and smaller, so I think they might be in some trouble soon if they don’t adapt.
Sometimes; I’m wrong. Last year we saw ThreadHeaven go away. It was a big moment in the cross stitch world, as a lot of people swore by it. I personally don’t, and as a result, I thought a new player would come along to fill the space. Nope.
Instead, people went without. I guess this is proof that both cheaper and expensive embroidery threads are increasing in quality, but it was something I didn’t see coming. And as a result; I think we’ll see less and less people using thread conditioners (even if it makes using metallic threads much easier).
One of my new items this year will be unique tools. We’ve long been a fan of finding the perfect scissors for you and shouting about great tools like frogging scissors and micro scissors however I think this year we’ll see a lot more people starting to use them, and other quality tools.
So that’s what we thought of our 2019 guesses, and our 2020 predictions. Is there something you think we’ve missed?