August 04, 2018

Craft Yarn Council releases latest industry research

Contact: Sarah Guenther
Craft Yarn Council releases latest industry research
Carrollton, TX (August 4, 2018) - What do yarn shoppers do when their go-to craft store is out of their favorite yarn? Where do knitters and crocheters turn to find project ideas and inspiration? These were two of the questions that the Craft Yarn Council posed to yarn crafters in October 2017.  

“With more than 3,500 respondents completing our online survey,” said Executive Director Jenny Bessonette, “we have data that gives us great insight into current national consumer yarn trends and adds to the council’s tracking research. This data helps us plan targeted education and promotional campaigns.” 

Fifty-six percent of the respondents were age 55 and older; 30 percent were 35-54 and 14 percent were age 18-34. While 20 percent of respondents prefer both knit and crochet, more than half (51 percent) report they prefer crochet and 29 percent prefer to knit.

“For the first time CYC asked newcomers, i.e., those who had learned to knit or crochet in the past year, a series of questions,” explains Bessonette. “We learned that the largest age group among newcomers was 18-34 year olds and that friends and family (41 percent) were the biggest inspiration for them to learn the crafts. Twenty-two percent were inspired to learn by a project they saw on social media. 

“However, when it came to actually learning to knit or crochet, the majority (70 percent) of all newcomers turned to YouTube, followed by family (31 percent), classes (30 percent) and friends (21 percent).” continued Bessonette. “As expected, the internet is a powerful influencer.”

That was certainly the case for the majority of all respondents. Social networking sites (89 percent) edged out yarn company websites (82 percent) as the source of project inspiration across all age groups. Among social media, the popular yarn-centric Ravelry was hands down most popular, with 75 percent, followed by Facebook (69 percent), Pinterest (58 percent) and YouTube (53 percent).

And where do yarn crafters go when their favorite retailer is out of the color yarn they need? They go to the internet. That said, yarn consumers still purchase yarn more frequently in store than on the internet: 39 percent purchase yarn at least once a month in store versus 16 percent on the internet, motivated by yarn on sale, the preference to touch and feel yarn and the immediacy of purchase.

CYC also surveyed a separate online panel of 400 non-knitters and crocheters who use yarn for different crafting projects. The data, which is projectible nationally, showed that  almost half, 48 percent, of those surveyed use yarn for general crafting, with the 18-24 year olds representing the largest age group at 61 percent. Overall, the top three yarn projects for yarn crafts were: holiday (72 percent), kids-related items (56 percent) and wall hangings (42 percent). Most importantly, 66 percent of non-knitters are interested in learning to knit and 65 percent of non-crocheters are interested in learning to crochet.


The Craft Yarn Council (CYC) represents the leading yarn companies, accessory manufacturers, magazine, book publishers, and consultants in the yarn industry. For more than 35 years the Council has sponsored a wide range of promotional and educational programs, including its highly acclaimed Certified Instructors Program, Discover Knit and Crochet classes, and its popular I Love YARN Day event (the second Saturday in October), which offers a virtual meeting place for the nation's knitters and crocheters.