Gifts Today magazine

New-look CHSE Stitches draws key buyers

Revamped show sees retailers flocking to NEC for the UK’s creative craft trade show

A fresh new look for the 2018 CHSI Stitches saw thousands of buyers gather at the NEC to place orders, network and develop knowledge and skills. The 2018 show paid host to over 200 exhibitors and marks the first stage of a redesign. It featured a brand-new Presentation Theatre, a new Catwalk and a new Media Hub.

A major new independent industry report was revealed to show visitors at three keynotes in the Presentation Theatre. The centrepiece for the show, the theatre was packed with craft industry professionals hearing from some of the UK’s top magazine editors, trend leaders and influencers. Speakers from Pinterest, Homes and Gardens Magazine, Living etc. along with experts on GDPR and social media delivered insights to hundreds across the three days.
Vibrant performances on the all-new catwalk took place each day of the show, featuring creations from Vlieseline, Rico Designs, Gutermann, Lion Brand, Madeira and McCall Pattern Company.

ICHF’s Head of Events and show organiser Dominic Fleming said: 'The show has been a resounding success and we’re delighted with the feedback from both exhibitors and retailers. We wanted to make some key changes to the show this year and take the first steps towards the revamp we are working on. To see it brought to life and to hear the response from visitors has confirmed we are going in the right direction. Reports from exhibitors indicate that the orders have been strong with new leads generated from key buyers.'

Hoooked, producers of innovative yarns made from recycled T shirts had an excellent show. Geesje Mosies said: 'We produce all of our own recycled yarn and it has been so well received at the show. The real winner for this show has been our amigurumi crochet kits which are again made up of recycled yarns and a sustainable bamboo hook. We’ve had an offer on for the full set and have taken so many orders.'

Exhibitors, from large brands to smaller start-ups reported strong sales and quality leads. The show saw impressive stands and up-to-the-minute ranges from some of the industry’s leading brands.

Michael Armstrong, Managing Director, Rico Design: 'It’s been an excellent show, we’ve had a good level of enquiries and orders with quality leads. We’ve been showcasing our new spring / summer collection for hand knitting plus our new fabrics. Our latest fabric and stationary craft themes, ‘wonderland’ and ‘hygge’, have gone down really well.'

Key new industry data revealed
Essential data into the craft industry was exclusively revealed in The Craft Report – The Future Is Ours to Create, a new and unique piece of industry research presented at CHSI Stitches 2018, providing valuable insight for craft businesses.

Presented by research specialist Linda Jones on Sunday 18 February, and each subsequent day of the show, visitors to CHSI Stitches were given unparalleled data on craft audiences, industry trends and the lifecycle of the craft project journey as well as action points to drive their businesses.

Organised by ICHF Events, CHSI Stitches has been at the heart of the craft industry for more than 40 years. CHSI Stitches 2019 takes place from 17 - 19 Feb at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. For more information visit For up to date trade show news follow Twitter @CHSIstitches.

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