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Featuring Fourteen Exhibitors at this year’s Craft Hobby Stitch International Trade Fair – NEC, Birmingham UK

Manufacturers and distributors of yarns, threads and haberdashery items, and makers of other specialised craft things, are one half of a partnership that is finding that the revival of all things handmade and vintage style to be popular and highly lucrative for many wholesale businesses. The other half being shop keepers or online retailers selling this stuff to the public directly, or designer makers and crafters who source these kinds of materials and use their talents to produce new, saleable items, who then go on to sell through various shopping channels and retail outlets.

Indeed my visit to this year’s Craft Hobby Stitch International Trade Fair at the NEC, Birmingham had me acknowledging rather than appreciating the necessity for the sale pitch (I was not there to buy). My eyes were trained however, on the technique ideas on show. Overall, I was struck by the variety of form and function, the striking colours, the novelty, the prettiness, and most of all the refinements available to turn basic design into lovely finished pieces. I came to know of cling stamps, fat quarters, and a substance which hardens fabric called Powertex, and Flitterglu too, more about these items to follow.

So my mind has been ticking over since on how best to approach the writing of this blog. All the wholesale businesses featured are established and are selling, or would like to be selling their haberdashery, wool, craft items, or other related products in the UK. Below is a brief overview of each company, as I see them, having engaged in conversation with reps at the event. Contact details and online links are included so that if you are interested in stocking or purchasing anything from them, then, please, get in touch, I am sure they will be very happy to receive your enquiry.

The Viking Loom, York

The Viking Loom, York

1.The Viking Loom Ltd A distributor and retailer of everything crafty is The Viking Loom. The shop itself, is situated in central York. Route your wholesale enquiries to do with stocking Needlework Frames for Needlepoint and Tapestry, Cross Stitch, Crewel, Embroidery and Quilting particularly, by email to: vikloom@ndirect.co.uk

powertex model (sculpture)

powertex model (sculpture)

2. Powertex British Isles Ltd Introducing to the UK the Powertex art and craft range, which includes a textile hardener that is water based. When items from the range are used in conjunction with any material that contains natural fibres, it is possible to create amazing sculptural pieces. Each object is original and there are no limits as to the 3D designs that can be achieved. I foresee arts and crafts businesses that include these products in their lines will reap the reward, as their customers will be able to create home decorations and garden sculptures in a way that is extremely cost effective. The owner is keen to be selling wholesale in the UK. (downloadable catalogue available on the website).

3. Love Crafts retailers wishing to stock beautifully written and illustrated books on Craft, Fashion, Textile and Practical Art then register as a new customer – wholesale – contact Frida to open a new account on 020 7605 1400 or email sales@annovabooks.com Note: Public can buy direct online at LoveCrafts.co.uk

Knitting Masterclass Hardback

Knitting Masterclass Hardback

4. Wonderfil Specialty Threads email office@wonderfil.co.uk Canadian firm Wonderfil supplies to trade beautiful threads that add shimmer and brilliance to all sorts of machine and hand embroidery work, including threading designs on greeting cards. They do seasonal sets which are very nice.

Easter selection

Easter selection

5.The Warm Company for fantastic quilting materials look no further. This American company currently is looking at setting up a distribution centre in the North of England. For information email Lindsey@warmcompany.com insul shine
The website is www.warmcompany.com they are providers of fibre and fabric processing services for manufacturers in various industries including apparel, sporting goods, upholstery, bedding and aerospace.

ribbon print

ribbon print

6. Ribbon Print sells the technology, a complete Ribbon Print System for YOUR business. www.ribbonprint.com

7. That’s Original Ltd is UK distributor for fabric decorating products. Demonstrator was making card and decorating textiles (t-shirts) with adhesives and glitter at the trade show. Also sells tie dye kits technique used gives the same effect as using traditional methods but without the need for large pans, cold water dyes, salt etc. Contact Sales Director Karen Morris for more information email karen@thats-original.co.uk Mob: 07726 792595

Tie Dye Kits

Tie Dye Kits

8. West Design is a UK, family owned business that is a supplier of stationery, art and craft materials and toys including Lego and Lego stationery to trade customers only. An extensive catalogue is available on request and online ordering at www.westdesignproducts.co.uk West is a distributor of prestigious lines of educational supplies too, and manufacturer of their own products stationery and craft kits etc. called Stephens, so for those retailers who are supporters of local supply and of ‘Made in Britain’ here is a hook to hang that hat on.mainImg

9. Gutermann Creativ new to the market this year will be thread that is ideal for very fine fabrics. These extra fine threads are suitable for lock and overlock seams and can be used for button holes, ornamental stitches and decorative seams on the most delicate of fabrics.

jeans thread

jeans thread

On the other end of the scale the company do a set of threads suitable for jeans (denim) wear. I was also interested to learn of a sew-all type of thread made from 100% recycled polyester – this sewing thread is obtained from putting recycled drink (water) bottles through various processes to produce an excellent thread which has a multitude of uses.

Easter Card using products by indigoblu

Easter Card using products by indigoblu

10. IndigoBlu Flitterglu plus flake and glitter stamping was so expertly demonstrated to us at the craft fair and the result was the Easter Card as illustrated. Award winning products, this company is no run of the mill supplier of rubber stamps. The design, the quality, the presentation is exquisite.


11. The Craft Cotton Co
have an extensive range of fat quarters (for quilting),bright and colourful cotton and poly cotton prints, fur fabrics and other craft products. The leaflet says ‘so whether you are a smaller specialist business or one of the ‘big boys’, we would love to supply you’. View their exciting range of fabric sewing kits etc. at www.craftcotton.com for Easter chicks Fat quarters are here

Gillian Glad Rag logo

Gillian Glad Rag

Surrey based Gladrag Shop

Surrey based Gladrag Shop

12. GillianGladRag Gillian Harris is the queen of felting and wool supplies. She is a web retailer of wonderful craft kits, knitting accessories, and other lovely stuff. She also sells to Wholesale/Trade details on the website The wonderful Fluffatorium (see image) is in West St. Dorking in Surrey. Gillian is also on Facebook and Twitter @gilliangladrag


13. Crafty Stamps Cling rubber stamps have an adhesive quality and cling to a surface for the purpose of both storage and stamping. Designs at Crafty Stamps are suitable for family occasions and religious festivals, fantasy, nature, and so on, and some stamps have Scottish interest/connection.

rabbit cling stamp by Crafty Stamps

rabbit cling stamp by Crafty Stamps

14. Wild Rose Studio produce a collection of cling stamps too, this is called Blackberry Lane. Stockists of their pretty stamps are international. Your business could join the stockist list shown hereWild Rose image

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