Younger women returning to domestic crafts in droves
Article from: Herald Sun
December 31, 2008 12:00am
SHE sews, cooks, knits, gardens - and even raises chooks.
The housewife is back, with younger women embracing domestic crafts in droves, according to new figures.
Sewing machines have rocketed off shelves in the past six months with Lincraft reporting a 30 per cent increase in sales.
"There has been a definite trend happening and we have also started to see an increase in dress fabric sales," said Lincraft spokesman Jeff Croft.
"Demand for sewing classes has increased and one of the biggest growth areas has been knitting yarn, with a 10-20 per cent increase in sales compared to this time last year."
Spotlight spokesman Steven Carey said DIY craft kits were booming.
The new housewife also appears to be turning the backyards of Victoria into vegie gardens with sales of vegetable seedlings and herbs surging 30 per cent in 12 months.
Tomatoes are hot, as are beans, peas and herbs, according to Nursery and Garden Industry Association chief Steven Potts.
Book A Chook, which "rents" out backyard chooks, is struggling to keep up with demand.
"I can't keep up with supply chook-wise at the moment and about 80 per cent of people are deciding to keep them," operator Deb Maffescioni said.
New data from social forecaster AustraliaSCAN, shows more Victorians are focusing on home-based activities.
The survey shows a 5 per cent increase in the number of people spending time on craft and a 4 per cent rise in people devoting time to home cooking, DIY and gardening.
"There has been a substantial shift in our mindset to a more old-fashioned frugal lifestyle -- that real waste not, want not approach," said David Chalke, a social analyst and consultant to AustraliaSCAN.
"There are a confluence of forces - the global financial crisis, environmental concerns and a new cocooning - which are pulling together to form the new homemaker.
"That's why we are embracing the domestic crafts again."
The Stitches and Craft Show expects 50,000 visitors to its next Melbourne show in March with increasing numbers of people under 35 and teenagers.
Myer homewares buyer Rebecca Fanelli said the new focus on the home was reflected in sales trends.
"We find when things get tough, people will buy more decorative things rather than the core stuff -- it is an easy way to update and refresh the home," Ms Fanelli said.
"Hot right now are things like bed linen, bathroom accessories, cushions and throws."