Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Quilting Industry

The U.S. economy has no doubt seen the effects and, as I see it will, continue to see the effects of a recession for a few more years. We have seen the car industry slow down and General Motors as well as other companies fall to their knees and beg for help, but are there other industries that may be hurting for attention on a lesser scale? Black Thread at shared the quilting industry statistics on how much the average quilter as well as the dedicated quilter spends yearly on their hobby.

This survey that was taken took place back in 2006 when our country was beginning to see signs of slowing down. The quilting industry, in three years, had grown from 21.3 million quilters to 27 million quilters. What a great growth rate! I think that the biggest aspect that attracts people and plants a desire and interest to quilt is the intricate designs and elaborate color patterns that make a beautiful final product. It is no wonder the community is growing!

If there are 27 million quilters then I can not imagine how much money they are spending each year. According to this survey in 2006 they spent on average 3.3 billion. Billion with a "B"! Until I read this survey I never truely understood how much a billion was. I mean, yes, don't get me wrong I understood it I just never was able to grasp the large amount of money that included. One billion, just one billion, equals 100 millions! That blows my mind, and to top it all off it is 3.3 billion dollars. We quilters could take over the world!

The way I see it, this industry will continue to grow even in financial tough times. Do intense football fans put away their satellite or high definition when the money is tight? Or do woman stop buying their makeup and buy a lesser shampoo brand during tough times? No! They find a way to make it happen. It is one of those "non negotiable" categories. The way quilters look at their hobby is the same way that football fans look toward their big screen tvs. Having said that, I definitely do not believe that the industry will grow at rates as high as was seen years prior. The growth will continue to rise but at a lower rate.


  1. A very interesting post! I think quilting is something that is up and down. It seemed really popular in the 80's (which was nothing compared to what it is now, but was something compared to the previous decades), then slowed down for quite a few years and now it seems to be having a growth spurt again. Hardcore quilters will always stick with it though! ;-)

  2. I agree, this was really interesting to read! The statistics were way higher than I would have thought! I had no clue the industry was so big. It's good to see that quilters are so dedicated to their hobby as much as anyone else and will keep it going through any economic difficulties.

  3. I think this is "true," but also wonder if there isn't more to say here. In an age of digital speed, and general rush, I wonder if the methodical and "slow" nature of quilting isn't an additional attraction. I also wonder if, in a world of digital "nothing" (I mean, what is an email, can you touch a Facebook), if the physicality of the quilt--actually making someTHING, isn't also appealing. I think there might be more to this statement than meets the eye!

    Also, generally, in times of high unemployment and tight budgets, people do tend to invest more in affordable hobbies (or beer). You might not be able to afford the 2,000$ trip to Disney World, but you can find the extra money to pleasantly fill and evening and take your mind, at least for a little while, off your troubles.

  4. Wow! I seriously did not know that people spent that much money quilting. Thats a pretty intense hobby! But, i guess it would make sense.. it makes me wonder is hobbies like scrapbooking, photography and stuff are the same. Cause that would make the crafting industry a pretty major player in the economy. But either way I find the statistics in this article pretty impressive.