As you may have read in a previous post, I attended the CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) Winter Show in Anaheim, CA. It is a wonderful show for crafters and retailers alike. With several showrooms filled with over 4500 exhibitors it was a big task to visit them all! This show attracted over 14,820 attendees representing all industry categories making it the second best attended show in CHA history, about 9% down from the record-breaking 2007 Winter Show. As the largest exhibition of its kind in the world, the 2008 CHA Winter Show welcomed 5,754 buyers from more than 61 different countries, truly making it the Craft & Hobby Worldâ€™s Fair.
While I was walking the aisles I made note of some new and innovative products which I thought my fellow Indie Crafters would be interested in for their own crafting:
EcoSpun Craft Felt
EcoSpun is made of from 100% recycled plastic bottles and has set the standard by which all other environmentally-friendly fibers are judged. Because it is pro-environment in its raw material source and in its manufacturing process. EcoSpun delivers a soft, luxurious, color-fast product without depleting the Earth’s natural resources, without herbicides or pesticides and without extensive energy use. Ecospun can also be blended with other fibers, such as cotton or wool, for enhanced qualities. Approximately 10 bottles will yield 1 pound of fiber! The craft felt is very durable and I took a few samples home. I have to say the fabric is quite soft if not softer than leading non-recycled commercial brands and come in a rainbow of colors! You can find the full EcoSpun craft felt line at The Kunin Group.
Clover Felting Needle Pen
The new Pen Style Needle Felting Tool allows application of small or delicate materials using one, two, or three needles. The tool can be adjusted to two length of needle sizes that can be used with the Needle Felting Molds (sold separately) for creating 3-dimensional design and appliquÃ©. The handle offers ease of use because of the “Pen Style” grip action. I tried this fun tool out and definitely will be adding it to my needle felting toolbox! It is currently only available for pre-order.
This new Patented Process by BOYS CO. LTD is for home custom stamp making! Much like a Print Gocco can make screen prints from your own illustrations, you can make Stamps from your own hand drawings or pictures from your computer. This machine only requires electricity, their special stamp making materials (comes in the kit) and tap water. It uses Ultra Violet Light to process everything from line drawings to photographs. They also sell a kit that can enable the EZ Stamp make screen prints on fabric! I was able to see a demonstration of the stamp and screen printing proces. Both were incredibly easy looking and only took about 10 minutes each from design to finished product. The gentlemen who are trying to bring this unique product to the USA hobbyists are very enthusiastic and I think will make it a potential rival to the Gocco systems. As with all new machines, this product will probably need some fine tuning before it hits the commercial market. Demonstration models are currently for sale but they are not battery operated nor they the lovely lime green casing like the production models that will eventually be sold.
CHA was a great experience and I am still wading through all my materials, opening accounts with the companies I met and considering so many new exciting craft products for my own store. So if you have any desire to be hip to the latest craft finds and to learn more about the industry put a CHA show on your calender for 2008!