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TNNA Releases 2016 US Participation and Spending in Needle Arts

Posted By India Hart Wood, Hart Business Research, Wednesday, September 14, 2016


TNNA Survey

August 2016 research sponsored by TNNA, part of the TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts Study 2016, indicates 23% of U.S. adults did at least one needle art in the past year: knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, cross-stitching, needlepoint, or hand embroidery. Most do two needle arts. Participation is relatively higher among females, ages 18-34, nonwhites, households with lower incomes and more people, households with children, and those without a college degree. They  spend $2 to $3 billion a year on needle arts supplies.

In August 2016 TNNA placed three questions on ORC International’s national general population Online Caravan Omnibus survey to determine national participation rates, spending, and shopping habits in each needle art. (This is a separate from the surveys of needle arts enthusiasts in February 2016.) TNNA members can dive deep into needle arts participant demographics, spending, cross-participation, retail channels, and more. Download the Excel file for U.S. Needle Arts Participation Survey Results.

According to the participation survey, needle arts participants spent an average of $60 each on supplies in the past year. Those who spent more were older adults (age 65+), residents of the U.S. Northeast, from higher income households, those with children, and college graduates. These findings are consistent with the typical profile of needle arts enthusiasts (versus participants); most enthusiasts spend more than $200 a year on supplies.

Needle arts participants shop at a range of retail types. 25% shopped online for needle arts supplies. Nearly all shopped in-store, at craft or hobby chains (62%), mass merchandisers (42%), or local independent yarn, stitching, or crafts shops (22%). In contrast, enthusiast needle artists are most likely to shop at specialty needle arts stores, either online or locally.

Percentage of U.S. adults participating in each needle art:

Needle art








Spinning yarn




Hand embroidery


Needlepoint (on painted canvas, not plastic)


Any needle art


Data is from three questions on the ORC International Online Caravan Omnibus Survey of a demographically representative sample of U.S. adult volunteer survey takers. The participation rate for the needle arts (23%) is about two times that reported by the 2012 U.S. Census Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, a more reliable survey where 3/4 of randomly-selected (not volunteer) households responded. Therefore participation rates may be half of what is reported above. The lower rate is more consistent with data from the U.S. International Trade Commission and specialty needle arts retailers. The TNNA U.S. Needle Arts Participation Survey data on participant spending, shopping habits, and demographics are reliable.

The TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts 2016 Study is independently produced by Hart Business Research and sponsored by TNNA. TNNA members may access the complete study, including the results of seven enthusiast needle arts surveys, at

Tags:  TNNA Survey Says 

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