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Fall 2018 Trends Your Shelves Should Reflect

Posted By TNNA Editor, Thursday, October 11, 2018

Autumn is here. From my desk in the mid-Atlantic, leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and everything is coming up pumpkin spice. At the TNNA Summer NeedleArts Trade Show in Cleveland, vendors showed off their fall and winter goods, allowing retailers to get a jumpstart on stocking their shelves. Did you attend the show? If not, it is a great opportunity to preview upcoming trends and to get a front row seat to everything NEW! Here, I’ll share some trends I noticed while walking the trade show floor.

Back to Basics

Simplicity is trending, and it’s been happening for some time. People are trying to return to a more minimal lifestyle, which is a consumer trend across all industries from tech to fashion to crafts. What does this mean for the needle arts? It means classic yarns, simple patterns and straightforward elements.

Yarns in rich autumnal colors and comfy-cozy sweaters dominated the runway. Loose-fitting, simple silhouettes that focus on wearer comfort continue to be paramount when considering garment style. Ponchos and oversized sweaters will keep you wrapped in warmth all winter. When choosing a yarn, designers and yarn companies are opting for classic wools with just a touch of luxury or bling. 

Pantone’s fall/winter 2018 palette. (source:


Kits were HOT at the summer show. End consumers love them because there’s less guess work. A kit allows your customers to walk into your shop and have fewer choices to make. With pre-curated colors, patterns and supplies, kits make choices easy, fast and fun!

If you are not already buying kits ready-made, could you make kits from existing inventory? How about matching patterns and supplies to help your customers make speedier decisions? Have a special event coming up? Consider collaboration! Wholesalers, retailers and designers can come together to create kits for special events (I’ve even partnered with some great collaborators on these Small Business Saturday kits). These limited-time, unique items are often coveted by shoppers — everyone wins.


Help people feel good. Support a charity or cause, help your community, or raise money for a local group, fund or organization. Fair trade goods are hot right now for the same reason. People have limited funds and when they do spend money, they want to know that it’s going to a good place, to good people and to good causes. Do you carry local artists? Fair trade supplies? Consider highlighting these items in your store or catalog. Though there are many companies navigating this space, some examples that stand out for me include Fairmount Fibers/Manos and Fibres of Life.

The 2019 TNNA Winter NeedleArts Market is fast approaching. Join us in Portland, Oregon to for a sneak peek at emerging spring/summer 2019 needle arts products and trends.

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