CHA and TNNA Needlearts Market Sizes Compared

The CHA Attitude & Usage Study market sizings for needle crafts are significantly larger than TNNA’s State of Specialty NeedleArts market sizings. Why is this? Basically, the CHA data covers crafters (a large population) and the TNNA data covers enthusiast needleartists (a smaller but higher-spending population).

The National NeedleArts Assocation (TNNA) is an organization of wholesalers and retailers supporting creative enthusiasts who knit, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, embroider, weave, and/or spin yarn. The Craft and Hobby Assocation (CHA) is also a trade assocation, but they support the broader crafts industry. Hart produced The State of Specialty NeedleArts for TNNA in 2005, 2007, and 2010.

Comparison of the two studies:

CHA Attitude & Usage Study TNNA State of Specialty NeedleArts
Market scope Anyone who has made at least one project Enthusiasts – Consider needlearts an essential part of their lives
Average knitter spending on supplies $69 per knitting household (year ending 3/31/11) $807 per knitter(2009)
Needlearts* supplies market size $3.1 billion (2009) $1.15 billion (2009)
Retail channels Crafter spending 58% at   craft/fabric chains and discount stores (2006) Knitter spending 51% at specialty needlearts stores, 12% at craft/hobby chains  (2006)
Reasons for shopping at major channel Crafters: Price, convenience, selection (2006) Wide selection, unusual things, helpful staff, comfortable store (2006)
Percentage who consider selves experts Crafters: 16% “experts” (2006) Knitters: 34%   “experts” (2006)

 *The needlearts include knitting, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery.

CHA Attitude & Usage Study market size estimates for four needle crafts, from 2005 to 2010 (click on image to enlarge):

CHA needlecraft market size 2005-2010 graph


What About CHA versus NAMTA Market Sizings for Art Supplies?

What about the CHA Attitude & Usage Study market size for art supplies compared with the International Art Materials Association (NAMTA) Artists & Art Materials Study market size? The same market difference (the bigger casual crafter/artist market versus enthusiast artists) drives the disparity in market size estimates. The CHA Attitude & Usage Study estimated the 2010 “fine arts” supplies market size at about $4 billion. The NAMTA Artists & Art Materials Study estimated 2008 art enthusiast spending on art-related materials and services at $2.8 billion. (The above CHA and NAMTA figures do not include classes or studio-related costs.)

The Final Word

Enthusiast creative segments are always a subset of casual/crafter segments and as such are always smaller. Both market sizings are accurate, they just reflect different market definitions.