Craft Council 2021

Material Trends from Craft Week 2021

The annual London Craft Week offers an impressive variety to experience craft with 250 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world.

Image: Maker’s Eye: Stories of Craft, Crafts Council Gallery, London

The importance of craft is growing due to pandemic, but also because it offers more uniqueness and timeless beauty compared to mass production.

It is easy to forget that historically and not so long ago most everyday household items were made by craftsmen. So, it is nice to see that many traditional exhibitors at London Craft Week represented these businesses that are still around in central London. These independent traditional businesses are an important part adding richness to the local business culture.

Examples of exhibitor disciplines:

basketry, block printing, bookbinding, calligraphy, candle making, ceramics, clay working, cordwaining, costume and dress making, decorative plasterwork, dyeing, embroidery, engraving, floristry, furniture making, lettering, glassblowing, restoration, weaving etc.

The Red List of Endangered Crafts identifies 130 endangered at-risk craft skills. Three of them: scissor making, bee skep making and basketwork furniture making were demonstrated at Fortnum & Mason.

During the craft week there were a huge number of workshops available for public to try out various craft techniques.

New sustainable material trends

One of the most interesting exhibitions during Craft Week was Fabricax, an innovation gallery and concept store for sustainable brands.

The Mills Fabrica’s investment fund has a vested interest in over 25 startups – collectively valued at over a billion dollars – tackling systemic issues at the material level, within the supply chain and all the way down to the business models in need of driving better environmental, societal and governance outputs.

Fabrica X, The Mills

The Mills Fabrica London is located at Cottam House, 36-40 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AB, London

  • Biodiverse material use
  • Minimal waste
  • Ethical production

Fabrica X, The Mills Fabrica Fake leather, vegan leather

Biotechnological material innovation is a fast growing industry. There is an increasing number of alternative vegan leather materials in the market. Sneaker design is an application example that has taken them on in recent years.

Mylo is a leading alternative backed up by big brands like Adidas, Lululemon and Stella McCartney. It is made from mycellium grown in a vertical agriculture facility powered by renewable energy.

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