2014 Statistics for the Quilt Industry

This article was published online by Laurie Harsh of FabShop on Nov 6, 2014.

Quilting in America 2014 survey indicates market is worth $3.76 billion annually

HOUSTON—October 24, 2014—Quilters in the United States spend a whopping $3.76 billion a year on their fiber art passion, a 5% increase in the value of the market over the last four years. And the average quilting household expenditure has increased 36% in that same time frame.

The recent Quilting in America™ survey also shows that there are more than 16 million active quilters in the country. That means one out of every 20 Americans quilts!

These were some of the key findings of the 2014 survey, presented by F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company, and Quilts, Inc., producers of International Quilt Market and International Quilt Festival. The survey is conducted every four years by independent survey companies.

“We are proud to have commissioned this important survey, as a valuable tool for all our industry partners,” says David Nussbaum, Chairman and CEO, F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company. “We, at F+W, see the dedication of our passionate quilters every day: this survey only confirms what we know about our customers. They choose how to spend their time and their money on their art, and they are driving this $3.7 billion industry. It’s up to all of us to ensure we’re meeting their needs with the high-quality products and services they demand.”

The 2014 survey did show a decline in the overall number of quilters in the U.S., which is almost certainly a reflection of the national economic downturn. Casual quilters are more apt to move in and out of quilting and other crafts as their interests and their disposable income change, and the Great Recession undoubtedly had a significant economic impact on the ability of those casual quilters to pursue their interest in quilting and other crafts.

“However, we know Dedicated Quilters don’t regard quilting as an optional hobby, but as part of their lives. They, like quilters throughout history, quilt during good times and bad. Their quilting is both a means of expressing themselves creatively, and also of expressing what is going on in their lives and how they are dealing with it,” says Karey Bresenhan, president of Quilts, Inc., and Director Emeritus of its shows.

Those “Dedicated Quilters” represent 12.2% of all quilting households, and account for 60.4% of the total industry expenditures, or about $2.27 billion, according to the survey. Each Dedicated Quilter is defined as one who spends more than $500 a year on quilting-related purchases, which include sewing machines, fabric, notions, tools, patterns, books, computer programs, batting, and thread. In fact, the Dedicated Quilter actually spent an average of $3,296 per year on quilting.

Demographics of the Dedicated Quilter indicate she is female; about 64; is well-educated (79% attended college); has a household income in excess of $100,000; and has been quilting an average of 20.3 years. Among Dedicated Quilters, 81% are traditionalists, while 38% embrace art quilting, and 35% enjoy modern quilting styles. Some enjoy multiple types of quilting.

The Dedicated Quilter owns, on average, almost $13,000 worth of tools and supplies and has a stash of fabric worth nearly $6,000, which the majority (88%) store in a studio or room dedicated solely to sewing and quilting activities.

And quilters are also tech-savvy, with 87% owning a tablet or eBook reader today. The percentage of quilters who access the Internet daily has grown to 86%, up from 73% four years ago. The data indicates that quilters spend 3.5 hours per week watching quilting-related online broadcasting to learn new tips and techniques, get inspiration, purchase fabric, tools, and supplies, and to search for free patterns.

Quilting in America™ 2014 is the seventh study conducted since 1994 to measure the time and money quilters invest in their art, profiling key segments of the market.

The Quilting in America™ study is conducted in two phases: Phase I is administered by TNS Global Inc., which surveyed households to measure incidence of participation and the dollar value of the quilting industry. Phase II, conducted by DP Research Solutions, surveyed qualified “Dedicated Quilters” with in-depth questions to learn more about them, their quilting habits, and buying behaviors.

Media Contacts

• Bob Ruggiero, Director of Publications & Public Information for Quilts, Inc. pubs@quilts.com or 713-781-6864, ext. 116

• Kristi Loeffelholz, Group Publisher/Community Leader-Quilting for F+W, Kristi.Loeffelholz@fwcommunity.com

To purchase the 2014 detailed report with narrative, charts, and data, visit www.shopfonsandporter.com/QIA

F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company is the leading content and service provider to the quilt community and home to such venerable brands as Fons & Porter, McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker, Quilting Arts, Quilters Newsletter, and more.

Quilts, Inc. produces trade and consumer shows for the quilting and soft crafts industry, including two editions of International Quilt Market (since 1979) and two of International Quilt Festival (since 1974). Their newest show is Quilt! Knit! Stitch!™


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Nov 13, 2014 @ 11:17:53

    So, do you think if I showed this to my husband he’d be happy to know that I’m doing my part to keep this industry thriving, lol. By my household, those “spend” and “own” estimates are a bit low.


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