Cassidy, Tracy Diane (2017) The decline of the UK hand knit craft at the close of twentieth century. In: 2017 Global Fashion Management Conference, July 6-9, 2017, Vienna. (Unpublished)

At the end of the twentieth century the decline of the domestic knitting craft was of paramount concern to the yarn companies and retailers that served this market sector. As demand reduced in the UK so did the number of specialist retailers. This was as detrimental to the yarn companies as it was to the craft. Research undertaken in 1999 by the author suggests that it is probably true to say that the knitting craft was at that point in time at its lowest point of popularity throughout the entire twentieth century. This paper reports briefly on the reasons behind the rise and fall of the hand knitting craft’s popularity throughout the last century in the UK before focusing on the latter decades in order to expose the factors related to the more serious decline of the craft in the 1990s. It discloses the perceptions of the craft at the end of the century and provides the foundation for the next stage of the research project which will involve an investigation of the craft in the early decades of the twentieth-first century.

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