from the Trades Show Floor: part 2, by Shoshana Teitelman PDF  | Print |  E-mail

With this Second report form the Craft and Hobby Association Convention which happened in Anaheim California in February Shoshana Teitelman gives us part two of a tour of what is in the market place. Here are some of the highlights from day 2 and 3 at the CHA show.Buttons everywhere! I like that. I’ve been addicted to buttons for many many years. They are so small with colour and texture and infinite possibilities. With a collection of over 60,000 (I’m underestimating if anything) I try hard to stay away from booths with buttons because of my obvious weakness around them.  Then again, a collector should always research and check if the collection is going up in value. Expo International, Inc had a selection of beaded buttons, as well as trims, appliqués, laces, frogs and closures.

button1  button2

 JHB International has been in the button business since 1969. Their present marketing campaign is called The Art of Buttons. They’ve teamed up with Indygo Junction which publishes and markets books and patterns to create the Button {Ware} line of jewelry kits. These products were the “Best of Class” winner for CHA 2008.  There are some fun ideas, often using vintage buttons, in the collection. Amy Barickman the founder of Indygo Junction, and self-confessed button addict, has also teamed up with JHB to create, “Buttonware”, a new book that was launched at the show. Combining her vintage button collection with the colourful and fashionable buttons offered by JHB International - this is a happy bright collection of projects from leading designers.

Blumenthal Lansing Company had fun buttons under their LaMode line called Say It with Buttons. These were two-hole buttons that looked like buttons with pin backs from the 60’s. They also had “One Big Button” which were reproduction vintage big buttons - like coat buttons. Vintage was the look here. The Ka-Jinker, an attachment tool that attaches buttons, gems, sequins or layers of felt or fabric with just a click could be useful for those that hate to sew on buttons.

kach jinker

Buttons Galore has themed novelty buttons with over 600 different themes. Great display. They also had felt flowers and buttons.

    button3 button4   

Clover Needlecraft, Inc unveiled their new “Velvet Speed Needles” needles for knitting. Eco-Friendly made of natural bamboo with no petro-chemicals they are highly polished with a smooth tip and very light. Designed for large projects the new 48” Circular Knitting needles in this line come in 9 different sizes and the 16” Circular Knitting needles will be available soon. 

sppeed needles 

Clover also has several new felting tools. I got to test drive the new Pen Style Needle Felting Tool. It is adjustable for 1, 2 or 3 needles and there are two needles lengths available.  The pen shape is comfortable to use and I was surprised by light the tool was.  I didn’t see the need for the Needle Felting Appliqué Molds and found I was nervous about hitting the mold with the needle. It will certainly increase their sells of the needles. I did like the Wool Roving packs in very subtle soft colours. 

needle felting

I also had a chuckle seeing the new-old style-needle threaders obviously aimed at baby boomers.  Just push a button and the mechanism threads the needle and there is a cutter on the top. They come in bright happy colours.  


Miracle Point products have a wide selections of tools that all have magnifiers on them to help us see. There is even a finger model.  The exacto knife was my favourite.



Eco Craft the makers of Mountain Mist battings were promoting their eco friendly batting. Hypoallergenic and washable they have several different battings weights that, “needle with ease by hand or machine”.  They look and feel like polyester but are 100% nature-based with corn as the primary source.  Their website has an extensive list of links for quilters. A product line that has been available for years but is not very well known is Iron-On Thread by Kreinik.  It comes in a fine (#8) braid, medium (#16) braid or 1/8” ribbon and almost 50 colours. Just a touch of an iron and it fuses to most porous surfaces including fabric, leather, wood and paper. Make sure you use a Teflon sheet or parchment paper between your thread and iron. It will fuse to the iron. It’s great to use for attaching other fibers. Not easy to find in Canada but check their website and don’t hesitate to get in touch with them.    I’m not sure if I can do this justice but Flamenco from Premier Yarns is a like  preknitted ribbon which recreates ruffles as you knit with it. It is colour gradated from side to side and about 1” wide. The garments on display in the booth were wonderful 



knit 2


Each ball has 20 yards/19m per 50g ball. 4.5mm needles are recommended.  From our youth, I think most of us are familiar with the, "Weave-It," a 4-inch square size loom with signature steel pin placement for threading yarn around a wooden frame that was first created in 1935. Over the years it has had various versions. Buxton Brook Designs brought the looms back in 1998 as "Weavettes," for all of its original intention: to weave in the palm of your hand. Made again in hardwood frames with stainless steel pins, the original 2-inch and 4-inch square sizes were remanufactured and new loom shapes were introduced (2" x 4", 2" x 6", 4" x 6" and 6" x 6") to provide more modular design possibilities.  This is great for a carry with you project. 



The Authentic Knitting Board company unveiled knitting that doesn’t need needles to knit. Using a simple weave and hook process, a double knit - or two sided- fabric is created. So the fabric is finished on both sides.  Increasing and decreasing for shaping can be done while the fabric is on the board.  The knitting board is very versatile and by changing your gauge, you can create many different looks while using all types of yarns.  The Knitting Boards are made of solid kiln dried hardwood and sanded to a smooth finish. The knitting needles are steel pins with small ball tips. The knitting board has adjustable wood spacers, this allows the knitter to change the spacing between the boards and create different effects.   


knitting board2            

Paverpol USA is the North American distributor of Paverpol, a non-toxic textile hardener.  Items dipped in Paverpol become harden and are weather resistant. It can be used with fabric, paper, wood, metal, polymer clay and more.  It is available in clear, grey, bronze and black was recently unveiled. It can be coloured with pigments as well.  There is a gallery on their website.

Lacis has been around since 1965 and I still absolutely love her products. They are, “a manufacturer, publisher and distributor of over 9,000 products from world-wide resources focusing on the minor needle arts including lace making, tatting, braiding, costume, embroidery, rug making and weaving.”  There are threads, ribbons, tool and supplies for the textile arts. They specialize in lace making tools and tatting shuttles, have tassel forms, tatting needles, extra fine knitting needles and crochet hooks and a great selection of purse frames. I can’t begin to list all the wonderful products. It is always such a treat to be in their booth, immersed in top quality products. It’s so hard to know where to look first. Make sure you visit her website when you have some time to explore.   Atelier de Paris would give Lacis stiff competition for being my favourite company. While Lacis specializes in needle arts, Atelier de Paris has a vast selection of surface design products. Specialists in silk painting supplies they also have batik, marbling supplies, custom jewellery, pewter jewellery accents and offer services of pleating, devore printing, dyeing or neckties made from your yardage.   

By now all my intentions of avoiding sensory overload have dissolved but at least my feet don’t hurt too much. We’ve covered almost all of the show and I’ve saved the special exhibit, doing the make’n’takes, return visits to favourite booths and networking for the last day which is a shorter day.


The Japan Pavilion was a special exhibition by the Hobby Association of Japan. The Hobby Craft industry in Japan has over $3.3 billion in consumer sales and an estimated 6 million handicraft hobbyists. The association were here to promote their crafts to the attending retailers and their show to other vendors. The Japan Hobby show is in Tokyo in May and according to their literature and there are 400 companies exhibiting and 100,000 visitors over the 3 day show.

Wow! With those numbers it not surprising that they are supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Or is the industry so strong because they have support?? It was a wonderful exhibit and I happily spent the whole morning visiting. Highlights from the exhibit included Fujix Ltd which manufactures sewing, embroidery and handicraft threads. They had Silk Thread Art demonstrated. Silk Thread Art or STA, is a way of making pictures from silk threads. A canvas with a printed image had double sided adhesive onto which the silk threads were applied with various techniques. The methods and techniques for handling the tread are limitless but they showed me the Cut, Loosening-the-twist, Single ply, Tightening-the-twist and Cotton Techniques. The marketing materials were great. Training for your mind - To make “Silk Thread Art”, use your fingers to unwind, cut, twist and arrange the thread. Working with your hands will open your mind. Or,  Healing effects - “Silk Thread Art” has a rich colour selection. Seeing the many colours and feeling the various textures are the perfect ways to relax your mind.  How could anybody resist.  



They also had FJX Bead Crochet Thread which is a resin treated synthetic thread designed for fine detailed crocheting with beads. Virginia Blakelock was demonstrating in the booth, a lovely talented woman who is trying to provide these products online.    The Miyuki Co booth needs no explanation - they have been producing the finest Japanese seed beads since 1949.  They had new Delica Bead colours and two tone beads in 4m TB Round which is an irregular round shape. Very glittery textural effect. They had wonderful bead jewelry kits, cute animal charm and holiday ornament kits. I was lucky to receive several beaded floral kits. John Bead is their Canadian distributor. Aoyama Ribbon Co. manufacturers materials for making Ribbon Art Flowers.Their mission statement is, “Contributing to promoting culture of life with not only supplying products but also disseminating ribbon culture as its leader and adviser.”  I had so much fun creating my rosebud. Basically the petals are created from two pieces of silk ribbon glued together with a wire in the center. This gets squeezed and squished, then reopened. The ribbon is now highly textured and realistic.    


Links to companies mentioned:


Expo International Inc  http://www.expointl.com/c-158-buttons.aspx

JHB Buttons http://www.buttons.com/

Indygo Junction http://www.indygojunctioninc.com/ 

Blumenthal Lansing  http://www.blumenthallansing.com/

Buttons Galore & More   http://www.morebuttons.com/

Clover Needlecraft Inc  http://ww.clover-usa.com/

Miracle Point http://www.mountainmistip.com/ 

Eco Craft http://www.mountainmistip.com/   

Kreinik Manufacturing Company  http://www.kreinik.com/

Premier Yarns http://www.premieryarns.com/

Buxton Brook Looms http://www.buxtonbrook.com/

Authentic Knitting Board Company   http://www.knittingboard.com/ 

EmmaCreation Arts and Crafts   http://www.emmacreation.com/

Paverpol USA   http://www.paverpolusa.com/

Lacis  http://www.lacis.com/

Atelier de Paris http://www.atelierdeparis.com/

Art Quilt Studio Magazine http://www.stampington.com/ 

Hobby Association of Japan   http://www.hobby.or.jp/english/

Fujix Ltd. http://www.fjx.co.jp/    

Virginia Blakelock's website     www.beadcats.com/

Miyuki Co. Ltd    http://www.miyuki-beads.co.jp/

John Bead     http://ww.johnbead.com/

Aoyama Ribbon Co     http://www.aoyama-ribbon.com/


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