Swiss Turn to Sewing and Knitting During Pandemic as Sales Soar

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Swiss residents are taking up sewing and knitting in record numbers amid the pandemic, boosting sales of sewing machines and knitting needles, newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported.

“The sales figures have literally exploded,” Matthias Fluri, a spokesman for the sewing machine manufacturer Bernina International AG, told the Swiss newspaper.

“2020 was a record year for us,” he said. Bernina is closely held and doesn’t publish results.

The pandemic and government-imposed lockdowns have shifted consumer buying patterns across much of the globe. Sales of online retailers have thrived as shoppers avoided public spaces and skyrocketing demand for items like bicycles have caused global shortages.

Swiss online retailer Galaxus is also seeing a massive increase in demand for hobby and repair items, SonntagsZeitung reported.

Sales of knitting needles, sewing machines, fabric scissors and wool “rose by 646%” from April 2020 to March 2021, Galaxus spokeswoman Norina Brun said.

Sales of sewing machines alone increased more than 10-fold during the period, while sales of crochet and knitting needles jumped eightfold, she said.

The Galaxus official said knitting and crocheting is a kind of “meditative occupation” that can bring comfort during the uncertainty of the health crisis. It also serves as an antidote to “fast fashion,” with recycled wool made from textile leftovers seeing particularly strong demand from customers.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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