Men make do and mend

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Men are more likely to mend their clothes than women, according to new research.

And the study suggests people under the age of 35 are the most likely to take up sewing - with Kirstie Allsopp, Fearne Cotton and David Beckham the top three celebrities most likely to set them stitching.

The survey of 1,000 adults found that 50 per cent more men than women say they would mend an item of clothing.

The research, for retailer Hobbycraft, showed that only 40 per cent of women would mend an item, compared to 60 per cent of men.

The survey also revealed that those aged 18 to 35 are the most likely to fix an item of clothing.

While sewing has seen a revival in popularity in recent years, thanks to TV programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee, the survey showed that one in 10 people are still unable to do basic tasks such as sewing on a button, sewing on a zip or turning up or mending a hem.

And more than half (55 per cent) admitted they would throw away items of clothing rather than try to mend them. The most wasteful areas are London (66 per cent), closely followed by the East Midlands (61 per cent) and the East of England (59 per cent).

But those in Northern Ireland are the most thrifty with 60 per cent of people revealing they wouldn’t throw away any items of clothing they could fix, closely followed by those in the North East (59 per cent) and Wales (57 per cent).

While sewing and knitting are the most popular crafts, the hobbies people are most likely to take up in 2016 are drawing and painting, confirming the trend for adult colouring which saw sales increase by 991 per cent in 2015 and is set to be even bigger in 2016 with four in 10 saying they plan to take it up this year.

Katherine Paterson, customer development director at Hobbycraft, said: “It’s brilliant to see men trying their hand at sewing and with Patrick Grant at the forefront of the sewing bee and an increase in male contestants over the years the gender stereotype are really been broken down.

“The popularity of sewing has been growing for a number of years now, so it’s surprising how many people are still unable to do simple sewing tasks.

“We launched the sew simple campaign at Hobbycraft last year and the purpose of that is to help everyone learn the basics, from setting up and maintaining your first sewing machine, to taking the sewing machine driving test with our instore experts helping shoppers master basic stitches.”

She added: “The trend for crafting sees no sign of abating and there are a few reasons for that.

“Firstly, programmes like The Great British Bake Off brought crafting to the forefront of the nation’s minds and the absolutely brilliant thing about programmes like this is that they inspire the professionals to keep going and they inspire the non-crafters to get started.

“We’ve also seen a desire for the younger generation to get crafty; this started to emerge as a way to make money, save money and as alternative to going out in a time when people were more conscious of their spending.

“The final and probably the most important factor in the growing popularity of craft is the accessibility. Crafting went from something you learnt from your parents, grandparents or teachers to something you could learn at the touch of a button.

“Blogs, online ‘How To Guides’ and YouTube has done wonders for crafting because it’s made the tricks of the trade easier to master.”