I’m sure by now you are familiar with the Chunky Knit Blanket that has been gracing the pages of Etsy and other sites for the past few years. Sure, the trend has really taken off and there are hundreds of sellers offering chunky knit blankets as well as supporting products, but it seems there’s still plenty of room for more!
Made from a variety of materials such as merino wool, wool blends, and even vegan fibers such as bamboo, acrylic, or stuffed cotton tubing, chunky knit blankets are all about the incredibly bulky style and gorgeous tactile look. These blankets are often marketed towards the more luxury-minded buyer looking to find eye-catching conversational pieces to decorate their home.
FOR THIS TUTORIAL YOU WILL NEED:
7-8 pounds of wool or wool alternative
A large flat area (at least 3.5’ wide)
Sheet or drop cloth if working on the floor or outdoors
*Finished blanket will measure approximately 40” x 60”
*I have personally worked with each of the above companies. While each company offers different options in fiber, color, microns, and prices- I can personally recommend their products and customer service.
Tip: Micron is a term used to define the diameter of an individual fiber. Typically, fibers with a micron between 11.5 and 24 are made into clothing, meaning that anything in this range is considered “next to skin soft” and is acceptable for a knit blanket. The smaller the micron measurement the finer and softer the fiber, while larger micron measurements are less so- but are more affordable.
READ BELOW FOR INSIGHT INTO THE CHUNKY KNIT BLANKET BUSINESS OR SKIP BELOW FOR THE FULL VIDEO TUTORIAL
As someone who has been making and selling chunky knit blankets for nearly seven years, I can personally attest the demand for chunky knits and their continued success. When I posted my first finished blanket, I was not super confident as to how long it would take to sell, or if it even would. With a heftier price tag, somewhere in the $200-$300 range, how often would someone be ready and willing to plunk down the money for a decorative blanket? OFTEN. Quite often.
My first blanket sold within a few days of posting, so I made another, and another, and another. Each time I listed a new blanket someone would purchase it by the next day. Now seeing it as a business, I listed a wide variety of sizes with multiple quantities of each size and marked each listing “made to order”. As the sales poured in, my husband and I would sit on the floor of our living room unwinding bales of wool and measuring out pounds to knit. My first holiday season selling blankets was even more of a success than I could imagine. In the three weeks leading up to my holiday order cut-off date I sold sixty chunky knit blankets in a variety of sizes. Goodbye day job, it’s been swell.
Now I know what you are thinking; of course I did well, everyone buys like crazy for holiday gifts. This is absolutely true; however, my January was stellar, February was great, March was pretty swell, and April didn’t hurt my feelings either. Of course sales slowed down in the summer months, when most people aren’t thinking about buying a thick wool blanket to cozy up with in the middle of June, but sales really didn’t slow down all that much. The beauty of the chunky knit blanket is that it is seen more as a decorative piece meant for light use- meaning that depending on the color and styling of the blanket- it could easily read as a cozy yet airy piece appropriate even in the summer months.
So just how slow did sales get during the 90 degree California weather? Manageable, but still plenty lucrative. I had to remember that while I was chin deep in thick luxurious wool knitting (and sweating) the days away, there were plenty of places in the world where it was perfect blanket weather- and yes- they were still buying. It was no holiday season, but every single month of the year I made more money knitting in in the privacy of my home (and with the company of my cats) then I made while wearing non-stretchy pants and driving thirty minutes to get to my miserable day job.
After several years of selling chunky knits, hundreds of other shops have opened to offer their version of the blanket. The increase is popularity certainly makes the competition stiffer, but the visibility and demand of the product has provided more sources to purchase the wool or wool alternative- and at much cheaper prices than a few years ago. While I tend to get less sales overseas than when I first started (now that there seems to be a seller in every country) my profit margin has actually increased because of the availability of the material.
So what can you expect if you start a shop for chunky knit blankets? I can only speak as to my experience selling this product, but in my opinion the chunky knit blanket is still in demand and consistent sales are absolutely possible. In the recent holiday seasons, I open my holiday sales period (3-4 weeks) by offering 100 made to order chunky kit blankets in a variety of sizes and colors- by the order cutoff date they are all spoken for.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO KEEP SALES CONSISTENT DURING NON-HOLIDAY MONTHS
The down time after your busy season or the slow decline in sales caused by a seasonal change can cause alarm to any seller. Use this time to improve the “behind the scene” areas of your business and develop new products that may speak to your buyer’s needs. For example, if the several hundred dollar knit blanket that proved ever so popular in the winter months is not performing too well, consider making related products that speak to people on a non-gift giving budget. Sticking to the same materials, function, and/or color palette can help you maintain your brand identity and keep you consistently marketing towards you target customer. Try offering other decorative items made from the chunky knit blanket material that may be at a more regularly affordable price, like a knit throw pillow, a knit pet bed, or a decorative wall hanging.
Tip: Offering similar products from the same material or by using the same method of making can cut down on material cost as well as time spent perfecting your new craft. Streamline your process!
Tip: Taking the downtime to improve the “behind the scene” areas of your business can sometimes help even more than developing new products. Perhaps your marketing strategies could be stronger, or maybe you should catch up on product photography. It’s difficult to stay afloat if you try to tackle these tasks during or coming into your busy season. Take a look at our interactive Business Planning worksheets for guidance on Finding Your Niche, Building Your Brand, and Defining Your Audience.
Watch the video below for the full tutorial as well as tips and tricks for photographing, marketing, and shipping your chunky knit blankets. Stick around until the end for a breakdown of the three P’s- price, profit, and popularity.