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If you don’t know what a loom band is, then chances are you’ve had your head buried in the sand, for the last few months. Originally only intended for holding together braided hairstyles, it has since evolved into the latest accessory craze. Small bands of varying colors and finishings are worked up into accessories, such a bracelets, rings and most recently, a very well-publicized dress.
The first I heard about this, was when my work colleague sported one, acknowledging his daughters expertise for making it. This isn’t however limited to the playground, as a barrage of photos are uploaded daily onto Pinterest and Instagram, of sometimes very elaborate pieces. The art of getting a good design, is very logical process, in terms of your working practice, which to be fair, is not really my strongest suit. I can manage a basic style, but go anything above 3 colors and I’m lost
The online market place is currently saturated with sites, that all aim to offer a wide variety of bands and most importantly looms. The looms are instrumental, I’m led to believe, in achieving certain shapes, thicknesses and finishing’s to a piece. I will admit to being somewhat of a novice with the trend, but I wanted to try it out, to see what the hype was. It’s not necessarily the products themselves I buy into, but more the therapeutic sense of pleasure gained from making them, which I liked.
Most recently an article surfaced about a ‘loomer’ who had created a dress out of thousands of loom bands and it looked set to sell for £170,000. It seems we can’t get enough of novelty items and loom bands offer this factor, as well as being a very easy accessory to wear. The bands are not like traditional elastic bands that pull at the skin, they are very supple and mould well, to create comfort when worn.
Charms are the pinnacle of loomer envy if fan pages are anything to go by. I have seen charms made from bands to look like characters from Disney’s Elsa to The Hulk, to very kitsch novelties like strawberries. Again if this was left to me I would roll a massive ball of bands and make up some half-hearted explanation as to what this ‘thing’ is. I don’t really have much patience for learning new skills like this, that require engaging the brain as well as the hands, which is why I can applaud the work of others who do.
On a recent break away I sat for 3 hours making the darn things and on one hand felt a huge feeling of accomplishment, but on the other thought ‘come on Craig you’re 27 years old’ I have however caught the bug and recently stock piled bands like a giddy 8 year old girl, on a mission to dish out friendship bracelets. Maybe it’s the inner child in us, or maybe it’s just the welcomed distraction of doing something,other than tweeting our lives away with technology. Whatever it is, the trend looks set to stick around for quite some time, with some companies that only offer ‘loom band’ products
Loom band creator Cheong Choon Ng has made tens of millions from the loom band craze, but lives in the same house and drives an old car, pretty impressive when you think about how basic the components are. It’s the art of looming that really turns them into profitable and personally rewarding products. Even Prince William and Kate have been sported wearing them, alongside other very well-known faces. With such a huge push of publicity, it’s no surprise that Cheong, has made a reported £80 million pound from this venture.
Get looming guys & girls and be sure to share with us your latest creations. Id quite like to see a loom band set of Spice Girls charms, so if there’s anyone ready to tackle them, feel free to put me on your customer list!