Sunday, November 15, 2015

Textillia - a Hang Out for Sewists!

Have you sewists always wondered what the knitting site Ravelry is all about and why knitters congregate there? It is a community - a place to share, catalogue and keep track of your work, see what other makers are making, where people are buying their patterns, reviews and hacks to patterns, what's happening on the design scene, ask questions and get advice/feedback, post photos and links....etc, etc.

Now there's a new hang-out with a similar feel, designed specifically for sewists. Textillia launched in the beta phase last week and the Vancouver-based developers invite YOU to login, sign up, create profiles and populate the site in order to fine-tune the specific needs of the sewing community.  They've created a comprehensive site, but are seeking quilters specifically because they want feedback, suggestions and bug-alerts so that they can perfect the site to best suit the users needs.

Participation is free during the beta phase, and the first month will always be free for new members. After that, a small monthly fee will apply.  Read this post for new member info and follow along on Instagram (Textillia) for updates and announcements.

I've got a designer page up now and I plan to build on it as an online catalogue of my work and patterns.  I found the site very easy to navigate, plus it was very easy to upload photos and information.

I think as the community grows, this could be a really powerful online resource for garment sewists, quilters and crafters, plus shops, designers and fabric companies. I can't help but feel like much of the work I put into this blog is going unnoticed and unread these days. Perhaps we'll move to a central location like Textillia for sharing our projects and conversation, instead of a multitude of individual blogs?  I know I'm hardly reading blogs anymore and readership here has fallen way off, not to mention comments which are few and far between unless there's a chance to win something.  I miss the conversation & interaction that I used to have with blog readers.  All of that action seems to be on IG these days. 

Have a look around Textillia and let me know what you think. Get started here!


Rie said...

It's only free for the first month? That's a shame, one for the great things about Ravelry is that is free to use all the time. The revenue generated from pattern sales & advertising is enough to keep it going and hopefully Textillia will follow the same format (eventually).

Patti said...

Thanks for sharing this, Krista. I think it's a great idea, and I'm off to check it out!

Anne said...

One of the reasons Ravelry is so successful is that it is free to members. They make their revenue by advertising (knitting, crochet, and spinning businesses only) and through charges to those who choose to sell their original patterns on the site. Also, the fee charged for those selling patterns is graded by how much you earn. I've been in rav for quite a few years now, and I love it. Had I been paying a monthly fee, that would have really added up.
Just realized, all those points have been made above...sorry for the repetition. Anyways best of luck to this venture, however I won't be joining, unfortunately.

Leanne said...

Having been a member of Ravelry for longer than I have been blogging, and having seen a few sewing/quilting forums start and stop, I think that they are totally different kinds of communities. But I am happy to give it a try while it is free.

Marjorie said...

While I would agree that fewer people comment on blogs than they used to, I still check my blog list daily and have a similar number of views on my own blog as I have for years. I'm not a fan of the shorter format social media as they don't allow for as detailed of info. And as previously noted, "free" is they key. I have access to more for free than I'll ever use, so will not be paying for subscriptions.

Elsa said...

Life has gotten a little out of hand for me the last year, what with being the president of my guild and having a grandchild. I haven't been reading blogs like I used to. In fact, I dropped a few of them (not you tho ~ I love your blog).

I've been using Ravelry for a quite a while and love that there are so many patterns to choose from and you can see how someone else is knitting the same pattern with different yarn and colors. It's been a great inspiration for me. The best part of Ravelry is that it's FREE!

I'll try out textillia, but I won't be paying any sort of fee, no matter how small as I don't use my credit card on the computer.

Thanks for the heads up about textillia, I'm looking forward to seeing what it's all about.

JC in TX said...

2nd try! Last attempt took off to cyberspace before I was done!! Bottomline: I will try the new site, but my preference is your personal blog. Fewer post would be okay by me. I almost never comment or enter giveaways, not my primary reason to follow. I'm here for tutorials & patterns.

Unknown said...

Now that my time as President of our SWD Guild is drawing to a close, hopefully I'll be able to fully embrace my quilting again. I'm a member of Ravelry and use it daily for forum's etc and love being able to access patterns easily as well as using the pattern section for inspiration, etc. It also allows easy access to local members, suppliers, events etc, all free. I'll try the site whilst it's free then see what's what, and hopefully it will be a truely international site.
I follow blogs each day but DON'T do any of the other stuff like instances, snapchat, etc

Rhona said...

I belong to ravelry and have been for years, love that fact that it is free . I do buy patterns from ravelry also and I also get them for free. I will check this out but I will not be subscribing to it unless it is free. So hopefully that changes, I love reading my blogs and look forward to them.

ArianeK said...

Hi everyone - I thought I would pop in and respond.

We know people are really used to using a lot of online services for free, but these services only survive because they are either selling your data, backed by huge corporate investors, or heavily relying on ads and commissions to stay afloat. We're obviously not going to sell people's data, and we don't have venture capitalists backing us, but starting an ad/commission-based site like this in 2015 isn't sustainable. Companies don't want to advertise with the "new guy", and if this was being built for free on evenings and weekends it wouldn't be a good site - we can do that for a year or two, like we have been, but it's not sustainable.

When Ravelry started, 8 years ago, it was a different era online. We wouldn't have a hope of surviving if we tried to make an exact clone of Ravelry today. We're 4 days old and already expected to live up to the 8 years of work that's gone into Ravelry. Obviously it will take time before Textillia is anything of their caliber, but that doesn't mean we won't get there!

The ad model of "free websites" is on the precipice of collapsing - it's well known in the tech world - this is why more and more sites are starting to charge membership fees instead. Some examples:

- Seamwork Magazine
- Craft Industry Alliance
- Creativebug
- Heck, even the NY Times (originally free online) is now a paid service, and not exactly cheap!

Many people (including me!) happily pay for these because they are providing valuable services and quality content, and I want to continue to access them and see them succeed and grow. I also want the people creating them to be paid for their work, rather than having to take a second mortgage out on their house and risk losing their livelihoods.

Part of what makes the sites above so great is that they can their time making the services and content great for their member community, rather than scrambling to manage ad clients or please investors. We know we need to "prove ourselves" and we plan to. We know not everyone is going to be interested in a paid site, even if it's cheap, and that is something we've had to consider and make the best decision for ourselves and the long term sustainability of Textillia.

Reality is Textillia wouldn't be possible if we were going to try and start it now with a business model like Ravelry's. That doesn't mean that it can't be an amazing and affordable resource, and a vibrant community that brings together sewists in a really meaningful way. Some things we will provide that don't exist right now:

- A supportive and fun community to connect, learn from each other, share, and grow our sewing skills, and support indie sewing businesses.
- An index of all fabrics so we can easily find info eg. the name/manufacturer of a fabric you have from 3 years ago so you can track down more...and then see big list of coordinating fabrics and threads at your fingertips.
- A way to catalogue all your projects in one place where others can find them easily, and where you can see how others made and modified the same pattern.
- A way for designers and other sewing biz people for connect directly to their community without the annoying Facebook algorithms, or the impermanence of social media.
- A pattern database to find all the patterns of a style you want to make, and then see how other people's projects turned out, all without having to scroll through pages of google results.
- And if we get a lot of members and support, then we will be able to give back to the sewing community in ways we haven't even imagined yet.

There's so much more, I could write pages. It would be great to build a strong quilting community as part of this and unite the big sewing world in one spot, so if any of you want to join in and help make something fantastic for the sewing community, we'd love to have you.


rstogether said...

I still read your blog! But must admit, I'm not a good comment-er.