Between the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, 2012 is a really big year for the UK. All this excitement has spilled over to the crafting world, with Colin Firth, Vivienne Westwood and even the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall showing their support for British crafters.

Here at Past Impressions, as much as we love all of our wonderful international suppliers, we’re really proud to be able to offer you the best of UK cross stitch designers too. In an age where it seems like almost everything is becoming more and more globalised, it’s lovely to celebrate British style and design with a cross stitch kit.

Wedding Sampler KitAs their name suggests, I think that no one does traditional British design like the wonderful Historical Samper Company. Based in Essex, their beautiful cross stitch kits would not look out of place in one of the country’s many stately homes or castles! They provide a fantastic range of birth and wedding sampler cross stitch kits and their very traditional looks mean that they’re timeless. This makes them perfect if you maybe don’t know the sex of baby but want a head start on getting the sampler done in time for the birth! They’re also great kits for beginners to start with, as they’re often fairly simple designs but they still manage to brilliantly capture the spirit of Britain’s rich needlework history.

Image of Mallard Ducks in FlightHeritage Crafts may be an international business now, supplying their cross stitch kits to Russia, Australia, Japan and more, but they pride themselves on doing everything here in the UK. Every single part of the cross stitch kit is put together at their Staffordshire premises; from the graphic design to packaging the kit. It is actually cheaper for many companies to outsource parts of this process to other countries, but Heritage choose not to so that they can personally be sure that every part of every kit is produced to the highest quality.  While their designs range from traditional samplers, to beautiful landscapes and portraits, to cute cartoons, each kit still manages to maintain that wonderfully traditional British feel.

Image of Cut Thru' Beach Hut KitOn the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little more contemporary, then Bothy Threads are just perfect. Winner of a 2011 Licenced Character Award for their Gorjuss range, Bothy focus on fun cross stitch kits that are packed full of colour and excitement. The kits are still recognisably British and often poke fun at some of our more eccentric hobbies or mannerisms. Bothy Threads are a great choice for anyone who loves needlecraft but is looking for a more modern design, or as a perfect gift for anyone who thinks that cross stitch is outdated. As a relatively new company (They only started around 10 years ago!), it’s very exciting to see where Bothy Threads may take the UK cross stitch market in the future!

Whatever your cross stitch tastes or gifting needs, our wonderful British brands are sure to have a kit that’s just perfect for you. If there’s a UK-based designer or manufacturer who you’re a massive fan of, be sure to let us know! You can leave us a comment below, post on our Facebook wall or mention @PastImp in a Tweet. We’d love to see the best of British cross stitch as chosen by you!

Post By Marc