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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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>..Selling products

There are two main outlets for woven work.

One is to dressmakers who require hand-loomed cloth for special pieces. The other is to sell specifically woven pieces as works of art. All sorts of varied colours and textures can be worked in. Several prominent artists in this field specialise in wall hangings that evoke country landscapes and sunsets.

Advertising in craft magazines may bring commissions and certainly word of mouth advertising will help. It is becoming quite usual for companies to use hand-produced tapestries in board-room settings. If your work is not suitable for a wall hanging, perhaps it is suitable for a special set of curtains.

Craft outlets often require you to leave your work on display with them. They then pay you if it sells and deduct a commission. This kind of exposure may get you a reputation in an area but it may not be sufficient to provide an income. Often customers such as the boardroom commissions will not approach you but will respond favourably to an approach. It is worth constructing some moveable samples. It may be difficult to describe adequately the speciality twelve-foot-long hangings you have in mind: it is easier with a one-foot-square sample in front of you.

There are sometimes local exhibitions in town halls and other centres at which you can show your work. These can all help to establish a reputation. Some craft shows are very good at attracting custom but some are very poor and it is always worth checking on planned advertising and the past experience of the organisers before paying a fee for a stall. Better still is to negotiate a percentage fee for your stall. If you feel you cannot justify a position on your own, it is often worth sharing space with another craft worker. It is all a question of exposure to get the reputation and asking for orders to get the business.