Loom band craze thanks to Duchess

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wore her loom band as she greeted young toddlers at Latimer Square in Christchurch. Photo / Getty Images
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wore her loom band as she greeted young toddlers at Latimer Square in Christchurch. Photo / Getty Images

They are the latest craze to sweep the playground and a must-have toy (let's say accessory for the grown ups).

Ask anyone with children and they'll likely confirm Britain has gone loom band crazy and it's all since the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing one during the royal tour.

In fact sales of loom bands have rocketed by more than 300 per cent and they're now as much a fashion statement as they are a children's fad.

Everyone's talking about them. Last weekend celebrity chef Simon Rimmer told how his teenage son Hamish is a big fan on his show Sunday Brunch and scroll through Facebook and Twitter and you'll find it's a subject that has everyone chatting.

The simple, colourful, rubber bands, are weaved together to make friendship bracelets and have been seen on the arm of celebrities including presenter Fearne Cotton, David Beckham, One Direction's Harry Styles and pop star Miley Cyrus.

However, the country's largest craft retailer, Hobbycraft, has revealed that since Kate was seen wearing one during her tour of New Zealand and Australia, loom sales have gone through the roof.

So popular are loom bands, that they also occupy every top 20 spot on online retailer Amazon's current bestselling toy chart.

And in terms of the best-selling toys of all time on Amazon, they come eighth place - after classics such as a Rubik's Cube, Monopoly, Scrabble and Tommy Pop Up Pirate.

The Duchess was given bracelets by two young girls during her trip in April and both she and husband Prince William wore them afterwards. Since then, Hobbycraft said sales have risen by 331 per cent.

In addition to jewellery, loom bands can be used to create various accessories and toys, including key rings, phone cases and even shoes.

Anna Protherough, Senior Buyer for Kids at Hobbycraft said, "The loom bands are an absolute phenomenon.

"We began stocking the kits since they originally launched last year and since the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing one, they have been flying off our shelves. The options for what you can create are endless and these kits really can keep children entertained for hours, perfect for the summer holidays."

They were invented in the US last year by father-of-two Cheong Choon Ng. Since then, his company, Rainbow Looms, has sold more than four million kits - including a plastic loom, crochet hook and bands - worldwide.

- The Daily Mail

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