Craftwell &amp Brother: A Peek Into the Future of Craft

We are huge fans of Etsy artisans and all things DIY, so it is no surprise that we checked out what CES 2011 had to offer in the craft department. Amidst all the gadgetry we found a few tools that are quite interesting and innovative with lots of potential. Now, if we could only find an embroidery machine that will play nicely with a Mac…

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

One of the first pieces of tech built for all things craft and DIY that we spotted at CES is the eCraft from Craftwell. To say that the eCraft cuts things is a massive understatement, it’s like the Cricut personal cutting machine on steroids with the volume turned to 11. This device pretty much “cuts all the things,” sure vinyl is a piece of cake, but so are wood veneers. As the rep was running us through everything it could do, our brains were working overtime just imagining the possibilities. Our own molding? Check. Precision fabric cuts for applique? Check, check. The other neat things about this device is that you can cut without a mat and it can cut up to 12″ wide by any length. The device itself is sleek and would be easy to stow in a tiny apartment. With its clean surface and thin profile, it would also not be an eyesore if it were left out on a shelf.

We love to hand embroider but oh how time consuming it is. Have you ever had an idea about something amazing you would love to embroider but it never happened because of time? This happens to us far more often then we would like to admit, so it was with an air of great expectation that we checked out the Brother booth.

The new kid on the block that is making waves at CES is the Entrepreneur Pro PR-1000. While this device would certainly not even remotely fit in our 600 square foot apartment we did love what it did. One of the most impressive things about this 10-needle embroidery machine is how easy to use it is, even for machine embroidery novices. This was the first embroidery machine we’ve seen that has used LED lights in such a very smart way. The InnovaChrome LED Color Thread System helps you to know which color thread from which spool should be used for each design, saving a massive amount of time and frustration. How does it work? Underneath each of the thread spools is a full color LED light which mimics the color of the thread that belongs on the spool for each design, eliminating any guesswork as to what color thread should be used. The lights flash when a design has been completed. Easy, peasy. The machine also has audio cues which help to limit the supervision of the machine which makes it a great unit for use in a small home business where multi-tasking is vital for productivity.

The Brother INNOV-IS 6000D was also on display at CES, and it was fun to watch it in action. One of the features we liked best about this machine is the InnovEye Intelligent Eye Technology and Up-close Viewer. These give you, like you might have already guessed, a close view of the needle area. With instant magnification featured on the LCD display, it’s easy to see precisely what you are doing. Sadly this machine, like every other embroidery machine on the market needs Windows to program your own designs.

What do you think is next for crafting?