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After a Denbighshire woman sold a dress made from loom bands for £170,00 we ask why are they so popular?

Published date: 17 July 2014 |
Published by: Robert Slater
Read more articles by Robert Slater


 

LOOM bands are the latest craze to hit Denbighshire, with hundreds of children and adults buying and making the colourful little bracelets.
 
Just this week a dress made from loom bands in Denbighshire sold for more than £170,000 on the internet auction site eBay.
 
Loom bands are multi-coloured elastic bands that can be woven and hooked together to make bracelets, necklaces and even animals and shapes. 
 
We went to the streets of Ruthin to find out more, discover what their appeal is and why they have taken Europe by storm. 
 
Simon Harris, the owner of Ruthin’s Harris Sport and Toys said that Loom bands are originally from Holland and are “like gold there, because they're all sold out”.
 
Mr Harris only became aware of Loom Bands a month ago but since bringing them into the shop, he said: “They've been incredibly popular and have sold well.”
 
Pat Doorber, 73, and Sam Williams, 30, both of Ruthin and who own Ty Celf, praised the Loom Bands’ popularity claiming that they are bringing children together and “are a nice change from their Playstations and computer games”.
 
Another reason the bands could be so popular is because they are easy to make and there are countless colourful combinations and designs that can be made.
 
All three people interviewed think that the craze will last for a good while, especially because of the summer holidays coming up, and this will give children more reason to make them. 
 
Mr Harris likened them to the Scooby craze from a few years ago, which were also bracelets and necklaces that could be made from a few colourful strings.
 
What was most surprising for Sam Williams was that both boys and girls are making them - and not just children - with adults are getting involved too.
 
With more children getting involved each day, this craze could be around for quite a while yet. 
 
This week, a drewss made from thousands of loom bands has taken a craze to new heights after it was sold for more than £170,000 on ebay, plus £7 postage.

The dress, which had 137 bids, was the brainchild of Helen Wright of Prestatyn who came up with the idea of the dress after helping her 12-year-old daughter, Sian, who is "mad" about making loom band designs. 

Ms Wright's best friend, Kathryn Burnand, offered to make the dress and spent a painstaking 45 hours creating the rubber frock.

The single mum said she was on the edge of her seat last night (Tuesday) as she watched the auction clock counting down. 

As the auction drew to a close the highest bid stayed at £170,100 from a UK bidder and Ms Wright took a huge sigh of relief as she refreshed her laptop screen for the last time.

"I am relieved a little, relieved a lot actually," said Ms Wright who has 100 per cent feedback on her eBay account.

"It's a huge relief and I'm glad it's gone to that particular bidder because I noticed she has put in several bids.

"Me and Kathryn have agreed that the first thing we are going to do is go away for 24 hours and treat ourselves.

"We will split the money fifty-fifty all the way obviously after PayPal and listing fees have been taken out.

"It's just going to be nice to know that I have a bit of security for once and that I can pay the rent this week."

Ms Wright explained that she has received 866 messages which she is "plodding through slowly" because she wants to reply to them all.

She added: "Even if it's just a thankyou, I just want to let them know I've read the message.

"Most of them are saying well done and congratulations and what a great idea it was to make a dress.

"Other messages are saying be careful because your idea has been copied.

"I'm going to buy my son Peter a car and driving lessons and I'll stick some money to one side for my daughter until she's 18.

"I wouldn't want a mortgage because that would take it all and I want to enjoy it.

"Five years ago my husband died and I lost my house and my business so I just want to enjoy it with my family and friends because life is too short and I know that from first hand," she said.

Mrs Burnand, who made the dress, said she was "flabbergasted" and still felt numb from the whole experience.

"I think me and Helen are of the same ilk that until the money has registered in the bank we will be keeping our feet on the floor," said Mrs Burnand, who made the dress in half-hour stints because arthritis caused cramp in her fingers.

"I couldn't watch the end of the auction because I don't have a computer but Helen kept me informed by text.

"If the money does come through I'll buy a car for my husband Conrad and help my two daughters financially," she said.

Ms Wright's son Pete works part time at Pontin's Holiday camp in Prestatyn. He expressed that he was "very proud" of his mum.

He added: "We didn't expect the dress to go up to that much. It cost £47 and has sold for £170,000 and that could be life-changing for my mother."

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