Currently viable crafts


Net making


The making of nets, an open textile in which threads are fused, looped or knotted at their intersections, historically for fishing and trapping animals.


Status Currently viable
Craft category  Textiles
Historic area of significance  UK, especially rural areas
Area currently practised  UK
Origin in the UK
Minimum no. of craftspeople required  50? because of its distributed and localised nature. (The internet and YouTube have been a huge help in documenting and transferring the skills)
Current no. of trainees  100s
Current no. of skilled craftspeople  100s
Current total no. of craftspeople  100s



Historically nets were used for fishing and animal trapping. Today, hand-knitted nets are are no longer used for fishing (instead, industrially produced sheet netting is used). Hand-knitted nets are still used for pest control and for sport, such as ferreting for rabbits. Today, there are very few commercial net makers – but there are hundreds of makers knitting nets as a hobby and for their own use.

Purse net making in particular is strong and popular, carried out on a small scale by many people for their own use and local sales. No large scale commercial hand making. Long net making is less common.




Local forms



  • purse nets (for rabbits)
  • fox nets
  • gate nets
  • long nets


Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • Availability of materials
  • Viability of the sport these nets support i.e. ferreting
  • A significant decline in rabbit populations or a change in the law could kill it


Support organisations

No formal organisations – but plenty of Facebook sites and YouTube channels


Craftspeople currently known


Other information