How we test, review and feature products on Gathered

Our editorial team are craft industry experts who have been making stuff for decades. Find out how we review and choose the products on our website.

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At Gathered.how we get as excited about crafting as you do. We make all the projects you see in our tutorials, and we’re here to offer practical advice to help you choose the right products that you need to make them.

As one of the UK’s leading craft websites, our editors and writers are experts in their fields, from crochet to needlecraft. We provide trusted tutorials and project inspiration, alongside stash shopping inspiration. When we feature products on our website we use a variety of methods to test and review them first, so you choose what to buy with confidence.

Learn how we review products, how we work with affiliate partners, and how we select which products to feature in our buyers guides and tutorials across the website.

This article explains…

How we test – product reviews

When we write product reviews on Gathered, we test the products in our own homes on a variety of projects that you might want to use them for at home. So when you read our review you can be confident we are giving you expert advice based on our in-person testing.

We source our products by either buying them or requesting press samples from product makers, distributors and manufacturers. Our product reviews are editorial articles, not adverts. We are never paid to write reviews, nor do we give good reviews in exchange for payment. We offer our impartial review of the product based on our tried and tested experience of using it.

If we don’t like a product, we would never recommend that you buy it in a review.

How products are scored

Before we review a type of craft supply, the first thing we do is agree which criteria we will rate it on. For example we rate sewing machines based on how easy they are to use, how much they weight, what they can do and  whether they are good value for money.

We arrange for industry experts to test review  products in their own homes, doing a variety of everyday craft tasks. We ask all our reviewers to apply the same set of tests to their machine, so you know you can get a consistent picture of how products compare to each other.

When we review a product we will tell you both what we liked about it, and what we didn’t like – to give you a full and balanced overview of what to expect if you were to choose it for your own crafting.

How we test products on Gathered

How do we choose what to include in our Buyer’s Guides and shopping lists?

Project shopping lists

All of the projects you see on Gathered.how have been made in person by an expert crafter. So when you see a tutorial or project on our website that explains what you need to make it, you can be sure we are sending you to the products that we used ourselves.

If a yarn or fabric has since become out of stock, we  may sometimes make a suggestion for an alternative you could use instead. These recommendations are based on our knowledge of which brands and products would work for this project and we pick these products editorially. If we feature affiliate links, we will tell you at the top of the post.

Buyers Guides

On Gathered we also feature Buyers Guides – where we curate a range of products to give you choices for which one to buy for your crafting needs.

We research which products to include in these articles from a mixture of personal experience and by reviewing what other crafters say about them or whether our experts recommend them. While some of the links in these guides may be affiliate links, we choose the products editorially and will also include products that we like, even if they don’t lead to an affiliate commission.

We know how frustrating it is to see a product you like and find it is out of stock so our team of expert Digital Editors check and refresh the articles on our website regularly to make sure we do not feature out-of-date products that disappoint you.

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How do we use affiliate links?

What are affiliate links?

Affiliate links are a way for publishers and websites like ours to feature online retailers in exchange for a small affiliate commission.  If you click on a shopping link on our website, a cookie is enabled that allows the retailer to track any purchase back to our website. Not all of the products we feature link to affiliate websites – we will also include products which are available on smaller websites, and on sites that are not part of our affiliate network, if we believe they are the right ones to meet your needs. We only ever feature or recommend products that we genuinely believe you will find useful and we never feature a product we do not like in exchange for affiliate revenue. We want you to enjoy the products you buy and not be disappointed. We always add an affiliate disclaimer to the top of any article which features affiliate links so you can see where and when we use them and make your own choice about whether to click on a product link and purchase.

How does it work on Gathered

The affiliate links on Gathered are powered by our partners Monetizer 101 and Skimlinks, or set up directly in partnership with websites like Amazon. Skimlinks works by bringing together over 65 affiliate networks and 27,000 affiliate programmes to connect us here at Gathered with a huge network of online retailers. It turns the retailer links we would naturally add into our articles on Gathered into affiliate links. Monetizer 101 provide price comparison widgets to give you a way of quickly comparing several different retailers who sell the products we have featured.

How do I buy the products online?

If you decide to purchase a product that's been suggested on one of our posts with affiliate links, you are able to do so by clicking through to your desired retailer to make a purchase on their website. When you do this, a new window will open and you will be taken to a third party site that's completely separate to Gathered. No purchase will be made directly on the Gathered website. For more information on how this affiliate partnership works, or if you have a question that isn't covered in the answers above, let us know. You can contact us at gathered@immediate.co.uk.
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Meet our expert editors

Zoe Williams

Zoe is our Senior Editor and has over a decade of experience of working in the needlecraft, sewing and quilting industries. She has worked with some of the UK’s best-known magazines and designers, including Simply Sewing and Today’s Quilter. She writes and edits our sewing and quilting guides, and on our kids craft tutorials.

Sarah Orme

Sarah Orme is a  linocut printmaker, digital editor  and award-winning podcaster. She edits our sewing and art sections and previously edited calmmoment.com for over 3 years. She has previously written for The Guardian, In The Moment, countryfile.com, radiotimes.com and yourhomestyle.uk. She shares her work on Instagram @sarahormeprints.

Phoebe Burt

Our SEO and Community Editor is our in-house trends pro. She writes, plans and commissions our Buyers Guides and tutorials. Before she came to Gathered she  worked as Digital Editor Mollie Makes magazine for 3 years so she knows all the hottest makers in the UK and US. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media.

Matt Spiers

Our in-house yarn expert knows his stuff – he’s a crochet artist and designer who has been writing and editing our crochet section for 2 years. He previously worked for Simply Crochet and is our in house video editing pro. He’s our go-to person for yarn reviews as he physically tests out the yarns featured in Simply Crochet magazine.

Hannah Bellis

A founding member of the Gathered team, Hannah learnt to knit at school and manages our knitting section. She’s a pro at many crafts as she used to be the Editor of The World of Cross Stitching and Papercraft inspirations magazines. She manages our video tutorials as well as writing buyers guides for yarn lovers and card makers.

Katie Dolan

Meet our needlecraft editor, Katie. She oversees our embroidery and cross stitch sections, working with our sister teams The World of Cross Stitching and Love Embroidery. She also makes and writes a lot fo our Arts and Crafts tutorials and Buyers Guides. Katie runs her resin jewellery business, Ophelia Jewellery Art, on Etsy.