Woolfest introduces Woolyculture

Woolfest introduces unique produce show “Woolyculture” for 2013

In its ninth year, Woolfest 2013 is shaping up to be as big as ever as well as offering visitors a chance to take part in a horticultural produce show with a woollen difference.

Woolfest - Woolyculture entries

Mary Bell and other members of the Wool Clip, launching this year’s Woollycultural Show with some creations of their own

“We’ve just completed the first stage of selecting the designers, craft businesses and suppliers who will be stallholders at Woolfest this year,” says Marion Woolcott, one of the organisers.

“Demand was strong with more applications than ever so it is a hard job to decide on who will be there. We’ll have at least 12 new businesses for 2013 as we always try to keep things fresh and varied for the people who visit every year.

Woolfest is an annual highlight for many who work with wool and it’s really encouraging for us as the organisers to see how much enthusiasm there is from across the UK and beyond.”

As well as all those stalls, Woolfest also incorporates live fleece animals, including several rare native breeds, a raw fleece sale, exhibitions, displays and craft demonstrations from across the country.

A unique woolly produce show Visitors to Woolfest have always enjoyed participating in a special craft project and 2013 should be no exception. “In recent years, we’ve participated in FLOCK, making 100s of pompom sheep, and we’ve created a bunting string that encircled Mitchell’s,” explains Mary Bell, a member of the Wool Clip and one of the Woolfest organisers.

“Before that, we used to hold a sheep auction where visitors made sheep out of wool using all sorts of textile crafts and the money raised went to charity.”

“We’ve been trying to think of something new for 2013 and came up with the idea of the Woollycultural Show, a traditional horticultural competition but with a difference – whether fruit or vegetable, flower or miniature garden, all entries must be made of wool. Visitors can knit, crochet, felt or weave their entries – there’s no restriction on craft, just the usual Woolfest emphasis on wool and natural fibres.”

Visitors are being invited to bring their entries in any of the four classes along to Woolfest, enter in the morning, participate in the official judging and presentation of (woollen) rosettes and then take their creations home at the end of the day.

“We know that there will be stunning pieces on show because there are so many gifted people out there who have contributed to Woolfest in the past,” says Mary. “And we’ve been able to recruit two top judges with Pam Jago, Chair of the Cumbria-Cumberland Federation of Women’s Institutes, and Annette Gibbons of Cumbria on a Plate judging a day each.”

Further details of the produce show, the four classes and entry details are on the Woolfest website.

Woolfest 2013 takes place on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 June from 10am at Mitchell’s Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth, Cumbria.  Entry is just £8 per day (including full programme) with free entry for accompanied children.

Directions and details can be found at www.woolfest.co.uk or on the event’s Facebook page or by calling The Wool Clip at Caldbeck on 016974 78707 during shop hours.

The Wool Clip is a Cumbria-based cooperative of sheep farmers, spinners, dyers, knitters, feltmakers, weavers and other wool workers with a thriving shop at The Priest’s Mill in Caldbeck. It was set up in 2001 to add value to local wool and to market members’ skills and products and members of The Wool Clip established Woolfest in June 2005.

Further information is available at www.woolclip.com or www.woolfest.co.uk.

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