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Tickets in demand as Wonderwool Wales 2022 returns this weekend

Teeswater sheep at a previous Wonderwool Wales. Image by John Teale Photography.

Wonderwool Wales 2022, the two-day show that celebrates all that’s great about Welsh wool and natural fibres, makes a welcome return this weekend following a two-year, pandemic enforced absence.

The organisers are delighted with the enthusiastic response to their 16th show at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on Saturday and Sunday.

Such is the demand that Saturday is nearing a sell out with around 3,000 tickets already sold, but there are tickets available for Sunday either online or at the gate. Tickets cost £12 per day.

“We are delighted with ticket sales and the general response to this year’s show,” said Wonderwool Wales director Chrissie Menzies. “A lot of people have been talking on social media about the show and we are expecting to sell a lot of tickets at the gate over the weekend.”

The pandemic continues to have an impact, however, with four exhibitors having to withdraw this week, having been struck down by Covid-19. There will be around 190 exhibitors this year.

“We have probably lost around a third of our usual exhibitors for a variety of reasons, including the impact of the pandemic. However, the good news is we’ve attracted a lot of new exhibitors, so it promises to be an exciting show,” added Chrissie.

A feature of this year’s show, which has been supported by the Wales Cultural Recovery Fund, are two special exhibitions in Hall 3. Visitors will have the chance to see work created by Coleg Sir Gâr’s Carmarthen School of Art textiles students and graduates throughout the pandemic and a zany, hand crafted interpretation of Alice in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderwool exhibition.

Supported by Carmarthen School of Art throughout the pandemic, students kept working on their briefs at home to create exciting and challenging work. Visitors will get an insight into their design process as well as beautiful textile outcomes in knit, weave and mixed media.

The massive, specially-created ‘Alice in Wonderwool’ installation features an array of captivating characters, all crafted from felt and fibre. This exhibition will be raising money for this year’s Wonderwool charities – the Wales Air Ambulance and NGO Molotok Ukraine.

Show regulars, Alex Johnstone and Kathy Smart, joined forces with felting and fibre art friends, including prolific knitter and crochet enthusiast Terry Moncion, to recreate Alice’s dreamland journey and her marvellously wacky tea party. Janna Turner from Flock2Felts was project lead and felting advisor.

Halls on the showground will be filled with beautiful, hand dyed yarns and fibre, along with equipment and quality finished products, giving visitors an opportunity to stock up on supplies.

Airedale Yarns will be displaying Barra yarn, a strong blend of wool and nylon for weavers, luxurious silks which are ideal for hand and machine embroidery, delicate weaving, lace, tassels and braids and Axminster yarn, perfect for weavers and rugmakers.

For those seeking creative inspiration, there will be demonstrations and have-a-go sessions hosted by various exhibitors including needlefelting make and takes with Mum’s Makery and The Makerss.

Ever-popular Woolschool workshops will be held on both days, with topics carefully chosen to appeal to a wide range of interests and levels of ability.

Developed to promote the market for Welsh wool and natural fibres, Wonderwool Wales was first held in 2006 and has grown in scale and popularity alongside a knitting, crochet, felting and textile craft making boom.

To find out more about the 2022 show, visit www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk, like Wonderwool Wales Ltd on Facebook or follow on Twitter @wonderwoolwales