Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Wonderwool Wales

Wonderwool Wales is a festival of wool and natural fibres held yearly in Builth Wells not far from where I live in Powys. Despite being held in the depth of mid Wales, the festival hosts exhibitors and trade stands from all over the UK. The breadth of choice of yarns and fibres available is incredible. I attended a brief workshop, which taught me the art of tubular hand knitting and given the time I could have attended far more! I was particularly impressed by the emphasis on natural, undyed fibres and also the amount of makers who had decided to use natural dying although those who didn’t argued that the mordants needed for this were potentially more environmentally harmful. I spent a long time chatting to the designer of ‘Toft’ who made stylish knitted garments and accessories using natural alpaca yarn. Funnily enough, Emi on my Textile Course is at the farm at the moment doing a month long internship. The business sounds fascinating with all parts of the making process on sight- the alpacas themselves, the spinning through to a team of knitters working on the designs. The farm also has a library of research into the history of knitting and weaving techniques across different cultures. The opportunity of using yarn sourced directly from a British supplier appeals greatly to me.

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