Wonderwool Wales, the award-winning show that celebrates all that’s great about Welsh wool and natural fibres, is on target go achieve 6,000 visitors this coming weekend.

 The event, which is being held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, exceeded 4,000 online ticket sales at https://wonderwoolwales.ticketsrv.co.uk last week and the organisers expect more to be sold in the coming days, as well as at the gate. 

 Overseas visitors will be travelling from as far away to Australia, America and Canada, including a party of 18 booked with Rowan Tree Travel.

 Tickets cost £12 per day or £22 for the weekend and young people aged under 16 years get in free.

 “Online ticket sales are ahead of where they normally are and we could well have 6,000 visitors this year, “ said Wonderwool Wales director Chrissie Menzies. “We are delighted that the event is becoming ever more popular because it costs around £120,000 to stage and any surplus is reinvested.”

 The show will have around 220 exhibitors, including around 40 newcomers this year. Some of the new exhibitors are Gary Jones Ceramics from Leintwardine, Phoenix Pottery from Conwy, the Museum of Welsh Textiles, Knighton and the Indian Block Print Company from Bicester.

 Another newcomer is Glamorgan Smallholders’ Great Glamorgan Sock Project, which involves members making a pair of socks from each sheep breed in the county.

 Certain to attract a lot of interest will be ‘Flock2Flight’, an engaging display of felted birds which measures 10 metres by three metres. It’s the creation of fibre artist Janna Turner and two friends, Alex Johnstone and Deborah Taylor Dyer.

 Both Shepton Mallet based Janna, who runs Flocks2Felts, and Alex are no strangers to Wonderwool Wales. Janna was project lead and felting advisor to a special, eight-metre long exhibition entitled Alice in Wonderwool in 2022.

 This year, Janna is featuring colourful birds in the display, some of which include wooden mechanics to make them fly. For example, there’s a small flock of swallows that fly in circles, a zipwire bird, a diving kingfisher, bird marionettes and hand puppets.

 “When we did the Alice in Wonderwool display in 2022, people were not allowed to touch the exhibits,” said Janna. “This time, I will be encouraging people to engage with the birds and have a play as they walk around. I just love seeing their reactions. There are also hand puppets for people to take selfies with.”

 Money raised by the display will be donated to the Wales Air Ambulance and Ukrainian charity NGO Molotok, Wonderwool Wales’ adopted charities.

 This year’s event will see nine Woolschool afternoon workshops each day, with only a limited number of spaces left. The Woolschools, which give visitors the chance to learn or perfect their skills with help from an expert, can be booked online at the Wonderwool Wales website.

 Another popular feature, the Sheep Walk fashion show, will keep the audience entertained on both days. 

 This year, all visitors are being encouraged to knit, crochet or make and wear their own beanie or hat to add colour to the event. Stewards will be awarding vouchers to the best hats on both days.

 Wonderwool Wales 2023 Bursary winners Jade Carey Holt, from Aberystwyth and Kay-lee Davies, from Capel Dewi, near Llandysul, will be exhibiting their work on stand C1.

To tantalise the tastebuds, new street food caterers join the popular regulars to provide a wider menu for show visitors.

Wonderwool Wales was first held in 2006 to promote the market for Welsh wool and to add value to products made by small wool and fibre producers in Wales.

The show celebrates the green credentials of Welsh wool and its versatility as a material for creative crafts, designer clothes, home furnishings and more. 

Wonderwool Wales covers everything from the start to the end of the creative process. Exhibits of sheep, raw and hand dyed fibres, yarn for knitting and crochet, embellishments, equipment, dyes and books can be found alongside superb examples of finished textile art, craft, clothing and home furnishings.

Find out more about the 2024 show at www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk , like Wonderwool Wales Ltd on Facebook or follow on Twitter @wonderwoolwales