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Gloucestershire Business News

Celebrating the Cotswolds' woolly heritage

Calling all wool lovers! The Cotswold Wool Weekend is an exciting not-for-profit event celebrating Cotswold makers while rediscovering local woolly heritage.

For three days from Saturday, April 29th to Monday, May 1st, Cirencester Corn Hall will be full to the brim with a wonderful collection of exhibitor stalls - featuring local makers, growers and crafters gathered together to celebrate the Cotswolds' woolly heritage.

The Cotswolds used to be a centre of the wool industry, and the weekend wants to reignite that shared history.

Come along to meet other like-minded wool lovers, and discover the woolly exhibits, talks and workshops.

You can also sign up to crafty workshops, or go along to one of the talks or book signings happening at the Corn Hall, New Brewery Arts and Corinium Museum.

Event originator Louise Millard said: "We're trying to connect those who are passionate about rural heritage, champion local makers and celebrate the area's rich history with the wool industry. There's a lot of energy in this movement at the moment across the UK - it's a great moment to celebrate our local woolly history!

"The Cotswolds were born out of the wool trade, but we've been losing that heritage. Cotswold Wool Weekend wants to reclaim that. It's the first ever event we've run as part of this campaign, and we're really excited to bring people together and celebrate this shared history.

"Crafting is having a huge resurgence and so many people are enjoying making things again and finding huge benefits to their mental health. It's a lovely way for people to connect over a shared passion."

Louise rediscovered knitting as an adult and, like so many others, found so much joy and mindfulness from the practice that it helped her through a difficult time.

Back in 2017, Louise was keen to support local woolly businesses, but couldn't find many. She was surprised about this loss of heritage so in 2017 she started The Cotswold Wool Company and made a small batch of stunning Cotswold lace.

Talks with her friend Victoria Heritage about the lack of a Cotswold-based wool show resulted in setting the wheels in motion to start a festival. They approached a few different venues, but settled on

Cirencester due to it being a historic wool town with the structure in place to scale up a festival long term.

The idea came from the inspirational Shetland Wool Week which hosts various events around the Shetlands. The Cotswolds have a long and distinct wool heritage which deserves to be celebrated! What better way than following the #cotswoldsheeptrail and the journey from farm to fibre?

Follow the Cotswold Wool Weekend on instagram @cotswoldwoolweekend or visit the Cotswold Wool Weekend website.

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