Woolfest was the original British festival of wool, established in 2005, just as the interest in wool crafts began to take off in the UK. The aim was always to celebrate all aspects of wool — from hill farming and rare breed fleece animals to the latest craft techniques and creations.
It began with the late Carolyn Rawlinson, who was a founding member of The Wool Clip. She had enjoyed sheep and wool festivals in the USA, particularly in Maryland, and realised that there was a gap and an opportunity in the UK.
According to her recollections: "I had dreamt for years of creating a really big show celebrating wool, spinning, dyeing, knitting and all things associated with this wonderful part of the textile world. I suggested the idea at a Wool Clip meeting, and to my surprise (and shock) everyone decided to take it on."
Carolyn died in 2007, but her name was still associated with the event - right up to the last "real" Woolfest in 2019 - through the Memorial Stall established in her name.
We celebrated several Woolfest milestones over the years, often with cake, and were honoured to receive a message from HRH The Prince of Wales on the occasion of our 10th Woolfest in 2014.
As organisers, we have been proud of Woolfest's contribution to the growth of successful craft and design businesses in the UK, to the reputation of British wool, to the awareness of rare and native fleece animal breeds and, through auctions and partnerships, to several important charities that are close to our hearts.
Thank you to everyone who played a part in making Woolfest what it was over the years.