Chipping Norton celebrates textiles heritage with new festival

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Chipping Norton is celebrating its textiles heritage next month with the launch of a new festival.

On May 4th Fibreworks knitting and crochet shop is organising its first Fibre Festival, which looks back at the town's proud wool and weaving history.

The Cotswold Journal reports that the Town Hall will be filled with all manner of craft activities during the day, with many workshops and displays exhibiting a diverse range of techniques and textiles.

Visitors will first be greeted by sheep and lambs outside the building, before stepping inside the building where they can get involved with many demonstrations, such as spinning weaving, knitting and rag rugging.

Other yarncrafts such as crochet and sewing will be on show as well, with quilting expected to be popular too.

To encourage people to pick up a pair of knitting needles the festival is inviting local knitting groups to take part in a grand 'knit-in', where they can showcase their skills and help to teach others along the way.

There will also be plenty of stalls to buy crafty items and tools, many of which will be run by local, independent sellers, who are also giving talks about their chosen professions and how to get involved.

Commenting on the exciting day, Lesley Wildman, co-owner of Fibreworks said that she was inspired by the history of the town to set up the new festival.

"Chipping Norton has a long and proud association with wool and over the past 18 months the Fibreworks has had considerable success in promoting local, contemporary crafts and in encouraging a new generation to explore the pleasures of handmade textiles," she explained.

Ms Wildman went on to say: "I felt the time was right for something on a bigger scale than our small shop can offer and so the idea of the festival was born."

As well as crafts, visitors can learn more about the town's wool trade and its famous Bliss Tweed Mill with a new display and guided walks around the disused mill.

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