Woolsack offers British wool cushions to Olympians

Woolsack offers British wool cushions to Olympic athletes

How would you welcome Olympic athletes? With a properly British gift of course!

Woolsack, a charitable organisation, has been hard at work gathering weavers, felters and quilters to help supply all Olympians and Paralympians participating in upcoming Games with handmade woollen cushions stuffed with British grown wool.

The presents represent 2,000 years of wool productivity in the British Isles, which was one of the first major industries in the UK.

School children and adults have been working together to create various woven designs, knitted, crocheted, needle felted, felted and quilted cushions using Harris Tweed cloth and national wool.

Other participants include colleges, community groups, individuals, craft groups, farmers, smallholders, breed societies, British Wool yarn producers, hand-spinners, dyers and craft press, so there really is no reason not to get involved!

By making the cushions you can help gain craft skills, while also learning about and supporting the production of British wool.

The Olympics is just as much about community and providing a warm international welcome as it is about sporting prowess, and by taking part in these crafty designs you can feel a part of the excitement, even if you're not interested in watching all the events.

Sue Blacker, one of the spearheads of Woolsack.org, claims: "Every cushion made so far is either with an athlete, on its way to an athlete or earmarked for an athlete, which leaves only one thing for it - one final push!"

Patterns are available on the Woolsack website and participants are encouraged to give cushion-making and decorating a go, while helping welcome Olympians with the gift of their very own British cushion.

Woolsack is a long standing organisation and was introduced by King Edward III back in the 14th century to promote English wool and the wool trade.

There's even a cushion on the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords which hundreds of years ago was made from bright red wool cloth and stuffed with wool from each of the Commonwealth countries - so there's certainly quite a history associated with the project!

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