Feedback from Romney & Fenella van Ryneveld, breeders living in Wakkerstroom.

Oh my goodness was it was cold on the morning of the 28th May for the Annual Wakkerstroom natural fibre handcraft Fair ! But by opening time nobody cared because inside the hall it was just buzzing with activity, buying, friendly chat and lots of networking, demonstrating and laughter. The atmosphere and the colour was amazing - it was like a great big party!

This year we had quite a diverse selection of fibres represented ranging from The South African Cotton Board, hand spun and woven black merino, hand-dyed silk, cashmir, hand spun alpaca and hand-dyed merino and angora. Two amazing quilters exhibited with stunning displays which quite took ones breath away. The creative knitters drew a lot of attention with very original garments in such gorgeous colours not to mention the incredibly fine embroidery work on display. With all the demonstrations of spinning, weaving, embroidery, knitting. quilting and crocheting you can imagine our Fair was a hive of industry. It was a great success for the exhibitors as far as sales were concerned and the number of visitors who came through the gates.

As an added attraction,outside the hall, a pen of Cashmir goats were on display. They were of great interest as it was nice to see the fleece on the actual animal and to learn, for example, that they are combed and not shawn.

The standard of the products on sale was exceptionally high and the general feeling was that there is definitely a hightened interest in handmade natural fibre goods as well as great enthusiasm for trying a new skill. This was the third annual Fair this year and we have found that more and more people are wanting to know, where the fibre comes from and, how is it made. This bodes well for all the exhibitors whose passion and many hours of handwork are keeping all the "old skills" alive. Many thanks to you all.
We are looking forward to next year and aim to fill two halls with even greater diversity. Then we can have an even bigger party!