A wall-to-wall Curtain of Poppies, featuring 79,300 knitted, crochet and felt poppies, took centre stage at this year’s Wonderwool Wales, drawing comments of “breath-taking”, “amazing”, “inspirational” and “a marvellous tribute.”

The Curtain of Poppies caught the imagination of today’s community of knitters and fibre fans and encouraged them to recreate the united determination of the women at home during World War 1, who “did their bit” to support the troops overseas by knitting gloves, scarves, balaclavas and socks.

Individuals contributed everything from one poppy to more than a hundred, some sending them in memory of named members of their own family who died in the Great War.

A serving soldier sent a single, embroidered felt poppy, saying she had never made anything else by hand in her whole life.

One contributor knitted poppies in memory of her grandfather and sent in 100 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the War.

Schools, Knit and Natter groups, WIs, craft groups and whole communities got involved.

Curtain of Poppies organisers Olwen and Jane Veevers were delighted by the response. Olwen said: “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed. Poppies have piled in from all over the UK and even from Europe and North America, often accompanied by cards, photos and notes explaining contributors’ reasons for getting involved. It’s been truly amazing.”

The curtain formed a colourful highlight of the showcase of Welsh wool and natural fibres at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys on April 28 and 29.

Several fibre producers brought their products to the show direct from ‘field to fibre fan’ and others exhibited sheep, Angora goats and Angora rabbits. 

Visitors to this year’s show were also able to snap up the chance to see a life-size crocodile whose coat was made up of hundreds of crochet motifs – the result of a community arts project led by Bristol’s Crafting the City.

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Photo: John Teale

Now on tour, the Curtain of Poppies will be displayed at Powys County Council County Hall during May, the National Wool Museum of Wales from May 26 until the end of June, the Gower Heritage Centre during July and August, the Newtown Textile Museum during September and it has been offered a permanent home at the Gower Heritage Centre from 2019.