A major national trade show is launching in Coventry to help lockdown knitters take their new-found hobby to the next level.
The National Wool Show has been set-up by Leamington-based family-run business Knit & Yarn and will be held at Coventry Building Society Arena on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10.
It is hoping to attract up to 5,000 people per day, with over 150 exhibitors signing up to showcase products, offer live demos and workshops over the course of the weekend. A dedicated ‘knit & natter’ area is expected to prove popular as a space for those who have met online during lockdown, to meet in person for the first time.
The show is set to feature a range of independent retailers alongside major national and international suppliers, with everything from wool and hand dyed yarn, to crochet, felting and finished items on display.
Knitting is enjoying a boom period with high-profile national stars taking up the craft and thousands of people having honed their skills during lockdown.
Shelley Rothwell, owner of Knit & Yarn, says that the therapeutic qualities of knitting and the positive benefits it can have on mental health have led to its resurgence.
For many years, Shelley has been travelling around the country to similar events to the National Wool Show as there hadn’t been a major trade show for people in the Midlands to visit.
“We have seen more and more people take up knitting and crocheting since the first lockdown and that has led to resurgence in retailers that specialise in anything associated with woollen products,” said Shelley.
“The mental health benefits of knitting or crocheting have been highlighted and it has given lots of people the escape they needed from the pressures of the world over the last two years.
“We are seeing more and more people from all age groups pick up yarn and needles for the first time.
“I’ve been running a wool business in the region for a few years now and in that time have always had to travel up north or to London for trade shows. We have a lot of customers who don’t necessarily want to travel and decided it would the perfect time to launch this event in the Midlands.
“We’re hoping the event at Coventry Building Society Arena will be a celebration of all things wool, a chance to meet independent businesses, major traders and like-minded people who are passionate about the craft.”
Paul Michael, Commercial Director at Coventry Building Society Arena, added: “The National Wool Show is an event with huge potential and is being launched at the perfect time to capitalise on the growing popularity of knitting and associated crafts.
“Coventry Building Society Arena has a proven tracked record as an event incubator and we look forward to working with Shelley to launch this national trade show here in Coventry.
“Bringing The National Wool Show to the Arena is part of the continued expansion of our event portfolio and expanding our footprint in the hobbies and leisure markets.”
Tickets for The National Wool Show are priced at £15 and are on sale now. Limited exhibitor space is available. For all information and tickets visit: www.nationalwoolshow.co.uk