‘Make It With Wool’ contest being reborn in Virginia

AFP Correspondent

BLACKSBURG, Va. (Feb. 7, 2017) — For the Virginia sheep industry, a tradition that has fallen by the wayside in the state is being renewed this year.
Martha Polkey, Make It With Wool director, told a the recent Virginia Sheep Symposium that the “Virginia Make It With Wool” competition will be held Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival on the Clarke County Fairgrounds in Berryville, Va.
While this is the date for the actual event, there are several deadlines in coming weeks and months for contestants to meet in the competition to be eligible to participate in the main event.
The contest is a youth-centered sewing contest designed to promote the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics, yarns and fibers sponsored by the American Wool Council, the American Sheep Industry and the American Sheep Industry Women.
While the contest is aimed at youth any Virginia resident can enter, there are four categories: Preteen, Junior, Seniors and Adults
The rules require participants to select, construct and model their own garments using wool materials. The only exception for modeling is in the “Made for Others” category.
In this case the recipient must model the item and the creator answer judges’ questions during the event.
Materials used to create the items must be 100 percent wool or a wool blend with a minimum of 60 percent wool or specialty wood fiber for the fabric or yarn used, the rules state.
Specialty fibers include alpaca, angora, camel, cashmere, llama, mohair and vicuna.
The fabrics and yarns to be used in items entered in the competition have to be tested for the percentage of wool fiber, according to the rules.
All entries must have must send a 5-by-5-inch sample of the fabric used. Items must have been made after Jan. 1, 2017.
Polkey advises contestants to have the testing done before starting making the item. There is a $7 testing fee.
She will be sending samples to be tested on the first of each month from May through August.
It is expected to take about two weeks to receive results.
The samples should be sent to Martha Polkey, Virginia MIWW Director, 14605 Chapel Lane, Leesburg, VA 20176.
Questions and requests for entry forms may also be directed to Polkey.
For a brochure detailing the contest’s rules, visit,