“Skilled crafters on hand to compete”

Handicrafts and CWA have long been associated with rural women. Following World War l and the Depression there was a need for women to make simple everyday items and sewing clothing for their families. Australia had not developed a handicraft tradition as in northern hemisphere countries with their climate and close communities.
The emerging CWA was to the forefront of this necessity which also aimed to encourage pride and dignity during those 1930s years. The specific focus initially was on wool due to the crisis in that industry, with knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving, being encouraged. Craft also became a fundraising activity. The State Handicraft committee was formed during these years and continues to promote a strong participant interest in handicrafts. Handicraft schools and competitions were set up. With the outbreak of World War l l, the CWA efforts and skills went into making sheepskin vests for sailors, knitting socks and the making of camouflage nets. Post war there came a resurgence of handicraft for creativity and enjoyment. Mrs Kerry Wood-Davies of Moss Vale Branch is a member of this State committee.
In March, the annual judging of the entries in the State CWA handicraft competition, starting with the Group level, will take place. Highland branches have been very successful usually gaining places in the state competition, each year.
Most branches have a Handcraft group within their program. Members may work on individual projects, or a group activity for a specific purpose. Workshops are organised in various rural areas by the State Handcraft committee. Members also support, by their handcraft skills, the work of other charities such as “Days for Girls”, and “Wrap with Love”, local hospital support e.g. premmie babies, breast care cushions and knitted bears.
Pat Hughes
Wollondilly Group Publicity