An exhibition inspired by woollen fishermen’s sweaters made in the Netherlands a century ago has arrived at Meirion Mill in Dinas Mawddwy, near Machynlleth.

The Erfskip Exhibition will feature wool and associated crafts from Wales, Shetland, the Hebrides, the Aran Islands and elsewhere, archive film and visual arts, young people’s workshop productions, photographs and more.

Until 24 March, the exhibition will be centred on Meirion Mill and Ysgol Bro Idris, Dolgellau, with elements also taking place in Cemaes, Trawsfynydd, Aberystwyth and Caersws.

This exhibition story begins in a small coastal village called Moddergat, in the north of Frŷslan, Netherlands. A fishing and farming community began to research and then to recreate the woollen fishermen’s garments that used to be made there a century ago.

Farmers bred the sheep and sheared them, others carded, dyed and spun the wool and many people became involved in the knitting.

Old photos and written records were dug up and, in a few years, a successful small community business was developing, making and selling warm, beautiful and natural jumpers modelled on those the Moddergat fisherman set out to sea in more than a century ago.

Excited by what they’d achieved, the community then created an exhibition, demonstrating and contextualising the work. It was so popular that it was decided to take exhibition on tour to other shepherd communities, firstly to Wales and then on to other farming and fishing cultures across Western Europe.

It has already been to Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, to Shetland Woollen Week and to the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. It’s an exhibition with a difference – in at least three ways.

Firstly, it’s growing as it goes - wherever it stops, each community adds in elements from its own culture and experiences, so everybody can enjoy and learn from the achievements of others.

Secondly, wherever it goes, the hosts use it as a focus for their own interests and concerns, building events, discussions and workshops around it.

Lastly, it’s making this journey fuelled only by enthusiasm, energy and excitement. The organisers haven’t asked for a penny of public money to finance its travel, its display costs or anything else.