Wiltshire jigsaw factory overwhelmed by orders as people turn to indoor pastimes amid the Coronavirus outbreak

A jigsaw factory in Wiltshire has seen a huge increase in orders since people were told to stay at home.

Wentworth Wooden Puzzles near Malmesbury says its current order levels are in line with a typical Christmas, as more and more people turn to indoor pastimes.

While most of us have more time on our hands, production at Wentworth Wooden Puzzles has been unusually busy, for the time of year.

We've found this last month has been more like December, due to people self-isolating. In the second week of March our sales more or less doubled overnight.

Sarah Watson, Managing Director
A computer-guided laser at work. The puzzle images are backed with wood before cutting. Credit: ITV News

The company’s lasers can cut a 1500-piece jigsaw in 45 minutes, and on average, the factory produces 500 wooden-backed puzzles a day. Even so, the business has struggled to keep up with demand as it grapples with staffing and supply issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Normally March is a quiet month in the world of jigsaw production but recently orders have flooded in from across the UK, and increasingly from the USA, as people in lockdown look for a gentle form of home entertainment.

They're a great pastime. Obviously people have got a lot more time on their hands indoors. They're very immersive as well. You lose yourself in the puzzle and in these difficult times that we're in it's a great distraction for people.

Tom Webb, Production Manager

If you are looking for a serious puzzle project, then Martin Puzzle claims to make the largest jigsaw available in the world, with more than 52,000 pieces. However long the lockdown lasts, for many people jigsaws are a safe and soothing way of filling it.