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Beyond the Bale : December 2014
24 OFF FARM HIGHLIGHTS EDUCATION FOSTERING TEXTILE EDUCATION WITH TEXPRINT AWI continues to encourage the use of Merino wool by emerging textile designers, through sponsoring an award at the UK’s leading textile graduate design prize – Texprint. The Woolmark Company Texprint Award winner Tali Furman (left) speaks with judges Nino Cerruti (right) alongside Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of Agi & Sam next to him. SEMINAR MAKING IT IN TEXTILES AWI has helped fund a seminar to promote Merino wool and help encourage UK textile students to join the wool industry. To highlight the versatility and benefits of Merino wool to the UK’s leading textile students, AWI has once again partnered with the UK’s foremost textile graduate design prize – Texprint – and sponsored a special award. Texprint provides a vital bridge between the best of British textile design talent and the commercial world. The Woolmark Company Texprint Award encourages the most exceptional British-trained textile design graduates to use Merino wool in an innovative manner. Tali Furman was announced the winner of the 2014 award at the Indigo/Première Vision trade show in September. Tali’s cohesive collection impressed the judges for its subtle use of print on the finest quality Merino wool to create textiles that are intrinsically beautiful and achieve a classic sense of style. The Woolmark Company Texprint Award was judged by the globally renowned Italian designer and head of Biella-based textile mill Lanficio Fratelli Cerruti, Nino Cerruti, together with Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of the trend-setting UK menswear brand Agi & Sam. “It has been a very difficult decision because all the candidates for The Woolmark Company Texprint Award had something interesting and unique to present,” said Nino Cerruti. “So we decided to set the criteria of creativity, innovation and harmonious design, as well as of course respecting The Woolmark Company rule that the work must incorporate at least 60 per cent Merino wool. “It is great to see a very high level of work from both a technical and creative point of view – especially to team creativity and energy resulting in ideas that become real practicable textiles.” AWI Global Strategic Advisor Peter Ackroyd added, “Texprint is unique; it’s the only scheme that we are aware of that gives graduates a tangible and valuable industry experience so soon after graduating. AWI actively believes in education and has devoted time and resources so that this remains a priority. New talent is the future of our business.” With the UK’s textile industry on a high, there’s never been a better time for UK textile graduates to forge a career, and AWI is keen to ensure that the cream of these graduates consider joining the wool industry. Consequently, in conjunction with the Campaign for Wool and two City Livery Companies, AWI organised a textiles education conference in October in Bradford, Yorkshire, for final year textiles students. The Making it in Textiles seminar was attended by more than 120 students and tutors from universities throughout the UK, with talks from Woolmark licensees and trade partners covering the weaving process, from spinning to finishing, with a major focus on Merino wool due to its significance in the British weaving industry. Students also had the chance to visit a local mill and see these industry processes in person, something which surprisingly few students usually do in their university time. It was a full house at the Making it in Textiles seminar in Bradford, Yorkshire.