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Beyond the Bale : September 2015
OFF FARM 19 Whilst we often think of beautiful clothes being crafted by fashion designers, it's also the fabric itself that brings these clothes to life. Textile design is a crucial part of the global fashion industry, creating beautiful designs for woven, knitted and printed fabrics. The Bradford Textile Society, established in 1893, is the oldest of its kind in Britain and continues to open doors to the next generation of designers and technicians. Its prestigious annual design competition provides encouragement and inspiration to textile students and practicing textile designers to stimulate new developments within this field of work. AWI once again sponsored The Woolmark Company Award as part of the 2014/15 competition, asking entrants to design a knitted or woven fabric for fashion -- including accessories -- containing at least 60 per cent Merino wool. This year's winner, Sharon Porteous, scooped the pool with her innovative wool-rich woven fabric. "My entry was a treble cloth with a bold zigzag pattern, softened by the subtle colours used," explains Sharon. "The fabric was woven on a jacquard loom combining soft white cotton warp ends and hand-dyed Merino weft picks. Once off the loom, the fashion fabric was hand-finished to create soft, felted and layered textures." The University of Derby Master's in Fashion and Textile student, who is also a lecturer at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, won a one-week internship with leading London-based womenswear designer Holly Fulton, who has previously worked closely with AWI to incorporate Cool Wool items into her collections. "As both a designer and lecturer, I am really looking forward to my work placement. It is important for teaching staff to be able to pass on real industry experience to students." More than 900 students from universities and colleges across the UK participated in this year's awards across 17 different categories, each vying for a share in the £11,000 worth of money along with money-can't-buy experiences such as work placements. The awards offer an excellent opportunity for future textile designers to have their work recognised by the most important people within the industry. They also are crucial in ensuring the textiles industry remains strong and relevant by supporting the education of emerging designers. With new talent pivotal to the future of the wool industry, AWI actively believes in education and has devoted time and resources to ensure it remains a priority. University of Derby's fashion and textile student Sharon Porteous has won The Woolmark Company award at the Bradford Textile Society design competition, gaining one week's work placement with UK fashion designer Holly Fulton. English model David Gandy is one of the ambassadors of The Ambassadors Project bespoke tailoring initiative. THE AMBASSADORS PROJECT The 'Inside Out' event also marked the launch of The Ambassadors Project. Together with British GQ and London Collections Men, the project will see each Savile Row Bespoke house team up with and style an appointed ambassador. The behind the scenes process of kitting out the ambassadors will be traced through social media via #theambassadorsproject in the lead up to next season's London Collections Men fashion week in January. The ambassadors and their tailors are: • David Gandy, English model (Henry Poole) • Dylan Jones, Editor of British GQ (Meyer and Mortimer) • Grant Pearce, Editorial director of GQ Asia Pacific (Davies & Son) • Hu Bing, Chinese actor and model (Huntsman) • Jefferson Hack, Founder of Dazed and Confused magazine (Dege & Skinner) • Nick Grimshaw, English television and radio presenter (Norton & Sons) • Tinie Tempah, English musician (Edward Sexton). This behind the scenes approach to The Ambassadors Project fully underlines the individuality of bespoke and gives the audience the chance to see each suit develop from the 'inside out'. Whilst Savile Row works to the tailoring techniques of yesteryear, the end result is relevant to the modern gentleman and aesthetics of today and helps build the demand for Merino wool into the future. MORE INFORMATION www.merino.com/insideout INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE FOR TEXTILE AWARD WINNER AWI funded an award at the prestigious Bradford Textile Society 2014/15 design competition to help promote Merino wool to tertiary students in the thriving UK textile industry.