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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
OFF FARM 25 AWI Country Manager for Italy Francesco Magri educating the students about Merino wool. A selection of the Merino wool knitwear pieces produced by the students as part of their course assignment. Atalented group of Italian students and textile professionals have undertaken a Master’s course in Knitting Design at the prestigious Politecnico di Milano – and in the process have learnt about the versatility of Merino wool, a knowledge that should remain with them throughout their careers. Held from October through to February, the course was taught in collaboration with leading Italian knitwear brand Missoni and AWI. A major component of the course involved students forming groups to design and produce a knitwear collection, suitable for Missoni’s Spring/Summer 2017 range. It had to be made with a minimum of 70 per cent Australian Merino wool – highlighting the trans-seasonal benefits of the natural fibre. At the beginning of the course, many students said they felt it would be a challenge to design a Spring/Summer collection using wool, admitting they traditionally associated the fibre with winter and cooler months. However, after various presentations and seminars conducted by AWI about Merino wool, and with mentoring by Luca Missoni, the students began to explore the unexpected innovations and properties of the fibre. “We have to say that it was challenging to create a collection based on a 70 per cent of wool, but the results – the amazing garments – speak for themselves,” said one group of students. “I think many people will be surprised to learn they are made from wool and we are all very proud to have succeeded in this challenge.” The course enabled the students to explore Merino wool’s possibilities and think about the fibre in a different way, explained Giovanni Maria Conti PhD, the Assistant Professor in Fashion and Knit Design at the School of Design. AWI and luxury fashion label Missoni joined forces to show Italian design students how Merino wool can be used in knitwear for all seasons. MASTERING MERINO WITH MISSONI “Some groups of students proposed new ways of using different yarns. For example, one group created a multi-yarn fabric using a series of tubular stitches, resulting in a colourful knitted fabric. Another group combined the Merino wool in metallic threads to create an iridescent fabric. “By working closely with AWI and leading Italian mills, we can show how design can be of great importance to develop innovations for this specific sector of the Made in Italy industry.”
In the Shops - March 2016