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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
Consumer research funded by AWI into barriers to the consumption of wool indicates the global perception that wool is hard to care for has been steadily reducing. However, the same research indicates that those people in China who do not consider buying wool are more than twice as likely to cite wool being “hard to care for” and “not easy to wash” as their global counterparts (14% versus 6%, and 10% versus 4% respectively), and more than four times as likely to cite “shrinks” (14% versus 3%). As part of an initiative to reduce these perceptions in China, The Woolmark Company’s China team recently hosted a wool Apparel Care event in Shanghai, showcasing the most up-to-date innovations and information on machine-washable wool to media and guests. Partnering with white- good manufacturer and Woolmark Apparel Care partner Haier, the event showed key media representatives just how easy it is to wash wool in a domestic washing machine. “The Woolmark Apparel Care program aims to bring new wool washing methods to Chinese consumers, changing the impression that wool products are difficult to care for,” explained AWI Country Manager China Jeff Ma. “The program also reflects the high quality standards that The Woolmark Company has long been advocating. We hope more brands will join us in this collaboration to offer local consumers a unique, effortless and natural way to enjoy wool products.” To mark the event, fashion designer Nicole Zhang, who won ELLE’s Annual Independent Designer Award, and popular cartoonist Tango created simple but stylish designs for 100% machine-washable wool T-shirts to reflect the core concepts behind the Apparel Care program. WASHABLE WOOL EDUCATION IN CHINA Many items of wool clothing can be machine washed and tumble dried – a fact showcased to Chinese media recently at an Apparel Care event in Shanghai organised by AWI’s subsidiary The Woolmark Company. Cartoonist Tango, fashion designer Nicole Zhang and AWI Country Manager China Jeff Ma at the Apparel Care media event in Shanghai. great wool-growing regions, at Wagga Wagga in NSW. The IMF is held every second year and hosted by the Riverina Millinery Association. This year’s week-long event, held in July, was supported by AWI and attended by more than 130 delegates, tutors and traders from across Australia and the world. Acclaimed English milliner Sophie Beale – one of five international tutors (including former Royal milliner to Her Majesty the Queen, Ian Bennett) and seven Australian tutors at the event – was selected to teach her sculptural felt techniques. Narrandera based milliner Jo-Anne Rolfe, who attended Sophie Beale’s workshop at the IMF, uses wool felt for her label Vintage Designs. “Wool is in a class of its own as a quality fibre to work with for millinery design as it’s living and breathing with its own unique resilience and thermal property,” Jo-Anne said. MILLINERY MASTERPIECES IN WOOL A sculptural felt headpiece made by acclaimed English milliner Sophie Beale which was showcased at fashion parades during the International Millinery Forum in July. She said industrial flat sheets of wool felt, sold by the metre, were now easier to source by milliners due to the recent world-wide resurgence of interest in this medium. Jo-Anne has also felted wool roving for millinery. “Pre-dyed wool roving and pre-felted wool batts are readily available in Australia from boutique textile outlets. The various grades of fibre available, from the finest Merino or Corriedale to crossbred wool make it suitable for many design applications. “The range of both natural coloured and commercially dyed wool roving is astonishing so the possibilities for designing and felting millinery pieces become endless.” MORE INFORMATION www.riverinamillinery.com.au www.sophiebealemillinery.com www.jo-annemillinery.com.au “I have always loved wool garments, but I used to think they were really tricky to wash and care for,” explained Zhang. “The Apparel Care program highlights how to treat and preserve wool, providing busy urbanites with easy solutions.” MORE INFORMATION www.woolmark.com/apparel-care-program Wool is rightly well known as a premium fibre for apparel, however the fibre’s versatility means it is also ideal for hats and headpieces. So it’s only fitting that one of the world’s leading millinery education and networking events, the International Millinery Forum (IMF), is held in the heart of one of Australia’s OFF FARM 23
In the Shops - September 2016