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Beyond the Bale : December 2016
The four Hong Kong student fashion award winners watching the action in a Flinders Range shearing shed at Boudaglen. Four emerging fashion designers from Hong Kong visited Australia in August to learn first-hand about the wool production process and be inspired to continue using Merino wool in their designs. Adelegation of award-winning young fashion designers from Hong Kong’s leading tertiary organisations recently visited Australia to learn about the origins of Australian Merino wool and experience the Australian wool industry first-hand. Two students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) and two from the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) recently won fashion awards, with the ultimate prize of journeying to Australia to encourage the graduate students to continue to use wool in their designs as they progress through their careers. The students were all recipients of awards from various fashion competitions at their design college, with awards sponsored by both AWI and the Flinders Merino woolgrowing group of South Australia. AWI sponsors these fashion design awards to promote the benefits of Australian Merino wool to the next generation in a region crucial to global textiles and fashion. As one of the world’s major knitwear exporters, Hong Kong is the gateway for southern and eastern Chinese wool processors and manufacturers, as well as a global hub for sourcing wool garments for major international brands. This is the eighth year AWI has welcomed a group of Hong Kong designers to experience Australia’s wool industry from farm to fashion. While in Melbourne, the students visited RMIT to meet with Australian fashion students, the Council of Textile and Fashion’s Textile & Fashion Hub, the National Wool Museum, AWTA and a wool auction before heading to South Australia for a five-day farm stay at ‘Glenroy Estate’, which is part of the Flinders Merino group. This unique experience – so different to their lives in Hong Kong – allowed the students to develop a greater appreciation for the farm to fashion journey and draw inspiration from the natural and beautiful environment where Australian Merino sheep are reared. They even got to try their hand at shearing. The group also visited Michell Wool and Adelaide TAFE. Winner of the Flinders Merino Award, Lion Sze Tsz Ki from HKPU (who was presented with the award in Hong Kong by Young Farming Champion Chloe Dutschke – see the September edition of Beyond the Bale) said: “It is my pleasure to receive this award that provides an opportunity to visit Australia. This trip gave me the chance to learn the processes before forming a wool fabric. We learned the whole procedure of making wool material, from sheep through to the final design. This trip inspired me to try different possibilities of wool to apply on different designs.” Winners of the Best Use of Australian Merino Awards – Gloria Ling Wing Nga (HKPU), Nick Choy Chun Lok and Gwendelyn Ho Wing Choi (both HKDI) – all agreed the trip was an experience of a lifetime. “This trip provided me with lots of opportunities from farm to fashion to learn more about the Australian Merino wool industry,” said Gloria Ling Wing Nga. “I really enjoyed living on the farm as this broadened my horizons of being a city girl, especially since we had the chance to shear a sheep. In addition, visiting a wool lab, wool auction and different fashion institutes allowed us to communicate and share information to enrich our knowledge.” HONG KONG STUDENTS DISCOVER ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES OF WOOL BROADENING HORIZONS OFF FARM 23
In the Shops - March 2017