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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
WOVEN WOOL A WINNER AT BRADFORD TEXTILE SOCIETY AWARDS Textiles postgraduate student Samantha Yang of the Royal College of Art has won this year’s The Woolmark Company Award as part of the Bradford Textile Society Awards. Entrants must create a woven or knitted fashion fabric containing a minimum of 60% Merino wool. Samantha’s winning double-sided heavyweight fabric has been designed for outerwear, and was finished by washing, pressing and brushing to bring out the luxurious softness of Merino wool. “As a woven textile designer, I am always interested in the geometry of repetitions,” explained Samantha. “The winning fabric took inspiration from the organic shapes found on urban architecture. I created the artwork using Adobe programs, and developed it further using jacquard software. The design was then finalised through experimentation with the scales, weave structures, and colour combinations. “Wool is a strong yet versatile material with wide applications among fashion and interior design. The fibre from different sheep breeds can be created into entirely different looking yarns, which I find is truly magical. It is also sustainable, breathable and water repellent along with many other benefits. I would definitely like to continue working with wool not only because of its positive qualities but also its versatility: you can achieve countless effects with it Through sponsorship of the prestigious Bradford Textile Society Awards, AWI continues to promote Merino wool to tertiary students in the UK’s thriving textile industry. AWI has partnered with Sydney fashion label Double Rainbouu – a brand that is playful but has some attitude – to create a six- piece Australian Merino wool knitwear collection, titled UUOOLL. A sample from Samantha Yang’s award winning entry. Its annual design competition provides encouragement and inspiration to textile students and practicing textile designers to stimulate new developments in textile design and construction. AWI’s subsidiary The Woolmark Company’s sponsors an award to promote Merino wool amongst the next generation of designers. The awards offer an excellent opportunity for future textile designers to have their work recognised by the most important people within the industry. through printing, felting, brushing, embossing and embellishing.” As part of the prize, Samantha has the opportunity to complete one week’s work experience with London-based fashion designer Sadie Williams. 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. Australian fashion label Double Rainbouu unveiled its first line of luxury unisex knitwear, made from Australian Merino wool, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Sydney last month. Having attracted a cult following worldwide – including popstar Justin Beiber – the Sydney-based label is better known for its loud, fresh prints and beach club threads, yet has expanded into knitwear after forming a relationship with AWI. Designers Toby Jones and Mikey Nolan (former art and creative directors at cult denim label ksubi) created a line of statements knits, with the capsule collection aptly titled UUOOLL. “People can be loud and colourful with knitwear,” said Nolan. “There’s interesting challenges being a beachwear brand with juggling the different seasons. We had such a good response from wholesale accounts and they asked about what we’d do for winter. We’re going to keep running with it; two drops of knitwear per year and we have different weights and gauges. We’re trying to be non-seasonal – it’s summer all the time in our mind.” AWI supported Double Rainbouu in product development and introductions along the wool supply chain and provided support with media engagement. The duo will also present the six-piece UUOOL as part of Pitti Uomo’s Guest Nation this month in Florence (see bottom of opposite page). “We are super excited about Pitti Uomo and we’re really happy to have face time with our stockists. It’s great to get out there, especially since we’re only one year old so the exposure is going to be excellent for us.” MORE INFORMATION www.doublerainbouu.com UUOOLL A Merino wool jumper by Sydney fashion label Double Rainbouu, unveiled at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia last month. OFF FARM 25