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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
As part of a new AWI project promoting the use of Merino wool in the market for Qi Pao (aka Cheongsam) – the body- hugging one-piece Chinese dress – seminars and workshops have recently been hosted by AWI at the WRC. Wool felt designer Debbie Leung and Cheongsam Connect advisor Dr Brenda Li presented, along with AWI’s Key Account Manager Daniel Chan, to 50 attendees. “Due to the inherent special qualities of wool and a unique felting technique, seamless fitted outfits are made possible,” Ms Leung said. “This project reveals a perfect marriage using wool The SCAD University for Creative Careers (Hong Kong) visiting the Wool Resource Centre. Fashion Design Professor Ryan Mercer of SCAD said, “The Hong Kong Woolmark office is a beautiful space filled with inspirational materials, and expert staff who are gracious and happy to impart their knowledge to young minds. My class was provided in-depth and engaging information about the origins, farming practices, characteristics, innovations, trends, and current industry use of wool. It was a truly enlightening experience about this natural and sustainable fibre.” Student Yasmin Baratova said, “Using wool as a fabric in summer and in athleisure wear was the most exciting and innovating aspect of the presentation. It was interesting to learn how the fibre/fabric is created from the raw wool and the sustainable aspects of the industry.” While AWI’s Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong has welcomed many companies through its doors since officially opening in April last year, many educational institutions have also visited the Centre to learn about Australian wool. WOOL RESOURCE CENTRE PROVES POPULAR IN ITS FIRST YEAR The Wool Resource Centre (WRC) in Hong Kong has quickly become a global hub for the textile and apparel industries – including spinners, knitters, weavers, retailers, designers and garment makers – seeking knowledge and support to develop, produce and market wool products. It has hosted more than 200 events in its first ten months. Visiting brands include Hugo Boss, Lane Crawford, Gieves & Hawkes, Banana Republic, Lululemon, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, LL Bean, Brooks Brothers, Dunhill, and DKNY. The WRC is also a popular destination for fashion and business students to learn about the versatility of Australian wool and the supply chain for wool products. By inspiring students in the early stage of their careers about wool and the wool industry, AWI aims to encourage them to use and promote wool as they progress through their professional lives. The WRC serves as the permanent office for AWI’s Hong Kong staff who host seminars and training workshops to anyone who is interested about understanding the benefits of wool. They also provide technical PROMOTING MERINO IN CHINESE TRADITIONAL DRESS felt as a medium to 'sculpt' figure-hugging cheongsam dresses without a single dart. Everyone was amazed with the magic of wool at the end of the workshop.” Attendee Winnie Au said she learnt a lot about the attributes and benefits of Merino wool by attending the seminar and workshop. “Thanks for introducing all participants to a whole new concept of the versatility of wool. I hadn’t known until I attended the seminar that besides keeping us warm, wool can be made into T-shirts for workouts and water- resistant windbreakers!” Debbie Leung with Dr Brenda Li, with two examples of traditional Chinese dress, at a seminar and workshop held in the WRC. innovations, market intelligence and sourcing information for the supply chain. Hong Kong is the ideal location for the WRC due to the region’s importance in the sourcing of Australian Merino wool. All global brands travel to Hong Kong for sourcing trips, and the city is also a key manufacturing hub for spinners and knitters. Since the 1950s, textiles and garments have dominated Hong Kong’s exports, and the textile industry currently employs almost four per cent of the local manufacturing workforce. Australian woolgrowers travelling to Hong Kong are also welcome to visit the Wool Resource Centre and utilise it as an office space for meetings or presentations – see page 60 for an example. MORE INFORMATION HKresourcecentre@wool.com 30 OFF FARM