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Beyond the Bale : December 2010
6 OFF-FARM December 2010 BEYOND THE BALE The 'Campaign for Wool' -- a major promotion of wool to key consumer markets -- got into full swing during October with a series of events and promotions held across the UK. The official launch for Wool Week was the Savile Row Field Day, with over 50 sheep grazing specially laid natural pasture on the iconic London tailoring street -- see previous page. The evening followed with a fashion function on the newly converted second floor at Selfridges in London -- over 100 people joined the exclusive event including top models, Nicholas Coleridge, CEO of global magazine publisher Condé Nast and Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council. There was great support shown for the Campaign for Wool by stores on the major London fashion streets of Regent St and New Oxford St, including Aquascutum, Jaeger, Austin Reed, Liberty, House of Fraser, Debenhams, Jigsaw, John Lewis and many more. Lyle & Scott installed a model 'sheep parade' in Covent Garden to highlight wool's use in high quality knitwear. Other events in London included the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, where 46 leading UK interior textile designers showcased wool. There were special events throughout Yorkshire -- the home of the English woollen textiles industry. Retailers throughout Leeds showed their support -- from Austin Reed's in-store educational tips on wool, House of Fraser promoting the top reasons to choose wool, to Harvey Nichol's hosting a Yorkshire textile celebration. A special sheep and shepherds event was held in York where hundreds of people joined the occasion to celebrate the natural qualities of wool and view a shearing demonstration. Campaign for Wool promotions were also undertaken in other parts of the UK; indeed right to the northerly tip of Scotland where there was even a special Shetland Wool Week. UK Wool Week Devon farmer Lesley Prior with her flock of Bowmonts. Yorkshire farmer Richard Finlay wrapping a 40ft wool scarf around the statue of Roman Emperor Constantine outside York Minster. WHAT BREED IS THAT? Keen to promote Australian Merinos at the Savile Row Field Day, the organisers brought in some Bowmonts, the closest derivative the UK has to Merinos. First bred 25 years ago by the Macaulay Institute in Scotland, Bowmonts are a cross between Saxon Merino (75%) and Shetland (25%) with superfine fleece of 15-20 micron. The Bowmont sheep were supplied by Lesley and Roger Prior who farm on the edge of Exmoor in Devon. The other breed on show at Savile Row was Exmoor Horns, courtesy of Harry and Jane Parker of Wiltshire.