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Beyond the Bale : June 2011
17 OFF-FARM June 2011 BEYOND THE BALE Wool fit for a Prince Samples of Merino wool that were donated by woolgrowers from across Australia have been turned into suit fabric as a wedding gift for Prince William. The gift is a fitting gesture given that his father, the Prince of Wales, initiated and is patron of the international Campaign for Wool. Follow the journey of the donated wool, from fibre to fabric... Woolgrowers from around Australia sent in samples of their wool In response to an idea raised by woolgrowers at the AWI Annual General Meeting, AWI rolled out an initiative in January to enable Australian woolgrowers to donate small samples of their wool to be made into fabric as a wedding gift for Prince William. Woolgrowers from every wool-growing region in Australia posted samples of their wool to AWI. The donated wool was packed at Yennora, NSW AWI received wool from 11.3 through to 38 microns in fibre diameter. The vast majority of wools were either superfine or fine Merino wool and therefore perfect for suiting. The wool to be made into suiting fabric was sent to the Yennora Wool Centre, NSW for packing. The broader wools will be sent to an Australian manufacturer to be made into a more suitable bedding product. The 94 kilogram bale at Yennora ready for despatch to Europe The bale at the combing plant in Italy with the Alps in the background The bale was sent to Biella, Italy where the specialty combing plant Pettinatura di Verrone owned by the Schneider Group produced approximately 60 kilograms of wool top. As the premier commission comber of small wool batches, Verrone could process the raw wool relatively quickly. PHOTO: ROSS PARRY AGENCY Bulmer & Lumb manager Edward Waterhouse with the finished cloth The wool top was sent from Italy to Woolmark licensee Bulmer & Lumb in Bradford, England where it was dyed, combed, spun, woven and finished into luxury suiting fabric by Taylor & Lodge. Over 100 metres of fabric were produced from the donated wool, enough for 27 suit lengths. The remaining 26 will be auctioned for charity. Some of the final Merino wool fabric ready for tailoring The fabric is a modern version of Bulmer & Lumb's award winning Lumb's Golden Bale flannel cloth as originally made for H Lesser cloth merchants for their exclusive clients along Savile Row. The selvedge of the cloth reads: "Specially woven in Huddersfield England by Taylor & Lodge in fine Australian Merino wool to celebrate the marriage of H.R.H. Prince William & Kate Middleton 29th April 2011". Post script. Prince William's aides are aware of this gesture from the Australian industry and when the fabric is presented to the couple, all donors names will be included. A sample of the final cloth will be sent to all woolgrowers who donated wool. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.