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Beyond the Bale : September 2011
September 2011 BEYOND THE BALE 13 OFF-FARM Keen to highlight the versatility and benefits of Merino wool to leading UK textile students, AWI has joined forces with the country's leading textile graduate design prize -- Texprint -- to sponsor a special Woolmark Texprint Award in support of The Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60 per cent or more Merino wool, whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric. Texprint provides a vital bridge between the best of British textile design talent and the commercial world. It is run by industry professionals with the support of internationally recognised industry names such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Donna Karen and Sir Paul Smith. 24 winning graduates have been selected from more than 200 applicants whose colleges nominated them as their best from the 1500 graduating each year. Their work was showcased in July at Texprint's preview presentation in London. The event provided sponsors, the press, key decision-makers and leading creatives in the fashion and interiors markets with their first opportunity to see highlights of the designers' work. AWI consultant and President of the IWTO Peter Ackroyd says, "AWI views the annual Texprint Prize scheme as perhaps the most perfect clearing house for outstanding graduates, and sees sponsorship of the Texprint/Woolmark prize as a strategic investment in the industry's future." Texprint and AWI are delighted to have Douglas Cordeaux, managing director of Fox Brothers & Co, and Keith Walker, managing director of Linton Tweeds, as judges of the Woolmark Texprint Award. Both will use their expertise in producing luxurious fine 100 per cent woollen fabrics to guide their choice of winner. Mr Walker said, "As manufacturers of the world's most innovative fabrics, Linton's future depends on the continued development of Britain's outstanding design talent. We are happy to support the new Woolmark Texprint Award because we feel that wool provides a unique opportunity to showcase such talent." Mr Cordeaux echoed Mr Walker's sentiments and is an obvious advocate of Merino wool in fine tailoring. "Looking back through the extensive Fox Bros archives you can see the lasting, durable quality of wool and how it holds dyes and different finishing processes to create all manner of cloth styles and weights. It's encouraging to see young designers working with Merino wool." The final judging of the Woolmark Texprint Award will take place on 21 September at the INDIGO textile design specialty event -- part of the Première Vision fabric trade show in Paris -- where legendary fashion designer Agnès B will be this year's star prize presenter. The designers will exhibit their full portfolios, meet international buyers and make contacts. The winner of the Woolmark Texprint Award will receive £1,000 prize money and extensive training from AWI on the benefits and uses of Merino wool. More information: www.texprint.org.uk FAST FACTS lAWI is supporting the UK's leading textile graduate design prize Texprint in 2011. l This is part of AWI's strategy to educate early career textile designers about the benefits of working with Merino wool. l AWI is sponsoring a special Woolmark Texprint Award in support of the Campaign for Wool. Educating textile graduates Texprint 2011 judges Stuart Stockdale of Jaeger, Sue Timney of Timney-Fowler, David Shah of View Publications, Orla Kiely of Orla Kiely; Texprint chairman Barbara Kennington and the 24 winning designers.