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Beyond the Bale : December 2012
In 2011 University of Brighton graduate Harriet Toogood was presented with the inaugural Woolmark Texprint Award for her superb woven textile designs, which were created with 60 per cent or more Merino wool. Fast-forward 12 months and Miss Toogood is now assistant designer to the product development team at textile innovators Camira Fabrics. The UK-based company designs innovative, adventurous and environmentally sustainable fabrics, with many of its worsted-spun fabrics coming from Australian wool. "My role involves working in the design team to create core products and working with existing and prospective customers to create custom made designs, specific to their own specifications," Miss Toogood said. "Both core and custom made developments consist of colour selection, pattern and textual design and the consideration of sustainable and green credentials. "One of Camira's most sustainable fabrics is called Sting Plus. It is based on the common nettle, which produces a uniquely strong, soft and naturally fire retardant textile fabric. It is blended with pure new wool from Australia, making it a totally natural and sustainable upholstery fabric." It was Miss Toogood's highly individual approach to creating contemporary woven textiles which saw her win the 2011 Woolmark Texprint Award and help kick- start her professional career. "My final project at university explored weaving natural yarn, specifically wool, in conjunction with plastic materials taken directly from the farmyard and everyday life, examining the suitability of the two within a fabric. "My father worked on a farm for the majority of my childhood and it was through these memories that I chose to base my work on the farm, using its raw materials." Miss Toogood has exhibited her personal fabrics at both Spin Expo Shanghai and Première Vision Paris. She was also invited to attend ComON creativity week at Lake Como, Italy, with three other Texprint winners. "It was a combination of all these experiences that helped me gain a job within the British woven textile industry. I feel very lucky." 17 OFF-FARM December 2012 BEYOND THE BALE commerciality that can be translated into something saleable," Mr Sugden said. Miss Manners, a graduate from the Royal College of Art, said it was her love for experimentation which sparked an interest in wool as a fabric. "I love experimenting with texture and wool can provide so many different tactile effects," she said. "I know that Woolmark is constantly pushing the boundaries of wool and I would love to find new ways to push fabric design even further. Wool is a really versatile fabric and I had a lot of fun experimenting with it and enjoying the hugely different effects I was able to produce with pure wool and blended fabrics." More information: www.texprint.org.uk Judges examining the fabrics of Woolmark Texprint Award winner Sophie Manners, at the 'Indigo' textile design speciality event in Paris. Photo: James McCauley. Last year's winner of the Woolmark Texprint Award Harriet Toogood has gone on to work with textile innovators Camira Fabrics, a UK-based company that uses Australian wool in its products and pays particular attention to environmental sustainability. Photo: Mark Mawston PREVIOUS TEXPRINT WINNER: HARRIET TOOGOOD