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Beyond the Bale : December 2018
EDUCATION HIGHLIGHTS AWI continues to foster the education and development of tertiary textile and fashion students – inspiring them in the early stage of their careers about the properties and benefits of Merino wool, and encouraging them to continue to use the fibre in their designs as they progress through their professional lives. AWI encourages the use of Merino wool by the UK’s textile graduates by sponsoring an award at TexSelect, the UK’s leading graduate design prize. A study tour by international fashion and textile design students was recently facilitated by AWI with the aim to enhance the students’ knowledge of the Australian wool industry and how the fibre is produced. AWI supported the visit by Italian students on the Biella Masters Noble Fibre postgraduate course, Spanish students from the IED Institute of Design and Japanese students from the Bunka Fashion Graduate University, to learn more about Merino wool. A group of Biella Masters postgraduate students visit Australia each year, as part of their studies. Based in Biella, the group examines the entire supply chain, starting from the raw materials through to the final product. The Spanish and Japanese students were in Australia after they each won a wool fashion design competition prize involving an Australian farm visit. Royal College of Art graduate Matthew Briggs won this year’s The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award, praised for his boldly patterned and graphic knitted designs in strong contrasting colours, with a quirky take on the theme of the ‘Pearly Queens’ of London. Shining the spotlight on the best emerging textile designers studying at colleges across the UK, entrants for the award must incorporate a minimum of 60 per cent Merino wool into their textiles and demonstrate a good understanding of the fibre’s qualities and potential application in fabric. The Woolmark Company has supported this special prize for eight years. The award was judged by fabric and knitwear development manager at Victoria Beckham, Natasha Lenart, and by Eda The Woolmark Company TexSelect judges Eda Karadogan, Natasha Lenart and AWI’s Birgit Gahlen with winner Matthew Briggs at the Première Vision trade show in Paris. John Cheshire from the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) showing international fashion and textile design students sampling, and fibre length and strength testing. Students visited the wool auctions at Yennora, the Goulburn Wool Store, The Big Merino and stayed the night at ‘Markdale’ in the Crookwell area, three hours south of Sydney. Students also saw a shearing demonstration at ‘Hillcreston’, Bigga, and came out of the experience with very positive feedback and a great appreciation for wool. Biella Masters Noble Fibre Director, Giovanni Schiapparelli, wrote on behalf of the school’s chairman Luciano Barbera and the members of the board to thank AWI staff for the “excellent organisation of the internship of our students in Australia”. “They were very impressed by the efficiency and cordial atmosphere at AWI and found their visit interesting and useful,” he said. BOLD DESIGNS WIN TOP UK TEXTILE AWARD Karadogan of international luxury fabrics manufacturer Ipekis. “Matthew is able to apply his technical knowledge to designs that have forethought, that have production potential,” explained Natasha. “He has developed a quintessential British concept which in itself is marketable for another brand or for himself. Kids these days really put us to shame! His work, objectively, doesn’t relate to my aesthetic and yet I am drooling over it.” Matthew said he felt “completely overwhelmed” by winning the award and that it’s “a huge boost” to his confidence. By winning the award, Matthew will receive ongoing support from The Woolmark Company and opportunities to learn about developments, innovations and the supply chain of wool. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS VISIT AUSTRALIA 34 OFF FARM
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