For the first quarter of this year the state of the Chinese Silk Industry is still in flux. Prices have not yet come down as expected from and from their all time high of last year, partially due to the postponement of a resolution to the trade agreement between China and the USA.
We are still optimistic that later this year prices will lower and we can restock our 4.5 momme Tissue Silk (Silk Georgette). In the meantime, we managed to secure two fabulous NEW fabrics at an incredible price, given the state of the market. They are currently ‘on the boat’ and are expected to arrive in June.
One of the fabrics is a 3.5momme Crepe Silk Georgette to supplement our Tissue Silk fabric line. This new fabric has an incredible springy crepe texture! It’s handle will have a slight stretch due to it’s crepe yarn structure. The fabric was offered to us on a clearance sale from the supplier and therefore will be a ‘limited edition’.
Our other new fabric is great addition to our Silk Chiffon line. It was also sold to us as a ‘Limited Edition, clearance priced’ 4.3 momme extra wide, Silk Chiffon (140cm wide, 55inches). This fabric is fine and translucent enough to see through and is an excellent choice for fine nuno felting. When you purchase 140cm wide fabric, the cost is slightly higher, but remember you will receive 23% more fabric!
AWI’s (Australian Wool Innovation) Live & Breathe Campaign set out to educate a new generation of consumers about the technical performance benefits of Australian Merino wool. What better way to showcase wool’s performance benefits than have commercially available wool products tested by a group of top athletes – which is exactly what The Woolmark Company did as part of its Live & Breathe marketing campaign .
With its unrivaled breathability, moisture management properties and odour control, there’s no denying that wool is the ultimate performance fibre. To prove it, AWI’s marketing arm, The Woolmark Company, put wool to the ultimate test – as part of the company’s Live & Breathe consumer marketing campaign – with three Australian athletes wearing head-to-toe wool for their workouts.
THE ATHLETES’ VERDICT “I think that people hold the misconception that wool can be cumbersome and itchy, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” said atlete Rohan Browning of his experience. “High performance in elite sport is all about being in a comfortable mental and physical space. When you’re behind the start line and all the work has been done, the only thing you can change is what you wear.” Jeff agrees, noting in particular wool’s ability to regulate body temperature and minimise moisture. “I typically find it difficult to find a product that can keep me warm early in a run when I’m still cold, and that can cope once I’ve warmed up so that I don’t overheat or sweat. Wool minimises the need for multiple layers that need to be shed as a run goes on, making it really versatile.” High jumper Amy Pojkic commented: “Breathable, lightweight, durable and 100% Australian Merino wool – perfect for summer workouts too.”
The Woolmark Company partnered with Amazon to create a hub of shoppable wool products. See www.amazon.com/adlp/woolmark
MORE INFORMATION www.woolmark.com/liveandbreathe
Beyond the Bale, Live & Breath Campaign, Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 6-8.
This a fabulous concept – replacing micro plastics with silk! By controlling the process of making the liquid silk, silk molecules can be created in different sizes to perform different functions.
“The acids and the enzymes in our digestive system can easily degrade silk, whereas the enzymes are not tailored to breaking down non-protein entities such as a synthetic plastic,” Altman says. Similarly, bacteria can easily degrade silk if it’s composted, and if a product made with liquid silk entered the ocean, fish and plankton could safely digest it.
2018 was an unpredictable year for the Chinese Silk Market. On a good note the cocoon production rebounded, which has slightly eased the incredibly high export prices for silk. However, the impending Trade War between the USA and China is set to have detrimental effects on the price of Silk fabric and Wool (raw and tops) being imported into the USA. Since August 2018 a new tariffs have been proposed to bump the tariff from 10% to 25%. More talks are scheduled this week (1 Feb 2019), the final outcome is still in flux.
The long and short of the USA/China trade war is that craft supplies like Silk fabrics and Wool are likely to soon be costing more if you live in America. The implications for the rest of the world are still unknown. Since 2015 Australia and China have had a free trade agreement in place, consequently the prices for our Treetops silk and wool products will not be effected by any new tariffs!
For the year of 2018, Australian Wool industries have seen record breaking prices! Australian wool prices are predicted to remain high in the coming year due to improved demand and limited supply. The superfine market <18.5 micron has seen considerable growth due to demand of the ‘next to skin’ market (ie think sportswear like IceBreaker). Fine wool prices (19 micron- 21 microns), where the bulk of the Australian clip is captured, has also performed well. This past season, 46% of the Australia’s wool clip was between 18.5 and 21.5 micron.
Merino wool is increasingly being used as the key ingredient in footwear, with the high performance fibre giving consumers the natural edge over its synthetic rivals.
AWI’s (Australian Wool Innovation) technical team has been working to create shoes that not only allow the foot to breathe, wick away moisture and are resistant to odour, but importantly are comfortable to wear. For example, by combining yarns together and using three dimensional knitting, the entire upper of the shoe can be seamless, free of cutting and sewing.
adidas, Baabuk, Giesswein, Le Mounton and Z Zegna are just some of the popular brands on the market today. The most recent brand to hit the ground running is Neeman’s – the first brand to come out of India to include Merino wool in footwear.
Designed in London, the shoes are made from some of the finest Merino wool from Australia, with the insoles made from plantbased castor bean oil and recycled rubber, which offers comfort through all seasons in India. The sock-free, odour resistant, flexible and lightweight shoes inherit all the ecocredentials of Merino wool.
“Neeman’s has created a path-breaking collection of shoes by using Merino wool from Australia, which is superfine and lightweight, moisture-wicking and breathable, naturally odour resistant and keeps skin cool and dry even in extreme temperatures.”
Beyond the Bale, Running with Wool , Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 33.
Acknowledging the shrinking size of Australia’s sheep flock throughout the past 20 years, Anthony Close from Victoria said his focus of his Nuffield studies will be researching the range of factors that have caused this reduction, comparing the industry with those overseas to gain a better understanding of what makes progressive industries grow and prosper.
“In 1992 the national sheep flock was 150 million head, and produced 4.75 million bales of wool. In 2018, the flock is 70 million head, and will produce two million bales,” he said.
“Wool prices are at historically record levels at the moment and there is a lot of confidence in the industry, despite the current lack of rainfall in many areas, so I hope my research will identify ways that the Merino can once again become a prominent feature of the Australian farming landscape.”
MORE INFORMATION: Information on previous AWI Nuffield woolgrower scholars and their reports are available at www.wool.com/nuffield.
Beyond the Bale, Nuffield Studies Aim to Boost Merino Flocks , Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 73.
Australian woolgrowers have been awarded with the inaugural Eco Stewardship Award at this year’s Green Carpet Fashion Awards held as the conclusion of Milan Fashion Week. The award recognises the commitment to the environment demonstrated by the tens of thousands of woolgrowers across the country.
Every day, woolgrowers across the country are caring for their animals and the land in a passionate and sustainable way, ensuring that when you are wearing wool, you are also caring for the environment. Woolgrowers have always known this is the case – and it is fantastic that this has been recognised by the fashion industry.”
MORE INFORMATION www.eco-age.com/ green-carpet-fashion-awards.
Beyond the Bale, Australian Wool Growing Receives Eco Award, Issue 77 Dec. 2018, pg 14.
Living so close to Bali I have been there many, many times over the past 40 years (I was very young the first time I went). I fell in love with the Island of the Gods from my very first visit. Beneath it’s obvious tropical beauty lies another layer of joyous harmony in the many and varied festivals celebrated at regular intervals.
One of these festivals is Galungal and is celebrated every 210 days. It gives thanks to God in His manifestation as Hyang Giri Pati (the God of the mountain) for the bounty that the island provides its people. To honour the volcano Mt. Agung elaborate Penjors (see below photo) are erected outside of the gates or doorways to homes, businesses and shops creating an archway of dangling and swaying gifts to the mountain god.
Created from bamboo, palms, fruits and flowers it represents the necessities of life that the fertile soil of Bali provides. I have always wanted a Penjor in my garden but of course bringing one home would be very impractical so I have decided to make one from felt! It seems only natural that it should be officially unveiling at Nancy’s Bali Meditative Adornment Textile Retreat to be held in May 2019.
Oct 2018 Australia Post has implemented extensive changes to their parcel delivery services. It particularly affects small businesses like Treetops. Here is a summary of what will effect you and how to get the most out of your postage costs.
DOMESTIC PARCELS – There has a been a minimal price increase
INTERNATIONAL PARCELS UNDER 1KG: Intl Economy (Air NO Tracking, NO Recourse for lost parcels) is now cheaper than ever,10+ business days delivery. We do NOT recommend using this service for parcels valued over A$100! Intl Standard (Air with Tracking) This is a NEW service which allows tracking and medium speed delivery 3-10 business days. Around A$7.00 more than Economy. Intl Express (Express Air with Tracking and Signature*) A very expensive service to use for such a small parcel. Fastest and most secure delivery service 2-4 business days. (*not available in all countries)
INTERNATIONAL PARCELS OVER 1KG – 2KG: Intl Standard (Air with Tracking) This is a new service which allows tracking and medium speed delivery 3-10 business days. Intl Express (Express Air and Tracking and Signature*) Fastest and most secure delivery service 2-4 business days. Over 1.5kg this service generally only costs around A$5.00 more than the Intl Standard service, in our opinion it is the best to use for parcels over 1.5kgs. (*not available in all countries)
INTERNATIONAL PARCELS OVER 2KG: Intl Express – (Express Air and Tracking and Signature*) Fastest and most secure delivery service 2-4 business days. Only cost approximately A$5.00 more than the Intl Standard rate and is safer and faster.