Live & Breathe – Australian Wool Campaign

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.

Natural Liquid Silk Is Starting To Replace Oil-Based Plastic

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.

I highly suggest you read this entire article by Adele Peters (staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world’s largest problems). Click here to read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/40505636/this-natural-liquid-silk-is-starting-to-replace-oil-based-plastic

Chinese Silk Market Unpredictable

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!

What a Year for Australian Wool!

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.

Running with Wool

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.

Study To Ask: Why are Australia’s Merino stock levels declining?

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.

Recently shorn superfine Merino sheep in the Great Southern Region, Western Australia

Australian Wool Growers Receives Eco Award in Milan

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.


Soosie’s Bali Penjor Project | Follow Us | Join Us

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.

Follow my progress in creating the Penjor and join us in Bali for its raising, or better yet join us and have a fabulous time! Follow Soosie’s progress on: Website: soosie.com.au
Facebook  Instagram   YouTube  Pinterest  by Soosie Jobson, Perth, Western Australia.

NEW AUSTRALIA POST UPDATE PRICES 0CT 2018

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.

 

FIONA DUTHIE | TREETOPS COLLABORATION

Fiona Duthie – Feltmaker from Canada

Fiona Duthie is a felt maker recognized for her dynamic, sculptural clothing and artwork. In her most recent Big Ink pieces, she’s been working with silk and paper embedded in wool fibres which are then used as a canvas for bold, fluid brushstrokes in ink. These works celebrate the nurturing of our internal coals of potential; flaming these into life through strong gestures.

Fiona is coming to Australia in early 2019, with an exhibition at Timeless Textiles, in Newcastle,  running from 13 February to 10 March. As well as a workshop at Timeless Textiles, she is also teaching with Felt Wear Able in Melbourne, Grampian Textures, Evocative Arts in Adelaide and Nelson, NZ.  Many of these classes are full or filling quickly. If you are not able to attend one of these in person classes, Fiona also offers a very popular series of online felting workshops.

Her newest class, Foundations in Felt Garments Online, is extremely popular, with students from all over the world creating at least four different felt garments over the twelve week class. Many of the previous students used Treetops Colour Harmonies Silk Paj or Silk Mesh in their class projects with stunning results.  Fiona recommends these materials for this class, saying that “the beautiful blending of colours that Nancy produces in her silk and wool fibres guarantees a gorgeous end result. The materials are of such high quality and the colours so well composed, this simplifies our design process and brings greater satisfaction in our felt work. We can add as much of our personal creative signature as we wish, or keep our projects very simple and let the materials sing for themselves. The results are always stunning!”

Fiona strives for excellence in design and technique, while furthering the medium of felt through the use of new material combinations. Fiona has a full-time studio practice based on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia and has exhibited her work in Canada, the US, New Zealand, the UK and Australia.

Thie below Big Ink Red Dress reflect pieces that can be made in her in-person workshops in Melbourne and Nelson in 2019. This piece uses 4.5 momme Silk Paj in the Colour Harmony Heartache.

The Big Ink Felt Wing image shows a new piece in a body of work for the exhibition in Newcastle, and uses  4.5 momme Silk Paj in the Colour Harmony Heartache, plus Silk Mesh in Ironbark.

The images shown below all reflect projects from the Foundations in Felt Garments Workshop. The Capelet uses 4.5 momme Silk Paj in the Colour Harmony Tamarillo, The Cape uses 4.5 momme Silk Paj in the Colour Harmony Silverback. and the Red Vest with Godets uses 4.5 momme Silk Paj in the Colour Harmony Heartache.

Click here for Fiona’s Website.

Click here for Fiona’s Online Workshops.