The price of wool in Australian dollars has been increasing since 2014. According to Dr. Caroline Gunning-Trant, senior ABARES Economist. The expectation is now for strong continued demand for Australia wool exports and strengthening of prices for producers.
“In the two years since early January 2015, prices have risen by about 35 per cent,” Dr Gunning-Trant said. In the past five years the AWEX monthly Eastern Market Indicator has never been higher. Continue reading →
In 2015-16 I started to investigate the possibility of using wool felt to make a cheongsam (the body-hugging one-piece Chinese dress). I have been trained with the traditional technique in making cheongsam. This is a very special set of skills to make bespoke 3D tight fitted dress. The technique, concept and aesthetics are quite different from our modern day garment making. As a keen promoter of Chinese cultural dress (there is a lot of social and political history about cheongsam), I would like to merge cheongsam making and felt since I am very fond of both. Continue reading →
The Yarn is a AWI’s (Australian Wool Innovation) fortnightly audio podcast designed to be listened to on a smartphone. It’s main aim is to principally inform Australian woolgrowers about the latest wool research, development and marketing strategies. The AWI has staff and networks around Australia and various locations around the world.Reports cover a broad scope: from the paddocks and shearing sheds on Australian farms to wool processing facilities, design studios and catwalks in the main consumer markets around the world. To turn in click here.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about this question. Why exactly does wool felt? Must be my science background coming out in me again… I’ve taken to researching this topic and recently gave a lecture to the Victorian Feltmakers association about the subject. I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the matter.
Researchers as earlier as the 1930’s have been interesting in understanding Why Wool Felts. Much of their interest in understanding the felting properties of wool was focused on the potential economic benefits that would be gained by keeping wool in garments from felting. Their early research paved the way in the development of new wool technologies like Super Wash Wool (machine washable wool).
Some of the factors the scientists were researching about wool involved issues dealing with fibre diameter, fibre length, crimp, scaliness of the wool fibre, scale height, its differential frictional coefficient, the ease of the fibres deformation and recovery, moisture, soaps (lubricants) and pH. Each of these factors play an important role in the complex story of the felting process. In subsequent newsletters we will exploring more about the actual mechanism of felting.
Maybe NZ is the lucky country?… With our special Treetops overseas postage rates, we can post parcels to New Zealand less expensive than we can post parcels to Sydney! I know it seems impossible, but stranger things have happened. So hey, all you lucky New Zealanders, get on board and take advantage of a great deal compliments Australia Post and Treetops.
If you are a teacher or a year 7-12 student this amazing opportunity created by The Woolmark Company is for you! Wool4School is an annual student design competition encouraging budding fashion designers to show the nation what they’re made of and learn more about wool in the process!
Open to all Australian school students from years 7 to 12, the Wool4School competition invites students to design an outfit for their favorite musician to wear on stage, using a minimum 80% Australian Merino wool. The outfit must contain a minimum of one piece with a maximum of four pieces, and in addition also include a wool accessory.
First launched in 2012, Wool4School has gone on to involve more than 40,000 students nationwide, not only learning the fundamentals of fashion design but also exploring the benefits and versatility of wool and the fabric it creates.
By putting wool into the minds of Australia’s future fashion designers, Wool4School encourages students’ innovative thinking and creative design, in keeping with The Woolmark Company’s tradition of fostering the education of the future generation.
Its a bit late to join this year’s competition but next year is just around the corner!
We are so happy our new custom woven fabric shipment just arrived safe and sound! All 7000 metres of Silk Mesh is now in our possession and waiting for us to dye it. Along with 3000 metres of Paj Silk Fabric, both 4.5 momme and 5 momme. We are so very grateful for small miracles when the boat arrives safety into the Port of Fremantle.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words… Treetops has taken the plunge and decided it was time to make a video about our new Silk Mesh fabric. We are very pleased to be able to share with you all the tips and techniques we have discovered about using our new hand-dyed open weave silk fabric.
A huge thank you should go out to Soosie Jobson, my head computer tech and head video engineer. She has many areas of talent, one of which being her own YouTube channel where she teaches free tutorials about 3-D shrinkage rates other felt related things. Check her out at Soosie YouTube.
Our felting group recently hosted a Teapot Totem workshop with the excellent teacher and artist Pam Mac Gregor from USA. Needless to say TREES feature very strongly in my life, so I picked a Boab tree as my personal totem. At the end of the class I was left pondering the question “Is it a teapot or is it a Boab tree?” Neither was my final answer, I think instead it morphed into a deer “tree” standing in a mossy forest. That imagery was from my life on another continent over 30 years ago, amazing how strong childhood experiences are held in the body….. oh well, at least I managed to create some kind of ‘tree’ totem.
We used Finn Wool, a very hard felting, strong wool. Quite a different experience to my normal superfine merino wool. On a learning note, the devore silk velvet I added for surface texture did not stay in place well because we were only rubbing the felt not rolling. I decided to stitch the edges down, which did the trick until further down the track when more fibres migrated through to hold the velvet.
Soosie is a felt and textile artist from Fremantle, Western Australia. “I love to make felt, it is absolutely my passion, I love that you start with a raw material and actually make the object. Then you get to stitch, bead or paint it!” Soosie has been making felt for about 15 years, her felting path has taken her through clothing, wearable art, hats, bags and even slippers. In recent years she has returned to the 3D form where she has been working on developing complex resists, and laying techniques that further push the structure of felt.
Finding her inspiration in nature, her resulting projects create living environments from felt, like the Felted Cactus Garden, and the Reef Dweller series where Soosie turned her local café into a coral reef with an array of colourful creatures inspired by Treetops wool and silk palettes. Recently science and geometry have been driving the design and development of her sculptures, as evidenced by her pieces in the MACRO|micro Exhibition held in Perth last August (photo entitled T
Soosie loves to teach, both face to face and online, and has launched a YouTube Channel with free tutorials. Her recent series: Shrinkage Rates Vs Percentages, guides felters through the ins and outs of shrinkage in 5 episodes, which in the next few weeks will be followed by Sculpting with Shrinkage, a 14 episode series that in 3 projects will teach you how to shape vessels using shrinkage.
COVID-19 POSTAL UPDATES -
Domestic Australia: Postal service is running but expect some delays.
International: Experiencing some delays due to limited flights and government restrictions. Express items will be given priority over Standard Air. Economy Air has been suspended effective 3 April. For current delivery details please email us, situations are changing daily. Dismiss