I’ll bet you have had a number of jumpers, trousers, coats and even some socks that were wool, or at least partially wool. For so long, wool has been a favourite fabric for a number of reasons: warm, durable, water repellant, light weight, breathable, and odour resistant. And now, there are many wool products that are easier than ever to care for with the ability to wash and dry them in your machines at home! So, really, what’s not to love and appreciate? Well, this week, you can show your love for all things wool with all of the special events to celebrate Wool Week 2013.
The Campaign for Wool is responsible for coordinating Wool Week events across the UK and has several fun ways to give wool the love that it deserves. This year the theme is ‘knitwear traditions of the British Isles’ and there are events all around the UK for you to enjoy:
- Wool School Following a successful first year the initiative welcomes Margaret Howell, Topman, Christopher Raeburn, Folk, Barbour, Brora and Albam to the roster of top UK fashion labels aligned with UK universities. For a second year running the project has seen students introduced to a retail partner and given the opportunity to design a wool jumper for their company keeping this year’s theme ‘knitwear traditions of the British Isles’ front of mind. The campaign received 1000s of entries, one student per retailer has been selected and 15 jumper designs have been developed, manufactured and will be available in stores to coincide with UK Wool Week: 14th-20th October 2013. 5% of WOOL SCHOOL jumper sales will go back into fashion education programmes across the UK.
- Knit Nation This year Wool Week celebrates haberdashery and encourages the nation to pick up knitting needles. An exciting partnership with John Lewis will see a week-long agenda of fashion forward knitting and wool craft classes hosted by some of the UK’s finest knitwear specialists at both Edinburgh and London stores. John Lewis’ partners such as Erika Knight, Rowan, Arne & Carlos and Milamia will create bespoke patterns and demonstrate techniques for all skill levels, showcasing knitting in its most contemporary form. John Lewis’ Oxford Street window will come to life as live knitters knit their way around a plain white room setting. The installation will develop over the course of Wool Week, emerging as a flurry of colourful knit patterns. Drop by throughout the week to see the best in industry sharing their woolly knowledge, all skill levels welcome.
- Victoria Quarter, Leeds, Wool Exhibition To celebrate Wool Week, Leeds College of Art have collaborated with SIL Holdings to create stunning wool installations to be housed in the Victoria Quarter buildings. The installations will be free to view and make up part of a competition, winning students will be awarded work placements with SIL Holdings Limited fabrics. Harvey Nichols will be showcasing one of the winning designs in a window throughout the duration of Wool Week.
- Royal Academy of Arts of Arts The Campaign for Wool will support the Royal Academy’s ‘AUSTRALIA’ exhibition, the largest collection of Australian Art ever seen outside Australia, running from 17th September to 8th December. The Campaign for Wool’s Australian Funding Partner, The Woolmark Company will focus on celebrating the role that wool has played in forming both the landscape and culture of the nation. To close Wool Week a flock of Aussie/English Bowmont Merino sheep will make a special appearance in the courtyard of the Royal Academy on Saturday 19th October as part of the RA’s family learning programme where kids of all ages will be encouraged to meet the sheep and learn about the wool fibre – full details can be found on the Royal Academy’s website http://www.royalacademy.org.uk.
- Picknit Craft, knitting and crochet rules supreme with the launch of Picknit; the knitting party that friends, strangers and customers can participate in by hosting their own PicKnit at home, school, in a shop, café, on a beach or anywhere at all. Knitters can download a stunning brightly coloured blanket pattern and two matching cushions along with template invitations from www.thecampaignforwool.org. Alternatively the PicKnit team will be hosting one-off events at different venues; simply bring a rug, picnic and needles join the family fun. Watch out for further information at www.campaignforwool.org.uk.
In addition to these events, there are also several special nods to Wool Week from many different retailers like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Liberty, Jaeger, and others.
So, this week put on your favourite wooly jumper and give a salute to all of the sheep that made it possible!