Cosmo Kentish-Barnes meets textile design students at Massey University who are developing innovative new ways with wool.
Senior lecturer Dr Sandra Heffernan has been instrumental in encouraging students to explore this versatile fibre and facilitates collaborations between students and wool industry partners keen to tap into the minds of a new generation of textile designers.
“What we have shown some industries is that by introducing more design content their product they can have greater added value” - Dr Sandra Heffernan
One of the largest collaborations this year is Wool Fresh, a multi-party research and development project involving an American entrepreneur, AgResearch and three postgraduate students Amy Blackmore, Annabelle Fitzgerald and Avara Moody.
“There’s been a lot of research and development that’s gone into wool but the element that’s been lacking has been the design and looking at the user, and the market and how we can get it all the way through that process down into the consumer” - Amy Blackmore
Adding value to wool products is at the heart of a project by Hannah Hutchinson. Her work identifies how best to utilise wool waste generated through the manufacturing process of sheepskin tanning.
Hannah Webster's focus is the revitalisation of a weaving mill. Her industry-linked project with Town and Country Textiles explores modes of revitalising a weaving mill in Palmerston North, through creative textile design solutions that highlight quality craftsmanship and reject the global trend for synthetic fabric production.