Supreme award for felted wool concepts
Whangarei sheep and cattle farmers Sarah Hewlett and Chris Coffey decided to take matters into their own hands last year as they continued to face up to all-time low prices for their wool fibre. After learning about the lab’s machine felting capability, the couple attended a series of felt making workshops to utilise their creative flair and develop a range of naturally coloured felted wool products. Feedback from their friends and family was positive enough to prompt them into entering The Pick, Northland’s business ideas competition. ‘Our business idea is to create a range of felted wool products, predominantly from our strong Romney wool, which ranges from 33 – 37 microns and is traditionally used as carpet wool’, says Sarah. ‘Our products will have the added advantage of being natural, traceable, chemical and dye free, as well as having other qualities which are inherent in wool’, she added. Their efforts were rewarded in December when they won the Supreme Award in the Rural category, open section. Their intention is to help change the global perception of coarse wool into one of a high value, decorative and functional architectural materials by meeting the needs of architects and interior designers for innovative products.
Spark award for Creative Technologists
Bachelor of Creative Technologies students, Amanda Brown, Kylie Clarke, Sophie McIntyre and Katriel Worrall were the recipients of the Spark Unleashing Potential award for their ‘Doodle Dolls’ project, aimed at addressing the issue of child poverty in New Zealand. The students’ aim was to start a doll company that was socially and environmentally sustainable. Selected pieces of children’s art would be transformed into dolls and plush toys then sold with a percentage of the profit being returned to the children. Their intention from the outset was to use recycled materials, which led them to using felted fabric scraps supplied by the lab, which were stuffed and hand sewn to create the finished items.
Colab and TDL joint research publication on Smart Textiles and Wearable Technologies
Researchers from AUT’s Colab and Textile and Design Lab have collaborated to produce a paper on the subject of smart textiles and wearable technologies that was published in the online International Journal of Design recently. The paper, entitled Digital Materiality, Embodied Practices and Fashionable Interactions in the Design of Soft Wearable Technologies, was co-authored by TDL co-Director, Associate Professor Frances Joseph, Colab Lecturer, Dr Miranda Smitheram, PhD Candidate and Lecturer, Donna Cleveland and former Creative Technologies Master’s graduates, Caroline Stephen and Hollee Fisher. The paper discusses the theoretical and methodological approaches that were employed during the development of two specific projects. The full paper can be viewed here.
NZ designers reunite to spread their message
Designers and former tertiary lecturers and researchers, Deborah Crowe and Kim Fraser, have reformed their designer apparel partnership that they originally established in the 1990s under the same ‘Fraser Crowe’ label. The duo have worked extensively with the Textile and Design Lab since reuniting to develop sampling for their range of silk and merino wool digital prints. ‘Our values centre around making gorgeous minimum waste garments that will become the next generation’s heirlooms’, says the collaborative design team. ‘We design our own digitally printed textiles – a major drawcard so far for our clients – printed to a high quality on silks and merino. Feedback on the prints is that the designs break away from the highly photographic look of other digital prints and become a hybrid of photographic and painterly imagery. Feedback on the garment designs is that they are beautiful to wear, flattering and great for travellers’, they add.
Recent prints made at the TDL include those used for Fraser Crowe’s #lesslandfill ‘gang patches’. Printed on merino wool, these call people to action; encouraging them to proudly wear their convictions about reducing waste and moving towards sustainability on their sleeves, backs, fronts, bags or jacket. These ‘badges of affiliation’ packaged with a needle, threads and safety pins, are aimed to be fun, to make a striking addition to existing clothing and to make a statement about our collective care for the planet. A digitally printed textile device to help spread the word and inspire others to take small actions to reduce landfill. The company’s full online collection can be viewed here.
An updated price list is now available for printing and knit development work through the lab. Please email email@example.com for a copy.
Textile Design Degree – places still available for 2018
The Bachelor of Design Degree in Textile Design, has a limited number of places available for enrolment in 2018. Textile Design works across many platforms: to be successful in this field students need to combine creativity and innovation as well as enjoy working with technology. Textile Design graduates are becoming increasingly sought after with both global and local growth in this area. As the demand for wearable and integrated textile applications increases, new roles in this field are being created on a regular basis. Anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field can email Mandy Smith, our Textile Design Discipline Leader, to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 short course and workshop programme
Our 2018 short course and workshop programme starts in April and registrations are now open. The programme consists of the following course and workshop subjects:
• Photoshop Basics for Textile Design
• Digital Textile Design – Repeating Patterns
• Introduction to Textiles
• Knitwear Design
• E-Textiles and Soft Circuit Design
• Laser Cut Design
Full details of the programme and online registration can be found here.