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Education of primary, secondary and tertiary students will not only inspire those entering the industry but also provide them with in-depth knowledge of the wool fibre, offer a solid understanding of the possibilities using wool and the opportunities it provides in the global industry.
All students are also future consumers of wool.
The following programs are leveraged by The Woolmark Company’s international network within strategic locations across the world.
Primary student education
What is Learn About Wool?
Developed in conjunction with leading primary and secondary teachers, the free Learn About Wool kits include multimedia presentations, fabric and fibre samples, factsheets and posters. The extensive classroom resources describe in detail the on-farm production, processing, marketing and fashion aspects of Australia's natural fibre.
Whether investigating wool as a material for a fashion project, exploring its rich and colourful history or investigating the way modern wool producers manage the natural environment, Learn About Wool contains material to engage and excite students across all ages and learning areas.
Work continues to update the online resource, for example to emphasise the natural, renewable and biodegradable aspects of wool in line with key marketing strategies and consumer/industry trends.
Hundreds of Learn About Wool kits have been distributed to primary schools across Australia. The kit includes an extensive range of resource materials including factsheets, posters, fibre, yarn and fabric samples, allow students to explore the stages of wool from farm to fashion and gain first-hand experience with the versatility of wool in a range of textile applications.
Online resources include:
The Learn About Wool website allows teachers and students to explore a wide range of free and downloadable resources about wool including:
- curriculum-linked lesson plans across years and subject areas for Australian education
- engaging videos and animations
- downloadable PDF factsheets and posters
- online access to industry publications.
Secondary student education
What is Wool4School?
AWI's Wool4School fashion design competition continues to go from strength to strength. Wool4School is an annual student design competition for secondary students, encouraging the next generation of fashion designers to showcase their design skills using wool.
Now in its ninth year in Australia, the Wool4School design competition builds knowledge about Australian Merino wool among the nation's school students.
Wool4School invites students to design an outfit using a minimum of 80% wool. The outfit must contain a minimum of one item with a maximum of four items and show the students creative and innovative side.
Where is Wool4School held?
Wool4School is currently running in Australia, Hong Kong, Italy and United Kingdom.
By putting wool into the minds of future fashion designers, Wool4School encourages students' innovative thinking and creative design, in keeping with The Woolmark Company' tradition of fostering the education of the future generation.
First launched during 2012, Wool4School has involved more than 95,000 students globally, not only learning the fundamentals of fashion design, but also exploring the benefits and versatility of wool and the textile products and innovations it can create.
- Wool4School has seen year-on-year growth, with 2018 teaching more than 24,000 students about Australian wool, and nearly 95,000 students across the world since the competition's launch
- Expansion into key global markets
- Competition supported by bespoke website, toolkits and in-class lesson plans in line with official school curriculum
- Six internships co-ordinated to offer valuable industry experience, including with fashion labels Dion Lee and Vitale Barberis Canonico
- Fashion design college the Whitehouse Institute of Design, London College of Fashion and sewing machine manufacturer Bernina and Frankie magazine continue to support this program.
Tertiary student education
What is Naturally Inspiring?
AWI continues to educate tertiary textile and fashion students about the properties and benefits of Australian wool as well as various employment opportunities within the industry - providing students with a knowledge of and connection with the fibre which will stay with them through their professional lives.
The Naturally Inspiring seminars not only offer students the chance to hear about wool and the numerous ways to work with the fibre, but also give exclusive insights into the fashion, retail and textile industries from experts in the field.
These free events are designed to inspire and educate, and are aimed at students, educators and those passionate about textiles, apparel and sustainability.
Where is Naturally Inspiring held?
First held in 2014, our Naturally Inspiring seminars have become a must-attend event for tertiary students, with the seminars being held in key textile education hubs across the world.
Seminars have been held in Australia, England, Scotland, the USA, Turkey, with more than 1700 students attending the sessions.
What is the Wool Appreciation Course?
The Wool Appreciation Course is a free workshop offering insight into the production pipeline of Merino wool apparel - from fibre to garment - and details the unique benefits, performance and fabric attributes of wool and wool products.
The course helps students understand the infinite potential of Australian wool. In addition, it can be completed by brands looking to communicate requirements to suppliers, improve the quality of product lines without adding cost, and provide customers with value and understanding of the advantages of wool.
Who runs the Wool Appreciation Course?
Delivered by The Woolmark Company’s technical experts, the Wool Appreciation Courses can be tailor-made for individual companies and educational institutions, using a mixture of cross-media to provide simple and practical explanations of the various processing stages.
Where can I do the Wool Appreciation Course?
Wool Appreciation Courses can be tailor-made specific for educational needs. Contact your local Woolmark office to organise a course.
Two online courses are also available, via the Wool Introductory Course or the Woolmark Learning Centre.
Who has completed the Wool Appreciation Course?
Tertiary institutions to complete the Wool Appreciation Course in the past year include:
- Australia: Curtain University, Gordon TAFE, Kangan Institute, QUT, RMIT, TAFE – NSW, SA, TAS, WA, UNSW, UTS, Whitehouse Institute of Design
- China: Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Xi'an Polytechnic University
- France: Aix-Marseille University, Institut Francais de la Mode, École Duperré Paris
- Germany: AMD Akademie Mode & Design Düsseldorf, Hochschule Hannover, Atelier Chardon Savard Berlin, Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin
- India: National Institute of Fashion Technology, National Institute of Design, Pearl Academy, Indian Institute of Technology, DKTE, ISDI, VJTI
- Italy: Politecnico di Milano, NABA, Domus Academy, Istituto Marangoni, IED Milano, Politecnico di Torino
- Japan: Bunka Fashion Graduate University, ESMOD Japan, Tokyo Mode Gakuen
- Netherlands: Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts, Summa College
- Turkey: Marmara University, Bilgi University, Ege University, Mimar Sinan University, Halic University
- USA: Parsons School of Design, Colorado State University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Thomas Jefferson University
What are these courses?
The Wool Science, Technology and Design Education Program combines a series of introductory and advanced courses developed to meet the needs of tertiary-level participants studying within the fields of textile science and engineering, fashion and textile design and/or textile manufacturing. These courses can also be presented to supply chain partners.
Individual courses within the program may also be of interest to participants studying sheep and wool science, and those working in wool production, raw wool processing, textile manufacturing and textile sales and marketing industries.
What courses are offered?
Introductory level courses are suitable for participants studying at first or second-year tertiary levels, while the advanced courses are aimed at participants in their more senior years of study. The extension courses can be used for specific course requirements.
- Wool fibre science
- Introduction to wool processing
- Raw wool scouring
- Worsted top-making
- Worsted and woollen spinning
- The dyeing of wool
- Wool fabric finishing
- Finishing of wool knitwear
- Wastewater management
- Wool product quality
- Methods of wool fabric formation
Who has undertaken the course?
In China, more than 300 textile engineering and design students have completed courses as part of the Wool Science, Technology and Design Education Program at the following universities:
- Yantai-Nanshan University
- Jaixing University in November 2018
- Xian Polytechnic University
- Wuhan University
- South Western University (Chongqing)
- Donghua University summer school in June 2019.
These courses are currently being rolled out in key education hubs across the world, such as India and Europe. Face-to-face modules have been converted to digital learning modules for the Woolmark Learning Centre.