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Wool showcased at Dutch Design Week

The Woolmark Company attended last year’s Dutch Design Week in The Netherlands, during which the company showcased the premium natural benefits of Australian wool to tertiary students, and discovered exciting new opportunities to promote the fibre.

Dutch Design Week is one of the biggest design events in Europe, presenting the work and ideas of more than 2,600 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from home and abroad. The annual event, which takes place in the city of Eindhoven, is a key moment in the Dutch calendar and attracts a wide array of creatives, from designers and buyers to students and educators.

Specialists from AWI subsidiary The Woolmark Company attended last year’s Dutch Design Week in October and were able to plug into the Dutch design community and create exciting leads for future projects and opportunities to promote Australian wool.

“A key element of The Woolmark Company’s involvement in Dutch Design Week was to foster the wool education of tertiary students in The Netherlands,” said London-based AWI Product & Education Extension Manager, Louise Campbell, who attended Dutch Design Week.

“This aligns with company’s strategy to educate tertiary students in the early stage of their careers about the possibilities and benefits of Australian wool, so that they will be inspired to carry on using the fibre during their careers.”

Wool workshop and showcase event

A highlight of The Woolmark Company’s activities in Eindhoven was a special wool workshop and showcase event for students that was held in collaboration with Amsterdam-based textile innovation studio BYBORRE.

For a chance to be selected as one of the students to take part in the workshop, tertiary students from The Netherlands and surrounding countries were invited to submit designs on the theme of: ‘A textile that marks a moment in time – if your textile was discovered 100 years from now, how would it reflect you, us or our world today?’

The Woolmark Company and BYBORRE selected the 14 strongest design artworks, which were submitted by students from leading institutions across The Netherlands and Germany, who were studying a range of disciplines including textile technologies, fashion design, cross-media design, fashion business & development, and industrial design.

The 14 winners took part in the workshop on 26 October, during which students were taught about wool’s many benefits and opportunities for design. Students were then given exclusive access to BYBORRE’s Create™ textile design tool to translate their winning artwork into a knitted wool blend textile design, from the yarn up.

The best five designs from the workshop were knitted overnight by BYBORRE and showcased the next day at a special celebratory event during which the students networked with industry professionals.

“There were some outstanding winning designs that highlighted not only the great design skills of the students, but also the natural versatility of wool,” said Louise. “The whole workshop and showcase event was a tremendous success in shining the spotlight on wool and encouraging the next generation of design talent in the region to use the fibre in their work.”


Students presenting their winning wool-rich textile designs at The Woolmark Company and BYBORRE wool showcase event during Dutch Design Week.

Naturally Inspiring

Another highlight of The Woolmark Company’s attendance at Dutch Design Week were the introductions to key personnel from two of the leading design institutions in the Netherlands: Amsterdam Fashion Institute, which is the largest fashion university in The Netherlands, and Amsterdam Fashion Academy.

Following on from these introductions, The Woolmark Company delivered two ‘Naturally Inspiring’ seminars to students in Amsterdam in December.

“Naturally Inspiring seminars not only offer tertiary textile and fashion students the chance to learn about the natural benefits of wool and the variety of ways to work with the fibre, but also gives the students an insight into working in the fashion, textile and retail industries,” Louise added.


This article appeared in the March 2024 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged.