Fleece to Fashion win for local designer...using Woolerina fabric! July 30, 2019 11:54
We love being able to work with fellow designers who share our passion for Merino wool. We have known Sam Stolhand (from Young in southern NSW) for some time and we were very excited to learn of her recent success at the annual Fleece to Fashion awards held in Armidale.
Sam has been using Woolerina fabric for some time now in both her "ready to wear" line, sold through her shop Bush Beautique in Young, and couture designs and this year she took out the "top gong" in the Evening Wear section with a gown made entirely from our 100% Merino wool interlock fabric.
Sam (pictured above right) with her winning design.
The following article appeared in the Young Witness newspaper:
A local fashion designer and shop owner from Young picked herself up a trifecta of wins at the recent Fleece to Fashion Awards in Armidale.
Samantha's entry in the active-wear section was drape style yoga pants with a bat-wing top and neck gator. According to Sam the outfit showcased the versatility of wool in its ability to drape, breath and move with the body.
For the evening-wear section Sam designed and produced a stunning gown. "The evening-wear gown was all the about shape, drape and movement of the fishtail design which featured one sleeve and a draped neckline with tassel trim," she said.
"The highlight of this dress is the ultimate wool jersey fabric sourced from Woolerina in Forbes.
"This (Woolerina) is where Warwick Rolfe handpicks each batch of wool to ensure that the finished fabric is the highest quality possible."
Warwick Rolfe is the owner of Woolerina in Forbes and Sam attributes her success to him and his business.
"It is due to generosity of such entrepreneurs that makes it possible for designers to excel," she said.
"The fleece to fashion awards celebrates wool in all its forms and promotes Australian designers and Australian merino wool producers," Ms Stolhand explained.
Each year there is an underlying theme to the awards with this year's theme focused on sustainability.
"[It] encourages designers to consider garment lifespan and multipurpose as well as waste minimalisation and environmental effects," Sam said.
"More than ever in our drought stricken climate it is important for wool designs to have long term value and purpose."
CONGRATULATIONS SAM, from all of us at Woolerina!
Merino wool makes a great clothing choice for little people! July 29, 2019 13:05 1 Comment
With so many clothing options, dressing your babies and children in today’s world can be filled with many challenges. It is important that our children and babies are safe, comfortable and warm (or cool!), all elements that assist in the development of a healthy little human. Merino wool ticks all these boxes as a fibre choice being naturally safe through its fire resistant, hypoallergenic and insulating properties; it is also naturally breathable, durable and easy care.
The structure of the Merino wool fibre requires more oxygen than is available in the air to become flammable, it will therefore smoulder and likely self-extinguish if it comes into contact with a flame, unlike man-made fibres such as polyester which will catch alight and burn down into a hot sticky substance that could potentially stick to your child’s skin causing harmful burns.
As a hypoallergenic fibre, Merino wool is the perfect fibre choice for those with sensitive skin. As a natural fibre it is not created or treated with harsh chemicals and, with a low humidity micro climate, it is unlikely to house dust mites, bacteria and other allergens. Studies have shown that those who previously thought they were allergic to wool are not so much irritated by the fibre itself, but by the fibre diameter (micron) - a coarse fibre diameter causes prickle and itch against the skin, whilst the finer micron Merino wools do not.
Merino wool is warm and insulating due to the fibre structure of Merino wool including a natural crimp which in turn creates small, insulating air pockets. The natural breathability of Merino wool allows our babies and children to regulate their own body temperature keeping them warm whilst ensuring they don’t overheat. Conversely, wool will also keep the wearer cool in warmer climates – absorbing moisture away from the skin and releasing it into the atmosphere. This natural breathability is another reason why wearing Merino wool next to the skin is great for those with sensitive skin/skin conditions such as eczema.
Woolerina clothing is easy care! Modern production methods have enabled us to create wool fabrics that are machine washable, not to mention that it is also naturally odour and stain resistant, so washing after every wear is not necessary - another good reason to dress your children in wool - less washing for busy parents!
Merino wool is a sustainable fibre choice – Merino sheep need nothing more than grass, fresh drinking water and sunshine to produce an annual fleece. They’re rounded up into the shearing shed once a year where they receive their annual haircut, they then return to the paddock to do it all again! Once your Woolerina garment has run its life, it can simply be tossed on the compost heap where it will biodegrade, returning nutrients to the soil.
At Woolerina we know that in choosing clothing from your family you want something which can be worn everyday, yet is stylish and effortless. Through our careful, hands-on approach to fibre selection, we create fabrics which are comfortable enough to be worn next to even the most sensitive skin, yet durable enough to stand the test-of-time and a good amount of tough love! Woolerina’s products are all made in Australia using the softest Australian Merino wool. The knit construction we’ve chosen is an “older style”, chosen for it’s durability – it takes longer on the knitting machines than many modern knits, but it’s this additional time that enables us to craft garments which you can wear season after season. The dyes used on our fabrics are all GOTS certified. We make clothes for your family with love, to be loved by you.
Check out the complete range of Woolerina pieces for kids + babies.
Mothers Day Gift Ideas May 2, 2019 12:56 1 Comment
With Mothers Day just around the corner and an office full of Mum's, we asked a couple of them what their top picks from our current collection are!
Our production manager, Delia - Mum to four and "Marnie" to six grandkids.
Longline Sleeveless Shawl cardigan : $199
It's Delia's pick because "It'll hide the 'chocolate box' that you also got with it!!" - a super versatile piece that you can dress up-or-down, it looks great with jeans but even better when you style it up over a dress or slim fitting skirt. Available in our favourite AW19 colours of charcoal, burgundy and forest green, it's the perfect piece to team with our classic top styles.
Rosemary, looks after our online order fulfilment - Mum to two girls and "Nan Rose" to two more little girls.
Cropped Waterfall Cardigan : $169
"I particularly love this cardigan in the beautiful lilac colour - it's so pretty, soft and easy to wear!" But if pink isn't your mum's "thing", it's also available in very timeless black and navy.
Pippa looks after the socials, our marketing and also recently gave birth to the most beautiful little boy, Charlie! She is also Mum to Sadie who is 3.
3/4 Sleeve Pullover featuring the beautiful 'Hakea' Leaf print : $169
Being able to work with local school girl Kate Rice on this project was a highlight for us all at Woolerina - you can read more about the project here. Pippa says of this piece "I love the unique design and love that it's an Australian native on our Australian Merino wool, made in Australia! I love this style for myself as it's so easy to throw on when I'm heading out the door, making me look stylish even when I'm a bit sleep deprived!"
Wishing all the other lovely Woolerina Mum's a very happy day on Sunday 12th May...we hope that you can use this to pass on some inspiration to your family ;)
The story behind the beautiful 'Hakea' Leaf print March 28, 2019 15:44
We are so excited to have collaborated with local high school student Kate Rice, who has just completed her HSC at Red Bend Catholic College, to create a collection of garments featuring the leaf of the Australian native 'Hakea' plant. The design was hand drawn by Kate and then hand screen printed by Publisher Textiles in Sydney, onto our Merino interlock fabric.
Kate approached Woolerina in 2018 seeking fabric for use in her HSC major textile project. Coming from a farming family, Kate was keen to use merino wool as part of her project; combined with Woolerina's passion for supporting our local community and encouraging the "next generation" into the textile and design industry, it was the perfect fit!
When Kate visited us with her portfolio of designs we were blown away by her talent - the 'Hakea' leaf was just one design amongst many others - and we are thrilled to be able to work with her to commercialise her work.
The printed collection features two different background colours (navy and lilac) and five styles - a pullover for women, a dress for little girls, a baby wrap, baby cocoon and baby sleeping bag; all are available in both colour ways.
After completing her final year at school in 2018, Kate is now studying a double degree in Design and Visual Arts at the ANU in Canberra with a hope to major in textiles. She has had an interest in art and design from a young age, taking sewing lessons right through primary school! Kate studied Visual Arts in her senior years at high school along with Textiles and Design and Technology. Kate also spends many hours creating cards using hand-drawn calligraphy and lettering which her mum keenly sells for her at work!
For Kate's HSC major work her focus was "to be inspired by and sourced from Australian environments" - she drew on inspiration from native plants due to their unique and beautiful colours and shapes.
Kate chose wool as the base-cloth for her design following extensive research into the sustainable qualities of Merino wool (renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, etc!) - it seemed like the perfect fibre to tie in with her aim to use natural dyes. With the wool industry having a long history of importance to the Australian economy it was also a good fit for Kate's projects focus on Australian resources.
We supplied Kate with 4 metres of 'natural' Merino interlock fabric for her base cloth, which she then chose to colour using natural dyes - Kate trialled onion skins (which came up in shades of oranges), rose petals (dusky pinks), mixed berries (purples) and celery (yellow). Kate settled on the onions for her final colour choice!
Kate transferred her hand drawn design to a small screen which she then used to hand screen print in white ink onto the fabric. It took Kate 6 hours to complete this process onto the 4 metres of fabric!
Once her fabric was complete, Kate then made a jumpsuit as the final piece for her major project.
Congratulations on your hard work Kate & for working with us - all of us at Woolerina are thrilled with how our collaboration has come together!
The complete collection of printed garments can be viewed HERE.
Our new storage solution for your woolies! March 28, 2019 11:37
Following extensive research, we are so excited to be phasing-in a new, more environmentally friendly package/storage solution! We will be transitioning to a reusable calico bag over the next 12 months to replace our current plastic zip lock bags. In 2019 approximately 75% of our garments will be housed in calico.
Calico was selected as it is a non-protein based fibre, meaning that moths and other nasty critters are not attracted to it as a food source and therefore are not attracted to the woollens wrapped inside! The calico also allows for air flow around the garment enabling it the breathe.
The calico bag has been designed with the idea that it is kept long after you purchase your Woolerina piece to store your garment in for its entire life. The combination of these factors promote longevity and continued wearability of your Woolerina garment!
As always, we recommend that when storing your woollens you pop them away clean (to remove the human proteins which the nasties are attracted to!) and that you use a deterrent such as bay leaves or whole black peppercorns, inside the calico bag with you garment.
You can also purchase calico bags in their own right for your other Woolerina gaments/woollens here. They're available in three sizes so there's a size to fit every one of your favourite pieces!
We'd love to hear what you think of this change we're making - feel free to leave us a comment or get in touch!
Give the gift of Woolerina this Christmas! December 5, 2018 14:25
A few of our favourite Woolerina gift ideas to inspire you to give gifts which will bring much joy and happiness, long after the big day!
You'll find something in our collection for the whole family - a Woolerina gift is fashionably flexible and resilient, made with love, to be loved!
GIFTS FOR HER
1. Womens Happy Pant with pocket : $189
2. Womens Singlet : $75
3. Womens T.Shirt Dress with stepped hem : $169
1. Mens Short Sleeve Crew T.Shirt : $119
2. Men's 1/4 Zip Pullover : $141.75 (this one's on sale!! It was $189....!)
3. Mens Singlet : $75
1. Kids Hoodie : $51.75 (also on sale, was $69)
2. Kids Singlet : $39 - $45
1. Baby Singlet : $35
2. Baby Wrap : $119 - $129
3. Baby Bodysuit : $44.25 (on sale, was $59)
And as an added bonus, we love a good gift wrap - just tick the box at the checkout + we'll take care of it for you!! If time is tight, we can even ship directly to the lucky recipient.
Mothers Day 2018 Gift Edit May 4, 2018 10:16
These are a few of my favourite Woolerina pieces - they combine style with comfort - just what every Mum needs, no matter what her age! I wear all three of these pieces and so does my Mum! The singlet really is "ageless" - my 90 year old grandmother "Super" also wears one!
Happy Pants! These pants are so comfortable your mum will feel amazing when she wears them - they are perfect for wearing at home, into town or whilst travelling.
Our 1/4 Zip Pullover is perfect for early morning walks or throwing on with a pair of jeans.
A singlet is the perfect gift for everyone! They make for the perfect base layer and we pretty much guarantee that you won't want to be without one after you've tried it - that's a serious investment in your Mum's happiness (or yours for that matter!).
Sending all my best wishes to my fellow mother's for day of rest and of being cared for - either by your family or by yourself - be kind to yourself, you deserve it!
Fashion Revolution Week 2018 April 23, 2018 10:16
This year marks five years since the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured. Whilst this in itself is so tragic, the part I find the saddest is that these people were at work, trying to make ends meet, to feed and clothe their families. There is not one of us out there that can’t relate to this. What most who read this can’t relate to, is that their working environment was completely unsafe and that many were not earning a fair wage for the tasks they were undertaking.
I personally feel so lucky to not only have a safe workplace, but also a beautiful one – a fruit packing shed that, as a family, we have worked hard to transform into a clean, light-filled space, located 5km from the central NSW township of Forbes. As I write, the horses & cattle graze in the paddock behind me and the white cockatoos caw as they fly across the sky.
Whilst my role is in administration and operations, it is up to us to make choices in our manufacturing process to ensure that our workers also enjoy a safe, fair workplace. We employee two staff in our production space here at Forbes – Delia and Melissa – who also enjoy the light-filled, air conditioned and heated spaces whilst they work; both are paid above award wages and have flexible working arrangements to accommodate family commitments and the like.
Our commitment to our workers doesn’t stop with those who are “in-house” here at Woolerina – we are accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia which represents our commitment to the workers right through our production chain – knitters, dyers, and sewers. We are very much aware that without these people, our business wouldn’t be where it is today and that they too deserve fair and safe working conditions and to be paid accordingly.
As manufacturers it is so important that we make these choices, however as consumers we also need to “vote with our feet” – choose clothing from brands that are happy to share their workforce with us; from brands that choose local manufacturing; from brands that choose to be accredited with Ethical Clothing. And don’t be afraid to ask your favourite brands - #whomademyclothes ?
AW18 Collection - Australian Merino clothing made with love, to be loved. March 8, 2018 10:06
The change in season is ever-so-slightly upon us and we are so excited to present to you our AW18 Collection.
For this collection we were (of course!) inspired by our soft Merino wool fabrics - fabrics which will keep you comfortable and warm as the seasons change; fabrics which are perfect for whatever activity you are headed for; fabrics which take you back to nature. The new designs in this collection reflect the soft, classic lines for which we are famous and are styles which we feel are timeless so that you can add them to your wardrobe and know that they will be your favourite pieces for many years to come.
Enjoy a peek at some of the loveliness.
The Woolerina team. xx
View more gorgeous pieces for your family in our Lookbook.
We love Gift Wrapping! November 30, 2016 10:59
Pippa and I have always had a bit of a "thing" for beautifully wrapped gifts! Despite not being amazing at getting my Christmas shopping done early (I'm a freak at the mad two-days-before-Christmas-shopping-dash!!), I love getting all my presents out ready for wrapping (that's usually on Christmas Eve, thanks to my disorganisation) and I love planning how and what I'm going to do to my presents to make them look beautiful under the tree and for my loved ones to unwrap.
If you aren't like Pippa and I, we'd love to help you with your wrapping! Simply select the 'Gift Wrap' option at the checkout, you can also pop a message there for us to hand write on a card on your behalf. If you'd like the gift sent directly to the lucky recipient, just enter their details in the shipping section. We can ship anywhere in the world but please be mindful of shipping times at this time of year. Simple! And the best bit is, it's FREE!
This year we'll be using Woolerina fabric as our "ribbons" - not only are they beautiful and unique, it's also a great way for us to re-use some of our fabric scraps.
Got a special request? Please get in touch via phone (02)6851 2100 or email email@example.com
Cool Wool - wearing Merino in warmer weather November 17, 2016 15:06
It's a very common myth that wool is only good to wear when it's cold - I'm just going to set that record straight because, lets face it, you don't see those woolly sheep sweating it out when it's 35 degrees C!!
There is so much to love about the Merino fibre and its many amazing, naturally occurring properties. You may have heard the term "cool wool"? This simply refers to a lightweight wool fabric that is great when worn in warmer weather - it's not magic or a new technology, it's simply the natural attributes of the Merino fibre doing its thing!
As the temperatures (finally!) start to rise in our parts, here are a few reasons for you to keep Woolerina in your Spring/Summer wardrobe:
It's breathable - due to wool's ability to absorb large amounts of water vapour and then move it into the atmosphere via evaporation, you'll feel cooler and drier for longer. Wool is able to absorb around 30% of it's own weight in moisture before you will feel wet - not only is this great in warmer temperatures when you tend to sweat, it's also great when it rains - you won't get that cold, wet feeling you get from so many other fibres!
It's odour resistant - need we say more? By helping you sweat less, you'll be less smelly! However this doesn't only apply to body odour, wool won't take on other odours either, think cooking smells, perfume, smoke. We love this property as it results in less washing too - a simple airing overnight & your Woolerina is good to go again tomorrow!
It's insulating - this is something we think about in winter, but really it's important all year round (ever been in an uninsulated shed in the middle of summer?!). The fibre structure of Merino wool includes a natural crimp which in turn creates small, insulating, air pockets, this then allows your body to easily regulate it's own temperature - you'll be warm in winter & cool in summer!
It's UV resistant - wool absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light, protecting you from the harsh rays of the sun.
When planning how best to incorporate Woolerina into your warm weather wardrobe, we suggest choosing lightweight pieces that aren't too firm fitting. We talked about insulation above - the closer you wear wool to your skin & the more fitted it is, the warmer it will be so, conversely the looser it is, the cooler it will be. Got it?!
Talking about the natural attributes of the beautiful Merino fibre makes me super excited and I especially love being able to tell you why it is so great coming into summer. I now own two pairs of Happy Pants (one Indigo, one Black) and they get far more wear in the warmer weather than they do the cool - their loose fit and lightweight fabric mean they just breathe so well!
I hope you'll give our "cool wool" a whirl!
Check out our fave Woolerina pieces from our current Spring|Summer collection below.
|womens t-shirt with capped sleeve (black)||mens short sleeve t-shirt with patch pocket (indigo)|
Family Business Day 2016 September 14, 2016 00:00 2 Comments
Working in our family business...what it means to me.
Working in a family business goes right back to my childhood when we (my sister Pippa and I) used to go to work with mum and dad after school at Jemalong Wool. Whilst this wasn't paid work, a spare office meant that we were able to play "offices"...so much fun when you're about 8!
When I was 14 we moved to "Torig Park", a small property 5km east of Forbes which, at the time, was a 10,000 tree stone and pome fruit orchard. This was the start of real employment within our family business - summer holidays consisted of long, hot days spent both picking and packing fruit to earn enough money to sustain us through a year of boarding school.
When I finished school I spent a year working in and around Forbes, mostly for other family businesses - when you are in a rural community, most businesses are family owned and operated, so I gained an appreciation of what it is like to be "on the other side" - working inside someone else's family unit.
A few years at uni and my very short-lived career as a Registered Nurse began - I loved the work of helping people and taking care of them when they are at their most vulnerable, but I hated the bureaucracy of working in the public health system and the lack of control working for such a large, government owned organisation brought...a very different experience to working in small business!
The opportunity to work at Woolerina arose in 2009 when I was looking for something to "tide me over" till I worked out exactly what it was I wanted to do with my life...Dad needed some extra help every now and then, but the role very quickly grew into a full time job! Almost 8 years, 1 husband and 2 kids later, I'm still here.
When I started working at Woolerina I loved being able to take a problem, embrace it and work on an outcome, knowing that what I'd done was directly affecting me and our business. This is still one of the main reasons I love working at Woolerina and for our family.
My role at Woolerina is to manage the administrative side to our business, but the reality is that I do numerous and varied roles - a typical day might see me answer the phone, pack orders, bookkeeping, plan and execute our social media strategy, do the graphic design for an ad in a magazine, discuss product design and development AND clean the office! I know that working in small business, and family business in particular, is like this - you need to be a Jack (or Jill)-of-all-trades!
Now that I have my own family, the flexibility that working for our family business provides is amazing - I am able to work part time in the office, take work home and bring my kids with me if there's something that needs to be done at a particular time. Taking my girls to the office usually creates utter chaos as they raid fabric off-cut bins, pinch stationary and generally distract everyone from their work, however I believe that involving them in my working life enables them to see the importance of what I do and the value to hard work, just as I did back in the office at Jemalong, all those years ago...the cycle continues!
|Abby helping with orders||Abby + Lucy, playing at Woolerina HQ||Pippa + Sadie at a recent planning meeting|
The down side to all this flexibility, and trying to juggle more work than I have the time to complete in the office, is that I never quite "switch off" - I'm always thinking about what needs to be done and wonder how I might fit extra work in around the rest of my busy life! We are so lucky to be blessed with so many opportunities for our products, however we don't necessarily have the staff to execute everything.
I am so proud of the business that dad started and that we have been able to grow it together as a family; giving Pippa and I the opportunity to work alongside him, and now employ 3 other staff (who are amazing!), and that what we do as a team is really meaningful to us all. As with any job it presents challenges, but it's not just about earning an income, it's about being passionate and loving what you do - I am passionate about our products and our story - being able to work alongside my dad and sister is both an honour + a privilege.
We'd love for you to share your family business story with us, either by commenting below or by using the #madebyourfamily on social media.
Happy Family Business Day!
Fathers Day Gift Guide August 29, 2016 15:04
The Dad in our office (Warwick), prides himself on having a "practical" clothing label - that doesn't always go down well with the more fashion-orientated females he works with - however, dad's generally like practicality, so with Father's Day just around the corner, we've picked our favourite "dad" gift ideas to share with you.
1. short sleeve crew t-shirt : one of the most versatile pieces in our entire collection (and one of our original designs), this t-shirt can be worn as a baselayer under other clothes, but has a simple, yet stylish design meaning it can also worn as an outer layer on its own.
3. socks : it's the old cliche 'socks + jocks', but seriously, once you've worn amazing socks, you'll never go back...and these ones are amazing!
For dads that prefer to choose their own gifts you can shout him a Woolerina Gift Card.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all the dads.
2016 Autumn | Winter Collection in store now! March 23, 2016 14:40
After a long, hot Summer at Woolerina HQ the arrival of some cooler weather makes us very excited to show-off our 2016 Autumn | Winter collection, our eleventh to date. Featuring some beautiful new colours, exciting new fabric weights and knit constructions and of course, new styles/designs across the complete range.
The soft Australian Merino wool in this collections continues to come from Glenwood Merinos at Wellington in NSW and is raised on nothing but fresh air, grass and water. The sheep and Glenwood farm are managed using sustainable and ethical farming practices.
We are so proud to continue to bring you Australian made, ethically produced clothing, for your family from ours.