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!
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!
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)|
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.
Twelve days of Christmas wrap-up | gift guide December 12, 2015 00:00
To kick off the festive season we have been posting our favourite Woolerina gift ideas on Instagram + Facebook over the past 12 days. If you've missed it via either channel, we're wrapping it up here on the blog. If you're yet to finish your Christmas shop, we hope you find some inspiration right here.
And then the essential bits...we'll be shipping right up until Tues. 22nd Dec. but if you'd like to receive your order prior to Christmas, be sure to get your order in by midday Wed. 16th Dec.
We can gift wrap gifts and send directly to the recipient, just check the box and enter all the details at the checkout. Gift Cards can be ordered online + sent directly to the recipient via email, so they are a great last minute option!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from all of us at Woolerina. xx
Storing your Woollens for the Summer October 27, 2015 15:57 5 Comments
As the warmer weather has hit, most of us are popping our woollens away for the Summer - unless you are heading on a holiday somewhere snowy and exotic!
Many of us know (and probably because we've learnt the hard way) that little vermin like to feast on our favourite woolly clothes...and they aren't silly, your favourite pieces are often the tastiest! We have popped together a little guide to storing and caring for your Woolerina gear before you pack it to the back of the wardrobe.
Before storing wool, it should always be washed first - all Woolerina clothing is machine washable on a gentle cycle at, or below, 40'C using a wool approved detergent. We recommend our all-natural wool wash, it has a beautiful Eucalypt smell which helps to keep any nasty critters at bay.
Do not tumble dry your Woolerina garments, simply lay them flat across a clothes horse over a towel.
Use a steam iron on the wool setting (medium heat), lay the garment flat and lay a damp cotton cloth over the gament - this is important as an iron which is too hot will lead to discolouration or worst case, may leave a scorch mark.
Knitted garments should be stored flat in a folded manner, rather than on a hanger (hanging can lead to the garment stretching out of shape and the formation of bumps on the shoulders, where the hanger sits). Your woollen garments should ALWAYS be stored with a moth deterrent! We recommend natural products such as fresh bay leaves or whole black peppercorns (yes, the ones from the supermarket!). A few fresh bay leaves or mesh bag of peppercorns should be layered between your garments. Patchouli is another great deterrent - you can impregnate some oil on a cloth or cedar ball and then place this amongst your clothes. These products are completely safe to you and your garments. Should you wish to use naphthalene, always place the flakes or 'tablets' in the top of the storage area as the chemical gas they emit is heavier than air. If moths are a particular problem in your area, you can also pop your woollies into a zip-lock bag and pop them in the freezer!
I hope these four tips help to avoid any of the little critters destroying your favourite wool garments so they will be ready for next Winter.
Family Business Day September 18, 2015 15:07
This Saturday September 19th is Family Business Day - a celebration that is a little bit close to us. Did you know Woolerina is a family business? In Australia over two thirds of businesses are family businesses and many of those make and/or grow their products - keeping local farms and manufacturing plants in business and local people in jobs. If you're in family business join in the celebration this Saturday.
Woolerina was established in 2005 by my father Warwick Rolfe and now, both my sister Penny and I are lucky enough to work with our Dad. Penny has been Dad's side kick for over 6 years and she knows everything about our business, and I mean EVERYTHING! When we set up office both Penny and Dad even waxed the floor and painted the desks together!
I only recently joined the business in January after spending a 6 year stint in Canada - when I waltzed into the office, I was presented with a trendy white Ikea desk - lucky for me the older sister paved the way, yet again! Family businesses always have their ups and downs, but I think it's probably more ups! We enjoy working hard together; sometimes there is the odd disagreement, but after all is said and done it ends with a BIG hug which is not really the norm in corporate offices... without it being awkward.
Penny and I both thrive off our Dad's passion for Wool, keeping our products Australian Made and ethically produced - from the farm side through to finished items of clothing.
A bit of an oldie, but I love this pic. It is of Penny's first day of school, I think the team fist pump says it all!
With our love and passion for family business we always look to work with other family businesses. Luckily for us, we get to work with Glenwood Merinos who produce some of the best wool (well, that's what Dad says!) for our collection of clothing. Owners Norm and Pip Smith are 4th generation farmers - the Smith's have been breeding Merinos since 1898 on their property Glenwood, just outside Wellington in central NSW. Norm and Pip have 5 lovely children (Dad says they are the nicest kids he has ever met, I don't think he means nicer than Penny and I, but he hasn't confirmed). Norm and Pip work hard to achieve a balanced outcome for the landscape, the livestock, their business and the people.
The Smith family.
We also work with family business Humphrey Law the Sock Specialist, who provide us with the very comfy socks we sell. Sidney Humphrey and Albert Law established the sock factory in 1947. The original factory still exists, although it has been considerably extended, and while the original partners have died, sock making continues under the management of Albert Law’s children Rob and Elizabeth. Rob and Elizabeth are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet and this filters through to their entire staff who provide customer service which is second-to-none, and a product to match!
Happy family business day! I hope you can all celebrate and reflect on the day of just how important and special family businesses are. As a family we will continue sharing warmth with the world!
Hello Spring, we are happy to see you! September 14, 2015 15:23
Finally the blossoms are on the trees and some warm weather is upon us!
With Spring well and truly here, we are very excited to be launching our first ever Spring collection. Featuring a lightweight t-shirt for both women and men, along with some of our existing (and favourite) lightweight pieces for women, this collection is sure to be the ultimate in comfort this season.
Merino clothing typically gets put back into the wardrobe at the end of winter, so we thought we'd share some of our favourite reasons why we love Merino in warmer climates too.
Merino wool is naturally breathable and will 'wick' moisture away from your body and move it away into the air, eliminating any clamminess or discomfort from being wet and/or sweaty...it has the added bonus of not absorbing body odours! In this process, wool can actually absorb up to 40% its weight in moisture before it begins to feel wet.
Merino wool is a natural insulator through the tiny air pockets in the fibre. It assists your body to adapt it's temperature to keep you comfortable across a broad range of atmospheric conditions.
Merino wool has a naturally high UV protection rating, to keep you safe from those hot rays.
And finally, possibly the best bit, through the hard work of wool growers Glenwood Merinos, the Merino fibre used in our clothing so incredibly fine, soft and lightweight making it oh-so comfortable and giving it the most amazing drape.
With this new collection of ours, we dare you to give wearing Merino in warmer weather a go!
5 things I'm loving about Winter July 12, 2015 15:55
1. A Roaring Fire - inside, outside, open, or slow combustion, it doesn't really matter what form it comes in, they're warm and comforting and soothing for the soul!
2. Porridge - the most deliciously warm and nourishing start to my day. Sometimes it's as simple as with milk and a tiny sprinkling of brown sugar, other times it's infused with cinnamon and served with poached rhubarb and nuts. Either way, it's sure a morning highlight.
3. A Woolerina Singlet - in my opinion, this is the key to surviving cold winters! I wear it to bed, on my morning walk and then all day. I literally don't take it off...getting it washed is a challenge, so I'm very glad Merino wool doesn't absorb odours and can literally be worn for weeks on end without a wash! My love for a good singlet dates back to some of my earliest memories, Mum & Dad were always making sure we had one on as a base layer.
Woolerina Womens Singlet $69.00
4. Indulging a Scarf Fetish - I have many scarves in my wardrobe, Winter means I can wear one every day but also splurge and add a few more to my collection!
5. Hot Coffee - I love a good coffee, especially a cappuccino - that sprinkling of chocolate is a real treat!
What are you loving this Winter?
We're opening our doors! Shop in-store. June 24, 2015 10:34
With Winter in full-swing here at Forbes, we are excited to be opening the doors at our HQ for 5 days next week. We will be converting our office into a full retail space showcasing our complete range.
If you've ever wondered where we are or where you can check out the clothing you see on our website, next week is the time to visit us! There will also be some great discounts on discontinued lines.
Come alone, bring your friends, or tell someone who might be in the area...we'd love to see you and/or them! All purchases made in-store over the week will go in the draw to win a $50 Woolerina Gift Voucher.
You'll find Woolerina HQ at 70 Torig Road Forbes (off the Escort Way, just 5km from the centre of town).
We will be open from Tues. 30th June - Sat. 4th July (T-F. 10am - 5pm, S. 9am-12 noon).
You know you have a winner when... June 11, 2015 10:23
...a blogger happens to feature your dress not once, but 3 times!!
Vanessa over at Style and Shenanigans keeps coming up with fabulously creative ways to pair our Merino Winter Dress with other winter essentials. She has hand picked some awesome pieces that go a long way to dressing up our simple LBD.
Last week's look was with a wool wrap vest, which shows off the dress and keeps the body warm at the same time. Practical - how boring. Fashionable - how fun!
And this was worn to a school parent's dinner. From the other side of the classroom - from a school teacher point of view (mine, not Vanessa's) - this would be the perfect work outfit. And the girl is from Melbourne, where they know warmth.
Shop the look:
Woolerina dress $139
And then this week, we noticed via Instagram, that Vanessa has decided to go a little more casual with our cardi. It's a great pop of colour - 'tomato' to be precise - for days that might otherwise seem a little dreary.
Shop the look:
Women's Cardigan $129
Nice one Style and Shenanigans! We're feeling the love...and hope everyone else is too. Don't forget to tag #woolerina if you happen to snap your good self on Insta wearing our goods. We would love to see your everyday style.
Fashion Revolution Day April 9, 2015 08:00
It is just 15 days to go until the second annual Fashion Revolution Day. This is such a great initiative aimed at creating awareness in the fashion supply chain, although it creates mixed feelings for me.
A few reasons why I love this day...
- It prompts us to remember the 1,133 people who were killed and the many who were injured in the Rana Plaza factory complex collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- It’s a chance for us to become aware of the people who make our clothes, the work environments and the ethics of favourite fashion brands/labels.
- It’s a day when I feel proud of my Dad for creating the clothing brand Woolerina - as a brand accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia, all workers are paid fair wages and have a safe and friendly working environment. I love that we even know our farmers Glenwood Merinos who grow the wool for us.
And a few reasons why I have mixed emotions…
- It makes me very sad that 1,133 people died, and even more injured, in the Rana Plaza factory. These people were trying to make a living for themselves and their families.
- There are still clothing manufacture workers in the world who are unfairly paid and who do not have a safe working environment.
So, on Friday 24th April, join the Fashion Revolution by asking your favourite brands “Who Made My Clothes?” and continue to build awareness in the fashion supply chain.
Who made your clothes?....