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.