The combination of wool, fashion and sport has proven a winner with Australia’s secondary school students with a record 12,000 registrations for the Wool4School competition this year.
Now in its sixth year and linked to the National Curriculum Food and Fibre component, Wool4School invites students to think about the versatility of various wool fabrics as part of a creative design of their own. This year’s theme of “dress your favourite sports team” offered students a chance to be part of the global trend of combining sport and leisure.
Winner of the Teacher Prize in 2016, Claire Ward said when incorporating the Wool4School competition into her teaching, she found the experience encouraged students to explore the properties of Merino wool.
“This fostered natural links with a variety of curriculum areas and aspects of their daily life. The competition criteria and resources appealed to students’ creativity, sense of fun and fashion design, to make the entire experience fulfilling.”
With an extensive resource library and free samples of both knitted and woven fabric for the classroom, students dressed athletes from all types of sports and for many different occasions.
While participating students do not have to make their designs, students illustrate and carefully describe the textiles used in their work. State and year level winning students and teachers share in the $10,000 worth of prizes, with the overall year 10 winner having their design made into reality by leading Australian designer Jonathan Ward.
In 2016 this winner is Annie Liao of Radford College in the ACT who designed an Australian equestrian uniform.
Wool4school judge, teacher Katrina Wheaton said of the winning year 10 design, “the overall presentation of Annie’s entry was excellent. Her mood board strongly reflected the Aussie team spirit as well as the mood and elegance of her chosen sport. Her final outfit echoed the inspiration shown in her mood board. She demonstrated a fresh and fluid fashion illustration style and her designs were clearly annotated highlighting just the key aspects without ‘over’ annotating. Annie’s Wool4School entry was well conceived with each aspect of the criteria met to a very high standard. She clearly understands how wool can work within many designs.”
Australian Wool Innovation Group Manager of Education and Extension Julie Davies added how Wool4School was an important part of an expanded education program at AWI.
“We have an education offering to develop not only the next woolgrowers, textile experts and fashion designers but the next generation of consumers as well. It was very pleasing to see the 2016 winners coming from right across Australia, with both government and independent schools well represented, highlighting the wide attraction of the competition.”
Meanwhile, Wool4School continues to make a strong impression in Hong Kong with students undertaking a modified version of the competition.
Planning is now under way to launch Wool4School in the United Kingdom in 2017.