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Local yarn’s luxury fibre reaches US Vogue Knitters

8 August 2013

Local yarn’s luxury fibre reaches US Vogue Knitters

With the resurgence in hand knitting and all things handcrafted, a local yarn company is spinning a name for itself with its luxury natural fibre yarn product especially for hand knitting.

Wellington company, Woolyarns New Zealand, produces an exclusive range of luxury yarn brands for both the textile manufacturing and hand knitting markets internationally.

It is Woolyarns Zealana hand knitting yarn, that has now attracted the attention of Vogue Knitting USA magazine’s Chief Editor.

Arriving in Wellington on Monday (12 August), Trisha Malcolm, Vice President and Chief Editor of Vogue Knitting, USA will visit Woolyarns factory in Lower Hutt to experience first-hand how the Zealana fibre yarn is produced.

“This is really exciting for Woolyarns and Zealana,” says Marketing Manager, Woolyarns, Jimad Khan.

“We are thrilled to welcome Trisha Malcolm and competition winner Sanae Gunji to our company and to New Zealand for the first time. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to show other yarn enthusiasts how our premium hand knitting yarn is made.”

“Vogue Knitting USA is a leading magazine and knitting is huge in the United States."

In association with Vogue Knitting USA, Woolyarns held a ‘Zealana Design Competition’ at the end of 2012. As part of the prize package, the winning international designer, Sanae Gunji from Tochigi-ken, Japan, is accompanying Trisha to New Zealand to visit Woolyarns and experience New Zealand for seven days.

Zealana is our limited edition brand of hand knitting yarn. It uses the luxuriously soft and lightweight blended Brushtail possum fibre,” says Jimad. “It is spun into beautiful yarn that is becoming sought after by hand knitters both here and internationally.”

Brushtail possum is a renowned pest in New Zealand, but its fibre is super soft and prized for its lightweight warmth and breathability. Possum for Zealana yarn is collected from a small number of carefully selected regions, only at certain times of year. It is then blended with the finest merino or cashmere to guarantee softness and consistency in this high end luxury yarn.

Woolyarns uses 40 – 50 tonnes of possum fibre annually across its product range. This is equivalent to the fibre from more than 1 million possums.

Hand knitting is enjoying a come-back in New Zealand and internationally. De rigour during the 1960s and 70s, the art of knitting lost popularity as women became too busy, clothing became cheaper and trends changed. With today’s focus on our environmental footprint and general trend towards self sufficiency, knitting is once again becoming popular.

Locally, knitting nights and informal get togethers are really growing, says local handcraft enthusiast Tash Barneveld, owner of Holland Road Yarn Company in Petone.

“I have noticed so many more new members coming through this year already. People have really caught onto knitting – they learn through friends and knit nights, on the internet and come into the store for advice.”

A stockist of Zealana, Tash says it is an amazing product.

“It’s so beautiful to knit with, tactile with a lovely texture that just wants to be touched.”

“People invest time and effort into knitting garments so it becomes important to be able to choose a premium yarn to ensure the end product matches their effort,” says Tash.

Trisha Malcolm and Sanae Gunji will visit Holland Road Yarn Company and Knit World (Woolyarns leading stockist of Zealana nationwide), in Wellington on Monday.

Trisha and Sanae will be staying in New Zealand for seven days. Arriving in Wellington on Saturday 10 August for two nights, (visit includes tours of Weta Workshop, the Woodville Tannery and Zealandia, as well as Woolyarns), before flying to Nelson and Auckland, for two nights in each city.

Woolyarns NZ was established 68 years ago by British immigrant Colin Wood. Still a family business today, the company recognised the need to establish a niche market following competition from China in the textiles industry in the late 1990s. Woolyarns now offers a select niche range of bespoke yarns, in addition to its classic range.

Luxury yarn brands in Woolyarns portfolio of bespoke yarns are Zealana (hand knitting); Perino (knitwear, apparel, hosiery yarns); INZpire (carpet yarns) and Callibra (sourced yarns).


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