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Wool Expo Shows the Way to ‘Rest in Fleece’

Wool Expo Shows the Way to ‘Rest in Fleece’

A coffin, handbags, pet rugs and digitally printed fabrics made from wool are among exhibits that feature in Wool Expo 2013 that takes to the road this month.

A partnership between the Campaign for Wool, PGG Wrightson Wool, and Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, the expo begins in Gisborne in two weeks and works it’s way down the east of the north island to end in Masterton in the middle of November.

Some revolutionary and innovative woollen concepts are explored, exhibited and demonstrated in the expo that will be based in PGG Wrightson’s retail stores in the six centres where the road show stops.

A coffin made of wool is featured. The idea isn’t new – back in the 1600s, in a bid to bolster Britain’s textile industry the British parliament passed a law requiring all corpses to be buried in a woollen shroud. Spin forward to 2009 when a prototype and sturdier wool coffin led to the present version.

The coffin, being exhibited as Natural Legacy Woollen Caskets, complies with environmental standards, is lined with organic cotton, has a cardboard frame, can carry up to 200kg, has jute handles, a wool pillow and a personalised embroidered nameplate. It combines three wool fleeces and is said to be comfortable and pleasant to touch.

It’s developer, Polly McGuckin of Exquisite Woollen Blankets in Christchurch, describes it as “a product that is here to stay”.

“Though it was made in Britain the first prototype used New Zealand wool and since then it has gained a lot of momentum on the British market,” she says.

“In New Zealand we’ve found people love to look at it and they all want to touch it … we’ve had a lot of positive feedback here when it’s been shown at trade gatherings and field days and of course the comment ‘Rest In Fleece’ always comes up.”

Massey University and Auckland University of Technology students are contributing new and innovative ideas for wool, there are wool-filled dog beds, fashion garments, digitally printed woollen scarves, luxury woollen handbags and a wide range of new industrial uses for wool included in the expo.

The expo is in Gisborne from October 14, Wairoa from October 25, Hastings from October 28, Waipukurau from November 4, Dannevirke from November 11 and Masterton from November 18. Admission is free.


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