Don't roll your eyes. Yes, ok, wool, big wow. Sheep leavings. Made into jumpers and socks. Hardly bleeding edge fashion, is it?
Well, actually, wool is a big deal. Its a natural fibre, producing a fabric that's one of the best at all-weather protection. You get a new fleece every year from your sheep, making wool a sustainable fibre. It has a high UV protection rating, and is capable of creating garms that are warm in winter and cool in summer. It's a great fabric to work with. But don't take my word for it. Blog crush Vivienne Westwood writes:
"Wool is one of the world's great natural fibres, famous for its versatility and comfort."
Acclaimed British designer Paul Smith agrees, saying:
"Wool is always my first choice because it's natural, it works, it's substantial; you can't do better than to use wool."Sadly, the industry has been in a slump for years, with farmers finding themselves unable to make a living from wool farming alone. Which is why Prince Charles launched the Campaign For Wool last year, a promotion that was such a success that it's evolved into Wool Week for 2011. A huge range of events is planned, including the launch of Wool Modern, featuring work from exciting new designers Like Fast and David Koma, alongside the lovely Ms. Westwood and the atelier of Alexander McQueen. See, look, wool and bleeding edge fashion.
Accessories designer Quentin McKay, headlining a show of boutique bags made from wool at Harvey Nicks puts it best when he says:
"We have continually tried to replicate what nature has provided us with but have never quite succeeded – and, indeed, why do we bother? The best already exists and is sustainable and friendly to both our environment and us."Events run all this week, and you can find out more below. It's important to support this most sustainable and British of fabrics at a time when its future has been thrown into doubt. Go on, show the love. No need to be sheepish*.
The Campaign For Wool.
*sorry. Best I could do. I'm feeling a bit wooly this morning.