By Melissa Keogh
The provenance of South Australian wool will be celebrated through a public design competition launched by the Australian Wool Network (AWN).
AWN is encouraging South Australians with a strong connection to wool growing in the Flinders Ranges and Outback to help shine a spotlight on the industry, its farmers and the quality of locally grown merino wool through the DNA Design Series competition.
People with a strong connection to woolgrowing in the Flinders Ranges and Outback can submit their design idea in hope of it featuring in a high quality Australian merino wool homewares item, such as a blanket. The Limestone Coast and Eyre Peninsula will be included in the DNA Design Series in coming weeks.
Last year, Barossa abstract artist Marnie Gilder teamed up with the AWN to launch a pair of fine merino wool blankets showcasing the Barossa Valley’s wool producers. Following the success of this project, the new national DNA Design Series competition was developed in aim of further showcasing wool growing regions.
AWN DNA program manager Cynthia Jarratt says the competition is part of the organisation’s Direct Network Advantage (DNA) provenance campaign, which enables consumers to understand where wool products come from.
“Our DNA program benefits consumers, who more and more want to know where the fibres they wear and use come from and our wool growers who are just as keen to understand what becomes of the wool they grow,” she says.
“Just like the paddock to plate concept in the hospitality industry, our DNA campaign tracks the wool to its source here in SA in an exciting and innovative way.”
Owners of the DNA fabrics can use their mobile phone to scan a QR swing tag on the woollen product to view information, stories and videos that showcase the region and its wool growers.
“We have some of the world’s most desirable merino wool being grown here in SA in some of Australia’s most beautiful country and our DNA program provides a great opportunity to showcase this to not only our Australian customers, but to the many international tourists who purchase our wool products,” Cynthia says.
The chosen wool designs will be sold at selected retail outlets and at Merino and Co – an Australian merino wool clothing store.
Winners will receive $1000 and $500 worth of the final product featuring their design. The Flinders/Outback winner will also receive $1000 donated by SA woolgrowers Tony and Julie Smith of Rawnsley Park Station and MF Jebsen Australia of Martins Well Rangeland Reserve, both of the Flinders Ranges.
Click here for more information and to enter.
Feature image is Andrew Smart of Wilkatana Station at Port Augusta with lamb diva, Ellie May.
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