INNOVATION meant the opportunities for using wool in school uniforms were endless, Wool4Skool judge and RM Williams executive designer Jonathan Ward said this week.
He said it was very important to utilise the natural insulating and flame-retardant qualities of wool or wool blends in dressing children and young adults.
Mr Ward recognised that cost and tradition might be obstacles to redesigning uniforms with more wool, but the natural fibre could be used in knitwear or woven fabric in uniforms.
The innovative ways in which wool was being processed meant there was huge potential to increase the wool content of school uniforms, he said.
Mr Ward said the winningWool4Skool designer Thao Nguyen had modernised the Caroline Chisholm Catholic College Braybrook campus boy and girl uniforms.
“They thought about the practicalities of redesigning a uniform for both male and females," he said.
“I think this was very important because they were thinking about their whole school.”
Mr Ward said the “head to toe concept” of the winning design was important.
“Overall they utilised their existing uniform, adapting and redesigning it, rather than completely redesigning it from scratch.”
The winning entry, with a few very minor changes could have been an update to the Caroline Chisholm Catholic College’s current uniform, he said.
Second place in the Wool4Skool competition at the 2011 Australian Wool Fashion Awards last week went to Tempe High School students Michelle Xiang and Nancy He of Sydney.
The competition winners were announced at the Sydney Royal Easter show.
Mr Ward had the two winning entrants’ drawings manufactured into uniforms in just two weeks.
The competition attracted 56 entries from all states.
Other winners at the wool fashion awards included Armidale's Duval High School student Breanna McFadyen, who won first prize in the Secondary School Award with a one-shouldered black Derby Day dress with a big white flower as the feature.
Port Macquarie’s Mary MacKillop College year 12 student Tessa Simpson, with her Victorian Derby Day racewear won a three-year half-fee scholarship to attend North Sydney’s prestige Raffles College of Design and Commerce.
University of Technology, Sydney, 2010 graduate Jacquelyn Wellington took out the Young Designer Award with her Yetty collection of six garments and then won the 2011 Supreme Award.
The fashion awards are sponsored by Australian Wool Innovation to raise awareness of wool to designers and consumers.
* Details: www.tawfa.com.au