It's Wool Week : A Celebration of Sheep
It's Wool Week in the UK: a time to celebrate the warm, natural and environmental fibre that is wool.
Initiated by Prince Charles last year, it's part of The Campaign for Wool, to get manufacturers and the public to recognise its virtues and support sheep farming and the British wool industry.
Everyone is getting in on the act. Liberty, an old and respected department store, is going all-out. They are holding learn to knit classes in the store. You might even learn how to knit this free pattern of a warm and woolly scarf: just in time for Christmas, if you start now... This Union Jack scarf, or Union Jack pillows would be a treat for you or a friend.
Photo: B. Alter
These adorable little sheep were resting from all the excitement in front of Jigsaw, an English chain store. They are asking customers to knit a square of fabric for HIV charity KasCare, which will sew the squares into blankets for children with AIDS in South Africa.
Wool Modern is the really big show. The exhibition features wool creations loaned by the big names such as Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Maison Martin Margiela and John Galliano. More on that soon.
Izzy Lane is one designer who has been involved in rescuing lame and old sheep and using their wool to design great clothes. She is working with TopShop for wool week and has this good looking and cozy wool coat with fake leather trim for the event. Pure wool coats come to main street: good education and quality for all.
The Wool Clip is a Cumbria-based co-operative of designers and knitters who got together because they feared the loss of traditional craft skills and the threat to the British wool industry and local sheep farming. They have been at it for ten years now, and celebrated by wrapping tree trunks with woolly coats.
Some Woolly Facts:
The number of breeding ewes in Britain was 20M in the 1990's and is 14M now, but rising. This is because the price of wool has increased so it has finally become profitable to keep sheep as well as shear them. There are 1 billion sheep in the world. In Britain there are sixty recognised breeds, more than any other country. Seventy per cent of all British wool is used to make carpets. Wool fibre can be bent 20,000 times without breaking.