From wool to garment

Along the chain: Superfine wool producer Susan Rowbottom of St Helens near Port Fairy with Mike  Kuritani from Japanese textile producer Itochu at the Hamilton meeting for superfine wool growers.
Along the chain: Superfine wool producer Susan Rowbottom of St Helens near Port Fairy with Mike Kuritani from Japanese textile producer Itochu at the Hamilton meeting for superfine wool growers.

Kathy and Trevor Mibus of “Glenara Merinos” at Dunkeld are the Hamilton region winners of this year’s fleece competition run by the Australian Superfine Woolgrowers Association (ASWGA).

The winners of the grand champion title in the national competition were Ed & Jill Hundy of “Windradeen”, Pyramul, near Mudgee in NSW. 

The competition winners were announced on Saturday at an ASWGA annual reunion dinner at Hamilton attended by nearly 100 superfine woolgrowers, sponsors and guests from throughout  Australia and overseas.

Among the guests at the dinner were Mike Kuritani, from the Japanese-based Itochu Corporation, a large international trading company that includes a textiles division.

Mr Kuritani spoke at the dinner about the Hamilton Lambswool brand his company has developed.

He highlighted the need for growers to be aware of the damage that skin pieces left in wool do to the finished garment and asked growers to be vigilant with their clip preparation to gain the highest returns.

The weekend event also included the presentation of an Honorary Life Membership to Horsham superfine wool producer Kevin Dunn.

Mr Dunn was one of the original members of ASWGA and has been a member for 46 years. During that time he has held the positions of branch president, delegate and ASWGA president. 

Also at the event was Andrew Worthington of Australia Merino Exports, (AME) one of Australia’s biggest wool exporting companies which services a worldwide network of manufacturers.

Mr Worthington was a guest speaker during a farm visit to wool producers Penny and Russell Hartwich’s “Kelseldale” at Mount Challicum, south of Ararat. On display at “Kelseldale” was a Country Road garment from a range of clothing that has traceable certificates to Tasmania from where the wool is sourced.

The event also included visits to the Mibus family’s Glenara merino stud and Bill and Jenny Crawford & family’s Sierra Park Saxon Merino stud at Victoria Valley.

The Australian Wool Network also displayed a garment collection it has developed with the Hedrena apparel company and Kangaroo Island Wool farms.