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Published: 07 October 2022

By Andy Ross

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Massey University's textile department

As part of the work GlobalYell is doing to establish an international textiles network, we are members of a group that is exploring options for wool production for weavers. 

The group decided to meet in Wellington this time around and Massey University kindly offered space and time for us to get together to talk about all things woolly. After the meeting, during which we discussed new ways to get the yarns we need for weaving and looked at each other's work and talked about oppportunities including Shetland Wool Week, we were lucky enough to see around the department. The building that the department is in was the old Museum and Art Gallery - the War Memorial - set in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. It has looms for teaching and sampling incluidng a Jacquard loom, a sophisticated dyeing machine to try out different dyes under exact conditions of heat and time that has resulted in an interesting set of natural dyes being developed, a wool tufting machine for rugs, screenprint tables, a felting table and much more besides. It was an excellent and informative visit and we left feeling inspired by what we had seen and the possibilities. 

The next stage of our project is to continue discussions with partners such as Massey and the Ministry for Primary Industries, farmers and spinners, weavers and development organisations to see how we can get more sampling capability and capacity in the country. There are exciting opportunities ahead!