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oneP Wings debuts at Wool Collections in Wool Week 2014

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Introducing Deb Cumming and Nina Weaver, two of New Zealand’s most innovative conceptual designers. Campaign for Wool have the pleasure of debuting one of their beautifully abstract exhibition pieces this year, which looks to the future in commercial applications of transformative designs. On display at the Southwark Cathedral from the 5th – 12th October as part of the Wool Collections – Interiors, the interior design piece extends itself into apparel design with wool laser cut patterning for functionality and visual intrigue.

It seems fitting that Deb, whose passions lie in adaptive fashion processes for contemporary design and commercial environment, should partner with Nina’s expertise in knit and contoured apparel. As fashion educators, these outstanding creative practitioner’s certainly enlighten us about the possibilities of multi use and medium of wool surfaces with this concept.

To display the graphic nature of the single piece, the garment design is integrated into a flat wool felt wall panel. The one-piece pattern then transforms into a 3D black wool garment, and once wrapped around the body sits without further construction, as an elegant winter coat.

The coat pattern piece is an image of a winged creature in flight, highlighting the shift from 2 dimensional to 3 dimensional. The laser cut industrial wool felt fabric was a natural choice to provide insulation and warmth for the interior wall panel.

Both designers have done well to pave the way for textile innovation whilst maintaing the traditional aesthetic of the abstract. Recognised by many in the field, this design concept reflects well an exchange between Katherine Mansfield, one of New Zealand’s most prominent modernist writers and Anne Drey. Katherine’s take on the Double Impression reflects well the emotional response textiles are able to evoke and achieve with oneP – Wings:

I felt that in two minutes, so radiant was the little garment it would flap its sleeves and begin to sing. …In fact, I’ve got it on this minute and I feel transported‘.
(26 December, 1921)

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Q&A with Deb Cumming:

1. Please tell us a little about yourselves and how your business/designs/products utilise wool?

I am a senior lecturer at the School of Design, Massey University, New Zealand, having had my own design business and worked in the fashion industry. As part of my academic position, I take on design contract work and consultancy for clients and companies. Wherever possible I always recommend the use of wool for projects whether in apparel or other design products and I now find myself thinking about the use of wool in new products with alternative processes to the norm.This recent project in one-piece apparel patterns looks to eliminating some traditional and costly production methods of apparel manufacture. The aim of forming shape, form, fit and drape without multiple cut pattern pieces led to the use of wool with laser cutting technology to create the textural and functional internal patterns and lines to achieve this.

I am now developing other methods where the production of fabric and the apparel pattern is integrated into the one process. Wool is ideal for this and further applications allow shapes to be formed through the moulding process of stretching and shrinking into 3D form.

2. What makes you choose wool over other fibre? What is your favourite thing about wool?

I always enjoy working with wool due to its amazing handle, drape and finish quality- it is so much easier to work with. Wool has incredible qualities for apparel that make products far superior to others. In addition to these qualities, wool is natural, durable, long lasting, and inherently sustainable which is of prime consideration now and in the future.

3. By what means do you source your wool?

I source most wool lengths from importers of quality fabrics.

For more experimental work, being based in New Zealand, we are able to source raw wool from local sources.

4. What does the Campaign for Wool mean to you?

It is great to have the benefits of international collaboration and support with a common goal to promote wool!

 5. The interiors landscape is forever changing, what does 2014/15 hold for you as a brand?

The changing nature of the design environment is really exciting especially with possibilities of new textiles to think about with the impact of new products and processes.

 6. Fabric technologies, particularly those using wool have advanced so rapidly over the last few years, has this affected your trade and work?

Fabric Innovation and research is really expanding the versatility of wool use, for example innovations in high performance intelligent fabric.

Recently I was involved in a design contract in which we commissioned the company Dormeuil to manufacture a woven length in new weave design unique to the design brief. This particular project used their innovative Jade merino wool, a combination of fine merino wool yarn and pounamu. This fitted the brief perfectly as we were able to design a unique weave design in quality performance fabric with a New Zealand story of origin for the client seeking a strong cultural identity.

7. How does using woollen cloths differ to other man-made materials?

The natural properties of wool provide unique qualities of being very versatile for different temperatures, resilient, breathable, odour resistant and non-allergenic. Looking at future design and lifestyle trends for improving our general wellbeing, wool is the perfect choice.

8. What demand have you seen from your customers with regards to favouring wool over synthetic fibres?

More customers are appreciating the natural and sustainable quality of wool. They seem to have a stronger wish to support the use of wool for this reason. Customers appreciate the quality of wool in appearance and performance.

9. Are there any plans to introduce more wool in to your collection?



Visit Deb and Nina’s oneP Wings and a whole host of other innovative woollen interiors products on display at Southwark Cathedral from the 5th-12th October as part of the Campaign for Wool’s Wool Collection.





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