Designing for Breed: Realigning British wool within the current UK knitwear industry
Over 60 different varieties of sheep are present in Britain today, reared by over 45000 farmers (BWMB 2009). Using a practice based enquiry, this research will examine the contribution of individual breed knowledge and new technologies in developing and encouraging sustainable British knitwear design and production. I aim to heighten the intrinsic value of British wool by highlighting the unique properties of each breed, and through physical prototyping – utilising advanced technology at Manchester Metropolitan University, and observation techniques, the research will build a practical creative database that can be used by designers and technologists. I intend to work with British farmers, the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) and specialist UK breed societies to investigate fibre characteristics. This collaborative and multi-disciplinary work will sit alongside my exploration of new technologies and the part they play in marketing wool as a thoroughly modern sustainable fibre.