The revitalisation of a weaving mill : the manufacture of commercially viable textiles through the revitalisation of a weaving mill : integrating traditional weave processes and modern technologies with a focus on practical learning and experience : this exegesis is presented as partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Design, Massey University Wellington, 2015
This master's project guides the revitalisation of the Wool Equities' weaving mill in Palmerston North through the use of innovative, creative and industry-led design. It begins with research into the current state of New Zealand's wool industry, value chains, vertical markets and export potential for high quality, luxury woollen products. Global trend research and identification of luxury niche markets provide the international context for the design work. These establish areas of demand for original products that are able to be manufactured viably at the mill, both for interior and apparel fabric exports.
Fusion of old and new technologies along with the properties and behaviour of wool go hand-in-hand with weaving knowledge and technical design to form the constructive design basis of this project. Historical and heritage aesthetics are explored through drawings and colour studies at the mill. Motifs are translated into weaving patterns to create unique and original textile pieces that are both contemporary and authentic, with a story behind the design. The project takes an immersive, hands-on approach to learning all the operations at the mill and extending my own knowledge of weaving processes; adapting small-scale samples to commercially viable fabric.
The outcome of this project is a range of luxury woollen woven product designs that can be sold to both local and international markets. This will offer long-term commercial opportunities for the mill and promote further development of the business. It will highlight the mill's capabilities to function as a specialty New Zealand weaving company and create innovative new designs. This in turn increases the value of wool and creates a sustainable business practice with a positive future.