The workshops, held at Sydney’s Hong Kong House June 5 and 6, provided those involved an opportunity to develop innovative prototypes of interactive objects which can be worn. Participants – including artists and fashion lecturers - learned about high-tech Merino wool products and then put this theory to practice as they designed and created their own prototypes.
The workshops blurred the lines between art, science and technology, allowing for innovation to happen in real time.
A similar workshop was held in Hong Kong earlier this year and its success saw it travel to Australia, along with a Merino Wearable products exhibition which was held for 10 days.
The Woolmark Company Hong Kong country manager Alex Lai, who was instrumental in the workshops’ delivery, said the aim was to exhibit Merino wool products to the participants.
“Each workshop provided us the opportunity to showcase our innovative woollen products and were offered to the Haptic InterFace artists,” Mr Lai said.
“The exhibition of Creative Merino Wearable products attracted lots of visitors visiting Sydney for the Vivid Festival. There were some great creations on display, such as products made from wool top. Innovations were a highlight, with one particular item sure to be welcomed by couples right across the world: a wool felt ‘snoothood’ which absorbs the noise of snoring during sleep.”
The Woolmark Company technical services manager Fabio Garzeno delivered presentations at the two workshops. Explaining the role of The Woolmark Company and its key campaigns, a large part was devoted to the numerous innovations in Merino wool and the natural properties wool contains.
“Sculpture Merino raised a lot of interest during both workshops,” Mr Garzena said. “Merino Devoré, 3D Merino and Spectrum Merino were also widely welcomed due to their flexibility and the potential for a variety of applications they provide.
“Wool’s inherent benefits particularly in sportswear raised a lot questions. Many people were impressed by the moisture management properties especially in MerinoPerformTM Pro .
Haptic InterFace chair Dr Tricia Flanagan said the event was tremendously stimulating and rewarding.
“Fabio Garzena’s presentation was innovative and generated a high quality of professionalism,” Dr Flanagan said. “I already knew wool products were superior but this presentation has given me a lot of ideas and the type of research I want to engage with in the future.
“The whole process engaged the participants in a friendly environment to meet and collaborate with a new group of like-minded people. The Woolmark Company’s level of energy and commitment allowed us to work with such intensity and achieve the maximum in limited time.”