Turkish students inspired by Merino wool

24 November 2015

Not your average field trip, a group of students from an Istanbul fashion academy was given a behind-the-scenes look at the process that transforms Merino wool into luxurious fashion apparel.

From spinning and weaving to dyeing and fabric finishing, a group of students from the Istanbul Fashion Academy (IMA) were given insights into the production process that transforms a Merino wool fibre into finished product. Co-organised by The Woolmark Company, the students visited Çerkezköy Altınyıldız Factory in Turkey, to not only further develop their education with Merino wool, but also be inspired to continue to work with the natural fibre after they graduate.

Accompanied by specialist staff at Altinyildiz, the project is part of a broader training and education program run by The Woolmark Company, which aims to increase supply chain engagement with university level students worldwide. As the future designers, creators and decision makers of the fashion and textile industry, students within the program are educated, at this early stage in their career, on Merino wool’s provenance, benefits and possibilities, along with its subsequent place in contemporary fashion and textiles.

“It was good to see wool transform from raw material to fabric and from fabric to finished clothing,” said IMA student Gökçe Kömürcü. Classmate Şule Gül echoed this sentiment, saying “I was really impressed by the transformation from top to fabric. I really enjoyed this experience”.

Istanbul Fashion Academy students visit Çerkezköy Altınyıldız Factory to further enhance their fabric to fashion knowledge.

Through partnerships with and visits to top Turkish manufacturers, the project hopes to inspire these young individuals to treasure the fibre for its luxurious qualities and natural advantages, leading them to choose and promote Merino wool in future endeavours. It further aims to broaden their understanding of professional opportunities within the fashion and textiles industry.

For the prestigious Turkish manufacturers, the program offers the opportunity to showcase their production process and fabric collections, creating new relationships with some of the best up-and-coming talent in the region.

“As an Altınyıldız Company, we are pleased to be a part of this program with Woolmark,” explains Çerkezköy Altınyıldız Factory Corporate Communications and Human Resources Specialit, Ekin Gül.

“Through this program we get a chance to contact with students and lecturers within the sector. For us, it is very worthwhile to meet with students and let them know our product before they graduate. It is also important for them to have an opportunity to see the production, to see the processes in terms of cause and effect relationships and engage with materials.”