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To celebrate the launch of Shaun the Sheep’s latest film A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, world-famous animators Aardman have created a unique short film with The Woolmark Company and Studiocanal, showcasing the super-natural benefits of wool.
The team at Double Rainbouu has joined the flock, creating Shaun the Sheep-inspired sweaters made of 100% Australian Merino wool, traceable from the sheep’s back to yours.
The Merino wool used to create these sweaters was sourced from 36 individual properties across Australia, including the iconic ‘Burrabogie’ farm in the Riverina, a historic wool growing region in southern New South Wales.
The 19.5 micron Merino wool was then processed at Woolmark licensee XINAO Textiles in Chongfu, Zhejiang Province, China. XINAO Textiles scoured the raw wool, spun the tops into yarn and dyed the yarn to be ready for knitting.
With this yarn, Woolmark licensee Milos Knitwear International used flatbed knitting machines to create the sweaters in Dongguan City, Guangdong China.
The Shaun Crew Neck and the Wooly Crew Neck are Woolmark-certified Pure New Wool sweaters. Each sweater comes with NFC chips in the hangtag and care label that activate with an Android or iPhone Xs or Xr onwards, taking you on a unique journey to learn more about the exclusive sweaters.
Astronauts are now using wool in outer space, wow!
Merino wool absorbs the odour molecules from sweat, which are only released upon washing.
Wool doesn’t melt, and it doesn’t easily catch alight, so it’s perfect if you’re flying in an oxygen filled spacecraft close to the sun.
Wool fibres can be bent up to 20,000 times before breaking, which is great for astronauts who are floating around in the same clothing day-in, day-out.
We have created an interactive portal for you and your little lambs to learn all about wool with Shaun and the flock. Shear your own sheep, design your own space suit and learn about recycling with LU-LA at www.SuperNaturalWool.com. The digital games have been specially created for children and big kids too.
We spun a yarn with Rich Webber, the Aardman director of the Shaun the Sheep short film, SUPER NATURAL WOOL.
What characteristics of sheep did you highlight for the animation?
Woolliness goes without saying! Also the softness and comfort of wool. Shaun and the flock are also kind and caring towards LU-LA who needs wool to keep her warm.
How do you bring the characters to life?
Aardman is famous for great characters and a lot of this is down to the expression and life we breathe into them simply by making tiny changes to the brow, eyes and mouths. Shaun is one of the simplest of all characters and has less to work with in terms of expression but you still know exactly what he is thinking.
Why do you think sheep are so popular in stop-motion animation?
The comedy works for kids of all ages as well as their parents and grandparents. A lot of care is taken in the writing process of the show and how it translates in the animation. Audiences seem to love the slapstick comedy and timing of Shaun and the flock’s antics.
How did you create the woollen garments which Shaun gives Lu-La?
Creating small-scale garments to fit our characters is a fiddly old business. Not only do the garments have to fit the unique shapes and sizes of the characters but our puppets need to be able to move in them too. Senior Prop-Maker, Helen Javes and her team started by making specific cutting patterns for LU-LA and her different arm locations. We then were able to knit up the Woolmark designs using very thin ply yarns and homemade knitting needles not dissimilar to cocktail sticks.
Is it true you are the voice of Shirley?
Yes. When we worked on series one of Shaun the Sheep we were still trying out characters voices, I had a go as Shirley and it seemed to work, and I’m still voicing her 10 years on. It’s great fun to do. I’ve voiced quite a few characters for various Aardman films and series, usually the deep voiced ones. As well as Shirley, I’m also voicing a surprise character in FARMAGEDDON...
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