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Douglas Cordeaux and Keith Walker choose the Woolmark prize winner

7 July 2011 by TexSelect in Sponsors, Judges & Champions

Merino wool is one of nature’s greatest bounties; whether used in interiors, for knitwear or in fine worsted cloth, wool will provide you with a fabric that is natural, luxurious, renewable and durable.

Woolmark International, the not-for-profit organisation owned by over 29,000 Australian woolgrowers, invests in research, development, innovation and marketing along the global supply chain for Australian wool — the largest source of this noble fibre.

Woolmark is keen to highlight the versatility and benefits of Merino wool and has joined forces with Texprint to sponsor the Woolmark Texprint Award in support of The Campaign for Wool. The award recognises design excellence in fabrics created with 60% or more Merino wool whether presented as printed, woven, knitted and/or mixed media fabric.

Douglas Cordeaux, managing director of Fox Brothers & Co, and Keith Walker, managing director of Linton Tweeds, will select a winner from among the 24 designers who will show their work in the Texprint village at Indigo, which is part of Première Vision Pluriel, from September 20-22, 2011. As judges Douglas and Keith will use their expertise in producing luxurious, fine 100% woollen fabrics to guide their choice of winner.

Douglas began his career in textiles at the Chelsea School of Art in the 1980s and has since been a design consultant and textile advisor to a range of brands before heading a company that has been creating world-renowned cloth for over 200 years.

He says: “Texprint provides an invaluable bridge between the emerging talent of young textile designers in Britain and commerce. As the owner of Fox Brothers, one of the oldest surviving woollen mills in the UK, I'm delighted to be involved with this year's new award.”

Douglas is passionate about the fibre: “Wool is and always has been the fibre of choice for fine tailoring. Looking back through the extensive Fox archives you can see the lasting, durable quality of wool and how it holds dyes and different finishing processes to create all manner of cloth styles and weights.”

Douglas says he’s encouraged to know that Texprint’s new designers will be working with Merino wool: “We'd welcome any of the graduates to visit our West Country mill to see how we've used wool from Australia and Britain to create world renowned cloths since 1772.”

Keith Walker

Linton Tweeds has been creating 100%woollen fabric for a century and initially became famous through its collaboration with pivotal 20th century designer Coco Chanel. Keith is the second generation of his family to head Linton Tweeds and he offers a different perspective on working with wool.

“As manufacturers of the world’s most innovative fabrics, Linton’s future depends on the continued development of Britain’s outstanding design talent,” says Keith. “We are happy to support the new Woolmark Texprint Award because we feel that wool provides a unique opportunity to showcase such talent.”

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TexSelect is a registered charity, entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals connected to the industry. All believe wholeheartedly in supporting the next generation of textile design talent and in encouraging innovation and excellence.

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