Innovation in New Zealand Part 1

“It was the trip of a lifetime!” says Lanette Freitag about the three weeks in April that she and Don Bowles, owners of FeltLOOM™ Inc., spent in New Zealand at the invitation of Auckland University (AUT). “AUT invited us to come be part of the GoGreen Expo with them and to showcase the FeltLOOM as a sustainable piece of equipment that would help reuse textiles, or develop textiles in a different way.”

Besides joining with AUT in introducing the FeltLOOM to the public, Lanette and Don met with owners, taught two 1-day felting workshops, and met with professors and students at two universities who are using the FeltLOOM for innovative textile projects.

Lanette and Don’s first stop in New Zealand was Massey University in Wellington, where textile professor Dr. Sandy Heffernan, who was responsible for purchasing the FeltLOOM at Massey, took them under her wing, showing them around and seeing that they had comfortable accommodations and had a sense of what there was to do in the city.

At Massey Don and Lanette also met two students who were receiving their masters degrees in textiles and had made use of the FeltLOOM’s unique capabilities in their masters projects. One student, Hannah Hutchinson, worked with an industry partner, Classic Sheepskins, to identify how to best utilize wool waste generated through the manufacturing process of sheepskin tanning. Her project was based on adding value to wool waste. She is pictured here with a one of the beautiful pieces she created on the FeltLOOM using wool that was too short or had other problems that made it unsuitable for traditional uses.

 A second student, Juran Kim used the FeltLOOM to explore the impact of designing a textile and garment without the use of seams, a tactic originally motivated by desire to reduce waste in garment production. Kim’s design-centric research contributes a new fashion aesthetic aligned to the “slow fashion” movement. She is shown here with a seamless garment of her creation, made possible through the use of the FeltLOOM.

After leaving Massey University Lanette and Don went on to AUT in Auckland where they joined the university in showcasing the FeltLOOM at the GoGreen Expo, which is New Zealand’s largest organic, sustainability green and healthy products & services expo.

Don at GoGreen Expo working with student Michele Peddie.