A scholarship sponsored by a prominent wool producer enables one of our textile design students to pursue her idea for stylish sound-proofing.
Taylor Mau, a third-year textile design student landed a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by Palliser Ridge, a wool producer based in Wairarapa.
In a partnership with our Textile Design Lab, Palliser Ridge was on the hunt for innovative ideas on how to use strong wool – the wool fibre traditionally used in carpets, rugs and upholstery and considered too thick for clothing.
Taylor's winning idea is a composite fabric that will be used in room-dividing screens for residential and commercial spaces. The screens can segment a large space, and the strong wool-based fabric will muffle sound.
The scholarship lets Taylor develop her idea into a refined product.
"I was already developing the idea in my studio work, but now I can shape it into an actual product. The scholarship will give me the opportunity to really refine and develop it."
She was also quick to sing the praises of wool as a versatile material.
"Initially I hadn't considered wool as a potential material for my product, but looking at the opportunities and benefits of using wool, I knew it was something I should be incorporating into my work," Taylor said. "Wool has so many amazing properties that are undervalued and overlooked."
Later in the year, Taylor will travel to Wairarapa to visit the Palliser Ridge sheep station, where she will see the wool production process up-close, meet with the team and bounce ideas around with some of the country's wool experts.
"I'm really keen to take this idea to the next level and turn it into a functioning product," Taylor said.
"The scholarship lets me experiment and really push my ideas, as well as help set me up with industry connections that I can discuss and brainstorm ideas with. The different perspectives and experiences will really help elevate my work."