New impulses for wool, and motivating opportunities for prospective fashion designers: against this backdrop the "Wool School Project“ is supporting cooperation between fashion and textile institutes as well as selected retailers and fashion firms. In this regard, the fashion company Marc Cain and Niederrhein University successfully created a path-breaking cooperation project. The idea is inspiring – as are the results, in the form of creative designs!
The basis of the "Wool School“ is the "Campaign for Wool“ initiative, which was launched in the UK in October 2010. Its importance is further underlined by its patron: His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. In 2011 the "Campaign for Wool“, originally planned for five years, was extended globally. The general initiator is the Woolmark Company, based in Australia, which also awards the eponymous quality hallmark.
It was the Woolmark Company whose analyses of the latest research and development trends in the wool sector, carried out in the "Wool Lab", created a solid basis for the "Wool School Project".
The cooperation between all the partners in the "Wool School Project" turned out to be a great strategic accomplishment. Together with the Campaign for Wool Ltd. and Niederrhein University's Department of Textile and Apparel Technology in Mönchengladbach, Germany, the fashion company Marc Cain implemented the project with great success.
The company, based in Bodelshausen, Germany, has around 650 employees and manufactures for knitting, printing and fabric finishing. For this, Marc Cain GmbH engages in intensive training of its own. The company also supports various textile study courses with sponsorships, student research and targeted projects. As Helmut Schlotterer, Chairman of the Board, founder and proprietor of Marc Cain, explains: "This is why I promptly agreed to the partnership project with Niederrhein University and the Campaign for Wool Ltd. For me it's a personal mission to support the students with our know-how and our technology."
As part of the partnership between Niederrhein University and Marc Cain, under the heading of "Knitted Wool Couture", eleven students were tasked with the innovative and creative processing of woolen cloth and woolen yarns. Project management was assumed by professors Ellen Bendt and Dr. Marina-E. Wachs from the Department of Textile and Apparel Technology at Niederrhein University. The objective was to develop unusual wool creations which would then be presented to the public as part of the Wool Weeks. From all the designs submitted, the best four creations were selected – and were then realized in the state-of-the-art knitting mill at Marc Cain.
During the development and implementation of their work, the finalists Anastasiya Wenzel, Marina Keberlein, Caroline Liehr and Maia Kesseler were supported by the professional team at the Marc Cain knitting mill.
Ms. Karin Veit, Creative Director and CEO at Marc Cain, was very satisfied: "Ever since the first meeting and selection of the knitting samples I've been very impressed with the students' performance. That's why I didn't want to settle on a winner right away – I wanted four of them to be given the chance to have their creations realized by our technology. For the designers that's a great opportunity and also a challenge – and for all of us, things stayed exciting right up to the end."
All the prizewinning models were presented in the windows of the Marc Cain Store on the Königsallee, Düsseldorf's famous fashion street. The finale and high point were the award ceremony on November 6, 2012 and the presentation of all submitted work in the Marc Cain Showroom in Düsseldorf. Maia Kesseler and Caroline Liehr had special reason to celebrate: the two students won the first prize, securing themselves a three-month internship in the Marc Cain Design Department.
Without the right material to implement unusual ideas, creative competitions like the Wool School Project could never be realized. With its highly precise and efficient needles, Groz-Beckert has made it a mission to transform the progressive ideas of creative designers and companies into reality. Thanks to its comprehensive expertise in the knitting sector, Groz-Beckert can master even the most complex requirements in the creation of knitted textiles.
Are you seeking a solution for your own creative product idea? Then the Groz-Beckert team of experts looks forward to working with you!
Groz-Beckert is also fully aware of its responsibility toward the performers of tomorrow: alongside its high degree of commitment in the training and further education sector, the company is also sponsoring several student projects. Last year, for instance, a cooperation project for innovative yarn was implemented together with Lenzing Plastics GmbH and Pforzheim University. Furthermore the Groz-Beckert Academy is also available for the latest knowledge transfer, offering numerous training courses along the full length of the textile value chain. The training program features more than ten different courses in the knitting sector alone.