A common desire I’ve often heard expressed is for a return to Australian produced textiles.
I’ve watch the successful production of home grown fashion companies with interest, and fully support the continuation and development of a local textile production. We still have these skillsets within our community so lets support their growth and creativity.
In relation to textile materials….
We could certainly be investing more in their production.
Let’s consider some of the more popular and / or boutique modern textile materials:
- Wool: we do excel here, but we need to ensure that our high quality wool can continue to manufactured into clothes here in Australia, rather than exported overseas and then purchased back as a finished product.
- Bamboo: The softness of Bamboo clothing has made and sustainability of lyocell Bamboo clothing has made it a popular material for purchase and wear. Moso Bamboo is a drought resistant bamboo useful for clothes and flooring. It can have an invasive tendency, however this can be controlled by a ground level border around the property. As such it would seem a highly useful plantation, suited to Australia’s climate and weather patterns. This would particularly be the case if we were to invest in local manufacturing capability to produce the materials here, in Australia.
- Did you know that one of the softest boutique materials with significant anti-bacterial properties is Tencel? And that this is made from Eucalyptus plantations? And that NONE of those plantations are in Australia!? This is a trademarked product, but surely some discussion with the company regarding an Australian production site is warranted?
- Hemp: I’m sure we’ve all heard about this. Less water requirements, useful for clothing rope, house bricks etc etc. Why has it taken so long to even allow this production and still no active support. Once again local manufacturing capacity and plantation encouragement would produce local product security and jobs.
- Now,Cork is suprisingly interesting. Are you aware that Sir Walter Burley Griffin planted a plantation of cork trees in Canberra. These nearly had to be removed recently as for a cork to survive it needs to be harvested. That’s right cork is actually the bark of a particular tree, not the tree itself. Thankfully someone came to rescue, and for the first time we started to produce cork in Australia. Aside from the obvious, cork can actually be used to make luxe handbags, basic flooring, and many other products.
We have the capacity for the highly successful production of modern versatile textile products from start to finish using crops suited to our climate.
We should start paving the way for greater manufaturing here in Australia of the value added materials.