The Utility Poncho is a key piece in the WSworkshop Autumn Winter 16 Collection. This versatile piece transitions from a woollen blanket into a stylish throw over garment with ease.
In our efforts to create a uniquely Australian garment, WSworkshop turned to Waverley Woollen Mills in Tasmania - one of the only mills left in Australia weaving Australian wool.
The essence of the Waverley Woollen Mills story centres on its people. In their hands rests the true story of some of the world's finest names in blankets and throw rugs. Waverley Woollen Mills began as a challenge from the Tasmanian Colonial Office on February 2, 1870:
"We'll give a £1,000 bonus to the first person to sell the same amount in woollen goods from Tasmanian sheep.”
In 1871 Mr. Peter Bulman directed his attention to the practicability of such an enterprise. The following year he sailed to England and visited mills and manufacturing towns throughout England and Scotland to source the plant and equipment and recruit the skilled men necessary to establish the industry.
With bare hands and basic tools the mill was built beside Distillery Creek in Tasmania, Australia. The founders of Australia's oldest woollen company chose this site for the clean environment, abundant supply of 'soft water' and some of the world's finest merino wool.
For more than 141 years a dynasty of master weavers have handed down their knowledge, skills and passion. Today, despite modernisation and wool innovation, some things remain unchanged - the journey from farm to fleece to fabric remains hands-on. This is because softness, lightness, warmth and texture felt through the fingertips remains the only true measure of the pure, natural quality of Australian woollen products.
WSworkshop are proud to be associated with Waverley Woollen Mills in the effort to keep this uniquely Australian story alive.