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Field Research

August 11, 2008

What an exciting week!

My current employer has consented to me taking my annual leave 1 day/week from August to December, which is giving me an extra day in the studio each week. I’m rapt!

Last Thursday, 1 August, was my first weekday studio day and I certainly made the most of it.

I had the pleasure of meeting with the most knowledgeable Jacqui McDonough, Account Manager at Macquarie Textiles, for a luxuriously informative session at her office. Jacqui’s background is rich in all aspects of the rag trade and she has worked extensively overseas and in Australia. Her technical knowledge is second to none, having spent time undertaking rigorous testing in textile labs.

Jacqui took me through Macquarie Textiles’ Green Solutions range, which has undergone extensive and highly advanced tests in order to produce an accurate assessment of their environmental impact from raw materials and production methods to the finished product. I’m particularly interested in their 70% Eco Wool / 30% Bamboo blend which not only carries the Macquarie Textiles’ Green Solutions certification, but also the internationally recognized GECA (Good Environmental Choice – Australia) certification. This session with Jacqui has helped me clarify the goal for my products – to carry the GECA ‘stamp of approval’.

Jacqui was also helpful in determining which material standards I should look into further: AS1530.3, the Australian Standard for Flammability and the Martindale Rub Test for Abrasion.

Thank you again Jacqui for all your help. I look forward to talking with you further!

Another company I need to look into in more detail is Green Living and their Sustainable Living Fabrics. Also an Australian company, Green Living does an enormous amount in terms of managing its carbon footprint, being 100% carbon neutral. It has established industry benchmarks for accredited environmental fabrics (all their fabrics are GECA approved) and actively educates the market to wipe out ‘greenwashing’ (where companies suggest they are more environmentally pure than they really are).

This week I also started to pull together my visual reference material for design concepts…

Below are some photos I took across the road from the fabulous Musée National du Moyen Age in Paris. These are wall posters of parts of my favourite suite of Medieval tapestries “La Dame et la Licorne” (translation: “The Lady and the Unicorn”). I love the way the work has been re-contextualised as part of the streetscape.

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