THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WOOL

It’s cosy, it’s comfortable and we don’t know where our wardrobes would be without it! Wool really is an unsung material, which is where the Wool Week stepped in. The annual event celebrates the versatility of wool by bringing together young design students with high street brands to create exclusive jumpers. Topshop’s winner was super talented Siobhan Tsang, a Kingston University student who wowed this year’s judges with her computer bunny design. Her winning jumper is available exclusively at Topshop, so we caught up with her to talk art, bunny rabbits and wool – obvs.

Siobhan’s winning design

When did you first start working with wool? 
I was introduced to wool in high school when I did textiles design. Ever since, I would experiment with wool, especially during my year in foundation art. When I got into Kingston, we were taught how to knit with the machines. I find it fascinating all the different types of techniques you can apply into your knitting. My favourite one is Fair Isle, I just find the technique playful and fun!

What was the inspiration behind your piece?
I came across an image of a beautiful library and another of some bunnies and rabbits, so I decided to combine both together to create an idea and a mini ‘visual story’, calling it the ‘Little Wondering Student – The Oxford Bunnies’ for more of an English feel. From then on, I decided to use the Fair Isle technique to do different designs of bunnies to give it a more playful vibe.

What woolwear designers inspire you?
Rodarte are one of my favourite woolwear designers. I find their knit collections innovative and inspiring.

What’s your favourite type of piece to design?
As I’m studying womenswear, my favourite pieces to design tend to be jackets and coats. Although after seeing the jumper I’ve designed come to life, I might start to design more jumpers in the future. This was probably be one of my favourite pieces to design as I had so much fun with the Wool School project!

What does Wool Week mean to you?
I think Wool Week is very important – it’s a great event to showcase the importance of wool, and how we can all get involved to show awareness about the natural and biodegradable benefits of this type of fibre. Wool Week also gives amazing opportunities for students who would like to specialise in wool, as Campaign for Wool gives you so much support.

How would you encourage other young people who want to work with wool?
Young people should participate in workshops and projects to get into wool – it’s a fun experience, and there are so many creative things you can do. Wool is such a natural and renewable fibre, and young people should learn about this in order to know how great it is, and to make good use of it.

What do you do when you’re not knitting?
I like visiting exhibition and galleries, such as the Tate Modern and White Cube. When I’m not exploring around London, I go to the library or on front my laptop and look up ideas and inspirations from amazing books and blogs we have available. I draw too – I find drawing is one of the best ways to keep your creativity flowing, inspired by all the wonderful things you see around you.

What’s next for you after you finish at Kingston?
I’m planning to stay in London to work for several designers to gain some more experience in the fashion industry. You can never stop learning!

Get your very own Wool Week jumper here and find out more about Wool Week, here.