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Fibre of football

The Fibre of Football campaign celebrates the rich heritage connecting the Australian wool industry and Australian football.

Since the game was created in the mid 19th century, Australian football has been played where wool is grown. The local football team is still the centre of many wool-growing communities.

The campaign now involves many initiatives including placing the natural fibre into football supporter apparel. Shearers, woolgrowers, agents and studmasters across the country have united to support the campaign.

The Woolmark Company – owned by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) – launched the campaign in July 2014 at the world’s biggest sheep event, the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo, Victoria.

The Woolmark Company and AWI are owned by more than 25,000 Australian woolgrowers. AWI invests along the global supply chain for Australian Merino wool – from woolgrowers through to retailers – to promote Australian Merino wool’s position as the premier natural fibre.

The making of a wool jumper

Step 1

Australian Merino wool, is shorn, graded, washed, dyed and spun into cones of yarn.

Step 2

Cones of yarn are then sent to the knitting factory in Footscray, Australia

Step 3

To create the jumper panels, yarn is knitted into large continuous tubes of fabric and then stored in rolls. Striped jumpers are knitted on a vertical or horizontal knitting machine, while plain jumpers are knitted on a circular knitting machine

Step 4

Collars and cuffs are knitted on a long stroke machine. Arm and neck bands are made with a flat knitting machine

Step 5

Front, back and sleeve panels are then cut from knitted rolls of fabric using cardboard stencils

Step 6

Cut panels are then sent for sewing to be turned into finished garments

Step 7

A flock transfer machine is used to apply complex logo designs for specific clubs such as Fitzroy, Carlton and West Coast Eagles

Step 8

Embroidered team badges are applied

Step 9

A clicking press machine uses sharp die cutters to create numbers for the backs of bespoke jumpers

Step 10

Finished jumpers are then packed and dispatched with great care