Wool makes welcome return to the heart of Deniliquin

WOOL in all its glory was on display in the heart of Deniliquin last week.

The Peppin Heritage Centre hosted a fashion parade and exhibition as part of the Annual Riverina Sheep Expo.

The gallery was awash with artisans exhibiting their woolly wares; spinning, knitting, weaving, dying and beautiful lacework were examples of the variety of ways to use wool.

But then, in the middle of the day and the expo, a cat-walk was erected and local girls modelled about 40 garments among 300-odd stud rams.

From vintage wear to jumpers, racewear to wedding dresses and 13 new pieces sent from Australian Wool Innovation, the models displayed a range of clothes as a demonstration of the versatility of wool.

Tourism officer Jane Frazer, who had some of her own designs modelled, said the fashion parade was a variety of compositions and combinations.

“It showed how you can buy vintage second-hand classic pieces worth $20 to what Australian Wool Innovation is doing in terms of experimental ways of using wool in the fabric sense,” she said.

“It’s good for the producers, too, to see what the product is.”

The expo began at the Peppin centre before being moved to the Deniliquin showgrounds years ago but its return to the centre of the town last year has attracted the attention it deserves.

Ms Frazer said it was significant to hold the expo at the centre, given the Riverina merino field days were started there in the 1980s.

“It is logistically tricky but it is just fantastic to have it in the centre of town, accessible for everyone to see,” she said.

“Many of the people who come along are obviously the converted, because they’re still on the property.

“But just having it in town makes it an incidental event to go to. So people who may not have attended an agricultural event just go along with it, which they love.”