Scotch College Year 12 student Georgie Lines has combined her love of sheep and her talent for fashion to create a woolen jacket with fleece sourced from her family farm.

As the sixth generation of the Lines family at Gum Hill, the love of wool is in Georgie’s blood, while her passion for fashion was ignited when she learnt to sew with her grandmother.

In Year 10, she decided she would try her hand at studying textiles at school and heading into Year 12, Georgie said her teacher floated the idea of using a fleece in one of her projects.

It wasn’t until she spoke with her parents that she decided it was the perfect choice for her final assignment and her plan to make a felted jacket took off. The fleece for her fashion project traveled less than 200km from her family’s home at Mount Bryan to her school in Adelaide and Georgie, who had never felted wool before, had a big task ahead of her to create her final piece.

“Well, the first fleece I had I did a felting technique where I felted it all together in a big sheet,” she said.

“I spent a term and half cleaning, carding and felting the fleece but I realised it had too many grass seeds in it and dad had stitched me up.

“The second time I put a cotton interweaving underneath it and then made into di!erent sheets and then cut out my pattern pieces from there which was a lot easier.

“I got the new fleece at the start of September and I finished it on the September 29, so only a month in the end.

“But I spent the year planning, learning and washing the fleeces as well as dying the first one but I didn’t end up dying the final fleece.”

With a family history in the industry and a strong desire to continue that, Georgie also studied agriculture in Year 12, with one of her project based on breeding triplet lambs – an indication of her keen interest. She also produced report on fast fashion as part of her studies, with a focus on how Australian wool goes overseas to get processed and says she wanted to prove it instead could be made into clothes in Australia.

Through this deep understanding, Georgie said she thought she could easily make the transition from knowing about wool in a farming sense to a fashion sense, but that wasn’t the case.

“I had to learn about like wool and how the fibre works in textiles,” she said. “I thought that I knew everything but I quickly realised I actually had no clue.

“I knew all the properties of wool but then when I mixed it with textiles I realised just how much you could actually do with it.”

When she was able, Georgie would spend her free time at the farm and remembers looking at the sheep this year in amazement that their wool would soon become something she could wear.

“It was so good when I’d go into textiles because I could just smell the fleece and it felt like I was back in the shearing shed every time,” she said. “When I’d be in the boarding house at the sink cleaning my wool and people would walk past and ask me questions I’d be able to tell them all about the farm and sheep and wool and everything – I was in my element.”

With these two passions now intertwined, Georgie is ready to make her mark on the world, with a plan to study fashion next year after she spends her summer at home.

Fellow Mid North woolgrower and fashion designer Emily Riggs, Iris & Wool, is also an inspiration to Georgie and has helped her cement her belief in her future.

“I was so excited when I first saw she was creating things with wool,” Georgie said. “And then my dad bought me a dress and a jumper from her brand which was just so cool.

“I really want a future in fashion with a focus on wool as well and it’s great to see how successful she has been and hopefully I can be too.”

— original article courtesy of The Stock Journal