A stitch in time leads the way to a healthy wardrobe

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Wear this. From habitat gardens to wearable blooms at the wool shed, the IGA Perth Royal Show promises to be a 'stitch in time'.

In other words, city and country people alike could do themselves a favour and plan to attend the Show because there is much to learn to 'save nine' this year.

Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) councillor in charge of wool Ken Walker said in celebrating the Year of the Farmer, woolgrowers across the State have put their best fleeces forward for this year's royal 'show and tell'.

"The effort is in partial to urge consumers to make a healthier choice in what they wear," Mr Walker said.

RAS president Hugh Harding agreed with Mr Walker and encouraged Show visitors to walk among the sheep fleeces to see for themselves why wool was the healthy alternative.

"Wool is a wonderful natural fibre which has many beneficial properties," Mr Harding said.

"This year's Royal Show is focusing on better lifestyle choices, whether it is growing your own healthy foods or wearing more natural fibre."

Also taking centre stage at the Jim Horwood Pavilion will be one of the best wool garment fashion parades to make a presence in WA.

The Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Runaway Parade 101 Kit will feature the 2012 collections of many leading Australian designers and brands.

AWI media communications coordinator Kate Muir said the parade would demonstrate the role the world's most luxurious yet affordable natural fibre played in making fashion come alive.

"The fibre inspires creations for the everyday as well as for the catwalks of the world's top fashion houses," Ms Muir said.

And making headway into the top end of Merino wool was this year's supreme champion fleece, which was an entry from Calingiri producers Bruce and Carol Edmonds, of Glen-Byrne Merino stud.

The Edmonds repeated their supreme award from last year, making it two in a row.

"We are extremely pleased to repeat such a fantastic accomplishment," Mr Edmonds said.

The 8.3kg ewe's fleece measured 19.6 microns, recorded a yield of 75 per cent and a comfort factor of 99.8 per cent.

Chief wool judge Tim Chapman said it was well grown and tremendously even throughout.

"It measured a very low 14.3 coefficient of variation of diameter (CVD) which is reflected in the good 55 Newtons per kilotex of strength," he said.

"So good was the upper range of fleeces this year, there were only a few points between the top awards.

"Although wool quality continues to remain resilient on the back of sometimes unfavourable seasons, wool prices can often test the best of growers.

"The challenge to increase the flock and reverse the shrinking clip has been put to growers this year.

"We are all hoping wool prices will spring back and reward growers for their special contributions towards agriculture production in WA as well as the world natural fibre industry."

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