Posted by Phil Grant with copy from Woolmark 1970's on March 03, 2017
I was scanning old catalogue's and photos in preparation for our celebration in May, when "Norsewear is 50 years old!" Reading through the information looking at the styles and times of Five decades of New Zealand Knitwear Manufacturing, I was recalled to when I was a boy in Gore NZ. Taken back to the 60's/70's standing by my dad in Wright Stephensons (could have been Wrightson NMA, Stock and Station Agents) being fitted in some woollen clothes/socks for the farm. It was quite a novelty for us to be buying clothes, because at home mum was a production line of knitwear from the fleece to the garment , home spun knitwear was king.
Now I am a Knitwear-King myself ,my mum still pumps knits out in her 80's, My partner Julie a knitwear-Queen and her Alpacca handmade garments and Accessories go out the door around the globe as fast as she can hand knit or crochet while we are driving between our stores and events.
The Woolmark Brochure below, was part of the collateral of that time, to strengthen the value of wool and attempt to ward off the fast growing imports of synthetics and "cheap" garments that had been flooding in since World War II. Between 1960 and 1975 were known as Woolmarks' glory years. The Woolmark Brand continues today.
Nothing has changed. The intention of this blog is to highlight that we haven't changed wool and its properties. There are new uses for the fibre such as; carpets, insulation, bedding and a strong growth in Fine wool Merino textiles that have emerged. The woollen garment story is still the same.
New Zealand's wool industry stems from inauspicious beginnings in 1779, when Captain Cook landed a pair of sheep that lived only two days, colonial farm development and export grew to be our Primary Industry.
The New Zealand Natural Clothing connection and heritage suppilers of quality woolen garments
1884 - Manawatu Knitting Mills was established in Manawatu spinning to knitted garments.
1913 - Swanndri created by William Broome based on wools' water shedding properties to make the bush shirt.
1967 Norsewear created by Ola Rian the NZ/Norwegian Consolate crafted Norsewar from his Garage in Wellington and moved producton to Norsewood
1997 NZ Natural Clothing label created by Norsewear as its Natural Fibre NZ made Brand
2007 New Zealand Natural Clothing purchased by Julie Hedley and Phil Grant with 7 retail stores from thier former employer Norsewear, today they continue to make layers under NZNC and sell Norsewear, Swanddri from stores in Norsewood, Otaki and Online www.sox.co.nz
I hope these images take you back like they have for me and inspire you that natural fibre is where you start when dressing yourself & your family for health, comfort, good looks and value for money.