From farm to catwalk

EWE BEAUTY... Ardmona's Eve Girdwood is turning her passion for textiles and clothing design into a sustainable and stylish venture. Photo: Kelly Lucas

A talented young local is turning her passion for textiles and clothing design into a sustainable and stylish venture.

Eve Girdwood is a 19-year-old from Ardmona, enjoying a gap year before she commences Certificate III in Clothing and Textile Production in 2022.

From wool shorn from her own flock of Perendale ‘strong wool’ sheep, Eve sews and sells crossbody bags and berets using patterns she created herself.

“We get our flock shorn once, sometimes twice, a year. Normally we sell this wool, but in 2019 when I was deciding what I would make for year 12 textiles in 2020, I thought that instead of selling the wool, I could research making it into fabric,” explains Eve.

“In December 2019, we dropped 160kg of raw wool in Geelong at E.P. Robinson who scoured the wool. This then went to Cashmere Connections in Baccus Marsh where it was combed, carded and gilled, then to the Wanagratta Woollen Mill where it was spun into yarn.

“From there, it was sent back to Geelong Textiles where that yarn was woven into 80m of cloth and to Geelong Dyeing where half was dyed black and half dyed navy.”

Using the fabric, she creates the items which you can purchase via Instagram @evegandfriends.Eve has around 80 lambs in her sheep stud aptly named ‘Two Pines Perendale Sheep Stud’, and secretly has a couple of favourites
(and not-so favourites).

“All of them are named and most of them I know just from their faces. I do have a couple of favourites, Sue, who is one of my original three is one of them and her daughter Peggy is also very nice.

“I’m also very fond of any of the ones I bottle fed, last year that was Pizza and Mustard – I took them into school on one of the last days. But there are also some that I do not like. Nancy, for example, is mean.”
Eve is focused on producing functional pieces sustainably and uses natural components as much as possible.

“I use cotton thread, corozo nut as the buttons and cotton fabric for the lining. The only unnatural component is the zip. I collect all the scraps, even minuscule bits as well as the offcut threads. Even though I am only one person, I try to make as much difference as I can, and this tiny bit of material that I keep is a tiny bit of the 84 percent of disposed clothing and textiles that ends up in landfill,” Eve said.

“I enjoy seeing things through to the end, and this is the ultimate full circle. It’s also quite a nice feeling to have spent weeks at a time making something and for it to be welcomed into someone else’s life – the story of the material being closely related to the maker just makes the item even more cherished.”