Fashion Challenge: Make It With Wool

With Labor Day behind us and the school buses once more appearing on the roads it's impossible to deny that fall is not far behind. That means it's time for the annual Make It With Wool competition. This historic national contest provides scholarships for participating youth and promotes the use of wool fiber and fabrics for fashion garments.

Youth and adults of all ages may enter this fun and educational contest. To participate, contestants must make themselves a garment (usually an ensemble) made of a minimum of 60 percent wool (sheep's wool, alpaca, mohair, buffalo, etc.) fibers. Entries may be sewn, knit, crocheted, woven or felted. The contestant will model the garment(s) themselves at their District event, and if chosen, will go on to represent their District at the State competition.

Testing for Wool Content

To test, soak a scrap of fabric overnight in 1 cup of undiluted plain bleach. 100 percent wool fabrics will dissolve completely. Certain fabric finishes may affect the results.

Entries are judged 60 percent on how they appear and fit on the contestant and 40 percent on construction (off the contestant).

Age categories are Preteen (12 and under), Junior (13–16), Senior (17–24), Adult (25–49), and Adult (50 and over). Preteens compete at district level only.

Make It for Others

In the Make It for Others (district-level only) contest, all regular Make It With Wool rules apply regarding content of wool and garment categories. However, the entrant does not have to model the garment himself/herself.

Instead, the garment must be modeled for the district competition judging and fashion show by the person for whom it was made. Information on the entry form should pertain to the person who constructed the garment, not the model.


District Preteen winners will receive 1.5 yards of Pendleton wool fabric. Each district winner in the Junior, Senior, and both Adult categories will receive a trip to the state finals on October 31, 2009. Make It for Others winners will receive 2.5 yards of Pendleton wool fabric.

State Junior and Senior winners each will receive a trip to the national competition at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, January 21–23, 2010. State Junior and Senior alternates will win sewing machines.

One overall Adult winner will be selected at state to receive a serger. The garment, a video, and photos of him/her in the garment will advance to the national Adult competition. One overall national Adult winner is chosen to model his/her garment at the national competition. The state Adult alternate wins $100 in cash.

District competitions take place on weekends throughout October. If the date for your local competition does not work for you, attending another District event is allowed. Detailed information is available through the Washington Make It With Wool Contest website.


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