Feel the Yarn

Yarn training experience and design award for future knitwear designers

Feel the Yarn 2011 is a project aimed to involve a selection of young designers coming from the most important international fashion and design schools to let them know both features of Tuscan yarn and economic, social and historical background of the textile production district.

The project was divided into two inter-related parts:
– a training focused on yarn’s features with a week stay in Prato (March 2011) production district where students attended seminars and sessions on yarn production process, visited companies of the productive process and selected yarns to realize the outfits to participate in the award
– the participation at Pitti Immagine Filati (Florence, July 2011), in a special area dedicated to the project, with an exhibition/competition among the outfits created by students with Tuscan yarns with the teaching tutoring of the school they come from and with an Italian stylist’s general coordination.

The project, promoted by Tuscany Region and ICE – the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade, coordinated by Toscana Promozione and realised in collaboration with CPF – Consorzio Promozione Filati and Pitti Immagine, involved 21 students from seven prestigious international design schools: Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (UK), Royal College of Art (UK), Bunka Fashion College (Japan), Parsons The New School for Design (USA), BIFT Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (China), Senac São Paulo (Brasil) and Polimoda (Italy). A tutor from each institute was also present, with the aim of establishing continuing collaborations. The international opening took into account the importance of the reference markets for the export of Tuscan yarns and “Made in Tuscany” products.

Each student designed and produced 3 outfits presented which were voted on by the public and an international technical jury composed of journalists and experts in the knitwear sector representing the countries of origin of the schools involved. The technical jury was composed of Anna Maria Fuzzi (Italy), Janet Prescott (UK), Vivi Haydu (Brasil), Jang Shengnan (China), Virginia Borland (USA) and Hatsuyo Hashinaga (Japan).

This second edition of Feel the Yarn attracted great interest from the visitors to Pitti FIlati and the winner was announced during the final day of the event. The outfit which distinguished itself for its creativity and interpretation of the yarn used, experimental working methods and adherence to the theme of the competition was that by Soojin Kang, a student on the MFA at Parsons, who won a cheque for €2,500 to be used for her post‐graduate education.


Soojin Kang


Kaoru Oshima


Paula Cheng

The project was funded and organized by Toscana Promozione and ICE – Italian Institute forForeign Trade in collaboration with CPF – Consorzio Promozione Filati, association of companies producing yarn, and Pitti Immagine.