In our blog posts, we hope to take you, the curious wool lover and supporter of Australian manufacturing, on a journey through the life and knowledge of one of Victoria’s last knitwear manufacturing companies. As an endangered species in the Australian business market, we have a lot to offer the world and this is where you will be able to find it. Please feel free to connect with our small and local (to Ballarat) team through this blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter handle or a good old fashioned phone call if you have any questions or requests for blog themes. We are more than happy to add a personal touch to our products.
Clunes, a township half an hour north of Ballarat by car, was the original site of the first Interknit factory and our business was socks. All types of socks. In fact, we still have a large range of socks today in wool, cotton and bamboo blends. Back then socks were our primary source of income and the business was so ingrained in the Clunes local culture that our friends at the Clunes Local History Museum have a special display just for Interknit’s days in Clunes. We donated a working machine to the museum and if you’re ever in the area you should check in and tag us at the display.
Over the years the business moved its manufacturing plant to Ring Road, Ballarat and changed ownership. Greg Parker owned and oversaw the business until the current Managing Director, Andrew Blaszak bought the business and built the new Alfredton factory in 2005. Today, Andrew and his wife, Kassie Blaszak are the owners and directors of the Interknit manufacturing plant and display room at 1004 Humffray St South in Mount Pleasant, Ballarat. Ownership is not the only thing to have changed over the years. With the addition of new knitting machines and changes in supply and demand in the Australian marketplace, Interknit now manufactures jumpers as its bread and butter. Famous for their outdoor jumpers made from recycled wool and specifically to meet the harsh conditions of a southern Winter in Australia, Interknit also have a pure wool workwear range including high visibility jumpers that meet and exceed Australian standards for night time and day time use.
Our Ballarat Gold brand is a nod to the nostalgic days of buying a garment to last. Our Ballarat Gold customers have their jumpers for years, sometimes decades, as the quality Merino Wool and timeless patterns and colours make for solid wardrobe investments. Challenging today’s culture of fast fashion is a key interest for Andrew and Kassie and educating the next generation on how to care for their wool-wear (yes, you can machine wash in cold water!) and that the qualities of this natural fibre will far outlast anything they can buy from a fast fashion outlet, are further goals for this blog.
We have so much more to share with you but given that ours is a culture of busy times and short attentions, we’d love to leave you with a short video clip we put together showing the current day process of yarn to packaged jumper so you can appreciate the time, care and effort that goes into your quality wool jumper. – M