Make It Yourself With Wool- 2002 Nationals

The National contest for Make It Yourself With Wool was held recently with a total of 59 contestants – 28 junior contestants, 30 senior contestants and one adult winner – modeling their creations at the annual event. A total of 1,266 contestants participated in the 2001/2002 competition at the state level, with winners advancing to the national competition held in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

The “Make It Yourself With Wool” contest was actually an outgrowth of a cooperative effort between members of the Women’s Auxiliary groups of the sheep growers organization in the West and the 4-H club work.

To promote wool and generate new interest in sewing with wool among young women and girls, the women’s auxiliary of the National Wool Growers” Association originated the “Make It Yourself With Wool” contest. The contest was founded in Utah and adopted by the National Wool Growers’ Association in 1947. The first annual contest began June 1, 1947 and ended at the National Wool Growers” convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in January, 1948. Each of the following states were entitle to have 6 girls compete: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The women’s auxiliary originally conducted all local, state and national contests. The auxiliary members raised funds to conduct the contest on the local level. The auxiliary frequently held their own fund raising activities to sponsor the contests at the local level.

In 1960, the American Wool Council, the name adopted by the wool division of the American Sheep Producers Council, took over active sponsorship of the contest in cooperation with the auxiliary.

In 1961, the contest expanded from 20 states to a nationwide contest based on the 20 state and area sheep councils of the American Sheep Producers Council. As a result of a threatened lawsuit, the contest was opened for males in 1972. The contest has since grown to include 33 states. Until January of 2000, it included the remaining states in a “State Without a Contest” photographic category. This portion of the competition proved not to be cost-effective and was eliminated. In its place, for the first time, a “Made for Others” option was implemented. In 2001, a “Fashion/Apparel Design” category for college-enrolled fashion/apparel design students was added. This is a special segment of the contest supported financially by the American Wool Council. This category makes it possible for fashion/apparel design students from EVERY state to compete. In also gives “Make It Yourself With Wool” an opportunity to influence the retail market.

The “Make It Yourself With Wool” competition is currently sponsored by the American Sheep Industry Association and the American Sheep Industry Women. The “Make It Yourself With Wool” program remains as one of the last means of promotion for the lamb and wool industry. The contest hosted 1266 contestants, nationally, in 2001-2002 with 3,584 yards of wool fabric and approximately 300 skeins of wool yarn being utilized. Sponsorship of the program has remained strong with support from the lamb and wool industry-producers, feeders, and woolen mills, as well as the sewing and fashion industry-sewing machine, thread, and fabric companies and fashion magazines, as well as individuals and organizations interested in agriculture and youth.

For more information about entering the MIYWW contest, contact Marie Lehfeldt, National MIYWW Coordinator email levi@midrivers.com

Now is the time to start making your garment for the next Make It Yourself With Wool Contest! The competition is fun and the prizes are great! Contact Marie Lehfeldt, National MIYWW Coordinator email levi@midrivers.com to find out more information and how to enter this contest in your state.

Style show commentary/photo captions

For current year winners andcontest details see Make It Yourself With Wool

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