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Bringing New Blood into the TCF Sector

posted 3 Jun 2013 22:09 by Sarah conners   [ updated 25 Jun 2013 23:54 ]

Hearing comments like
“Our ‘young’ machinists are 45!” and ‘Cutters’ are like hens teeth!” from people out there in industry made Meriel Chamberlin realise that there was a desperate need to get some new blood flowing through the TCF manufacturing sector.
Meriel, the TFIA Performance and Procurement Cluster host has teamed her cluster up with Brian Doyle from Career Keys to make a fully funded apprenticeship and traineeship program available to Queensland businesses.
This means that businesses based in Queensland will now have the opportunity to build skills and capacity within their own company and the TCF industry without having to take on the traditional commitment that goes along with a trainee.
To access this trainee program each business must have a certified supervisor for their trainee, no matter how much experience a potential supervisor may have it needs to be official. Creative Industries Skills Council (QLD) has stepped in to help source some funding through the Strategic Investment Fund to make this happen.

Businesses can now access 70% Subsidised training for current workers.

To access subsidised training businesses must register any owners and /or employees by July 31st 2013 and the training must be completed by December 31st 2013. Subsidised places are limited and will be offered on a first in first served basis.
Career Keys and the TFIA Performance & Procurement Cluster, are working closely with Creative Industries Skills Council (QLD) and TCF Connect are working closely together to bring these new flexible and SME friendly opportunities businesses.

To get more information about this program and download application forms visit the TFIA Performance & Procurement Cluster page.

Fashion Export Workshop 2013

posted 28 May 2013 18:45 by Sarah conners   [ updated 28 May 2013 18:58 ]

From the internet to highly detailed market research reports there is a plethora of information available to Fashion Exporters.

But what does your business really need to determine whether or not you can compete successfully in offshore markets?

Exporters are constantly seeking and collecting information to help them make strategic decisions about their domestic and export business. Whether you're expanding into new markets, or re-evaluating current markets the Fashion Export Workshop 2013 will help you with the critical inputs needed to make sound business decisions.

You are invited to join us to discuss the critical issues around market analysis, information sources, matching your products to export markets, leveraging contacts to develop market intelligence and much more.....


15th August 9am - 5pm

16th August 9am - 2pm

Level 5, Hong Kong House
80 Druitt Street
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
For more details visit the Export Cluster Page

From Handbags to T-Shirts - Sarah Conners

posted 20 Jan 2013 21:39 by Sarah conners   [ updated 29 Jan 2013 21:58 ]

Back in November The TFIA Digital Print Cluster launched the 1st part of their very exciting Licence to Print project and I was lucky enough to get myself a spot in the first workshop.

Now I don’t know much about making T-Shirts and even less about digital printing but here was the perfect chance to make the T-Shirt (and sell it!) all the while learning about printing ….perfect.  

I am always looking for opportunities to bring a new angle to the products I can offer and had been looking at the possibility of incorporating digital print textiles for a long time but have always put it on the backburner.  If I am honest it has always seemed a bit terrifying.

Is it terrifying? Yes and no, there is a lot more to it than I thought but it is also pretty easy to get started. By the end of the workshop, with some very helpful advice from Tiffany and Chole I had a file ready to go to the printer.
During the workshop we did learn about how to set up files for printing, how to manage colour, inks and all the important technical lingo but it was all the insider info from Tiffany about printing that was really invaluable. Who knew that fabric shrinks when you digitally print? Well, now I do!
So, the story behind this workshop is great, once you have got your t-shirt design ready and printed the group plan to get them made up locally, exhibit them during LMFF and then each designer can sell their T-Shirts online. My business isn’t about clothes, it’s all about handbags! While I probably am not going to be making my millions from T-Shirt sales I really love the promotional opportunity this could offer me.
Register for the next licence to Print Workshop on the 13th February here and the MASTERCLASS on the 7th February here
Image 1 – Tiffany Treloar working through the 1st steps of getting the T-Shirt design ready.

Image 2 – Chole Kerr, the Textile & Fashion Hub digital print technician, showing the placement and cutting of the T-Shirts

Image 3 – Tiffany Treloar and Argyro Gavalas checking the organic cotton jersey ready for printing

Image 4 – Georgia Chapman and Christopher Hamblin looking at the way files translate into actual prints

Image 5 – Tee designs coming to life

Kahlo's American Adventures

posted 8 Nov 2012 22:14 by Sarah conners   [ updated 8 Nov 2012 22:36 ]

Join the KAHLO team on an action packed trip to America...
The KAHLO Team
Excited to be in America,
KAHLO's first destination was NYC to shoot an exclusive F/W13 campaign with well-known and super talented Darren McDonald, who recently shot for VOGUE Australia and who has been abroad shooting for the past few months. The collaboration/ campaign was shot in Darren's studio in Williamsburg and featured international girl from Ford Models, Isabella Persson Oberg.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was a blur of people, fashion and parties. The highlight was attending the debut show for fellow Australian designers Christopher Esber and Kym Ellery. It was exciting to see Fashion Toast blogger Rumi Neely wearing the KAHLO Jonas leather dress to the NYC 3.1 Phillip Lim show. Australia's Harper and Harley blogger Sara Donaldson was also spotted at Times Square in KAHLO's character dress. She posted it on her
Harpers & Harley.

Next was Capsule Trade Show in New York which generated international interest for KAHLO. International stockists from around the world including Berlin, South Korea, Montreal, New York and Los Angeles came and viewed the new collection and placed orders. It was also a great opportunity to be introduced to influential people in the industry and to meet with international bloggers.

KAHLO and Phillip Lim's graphic designer Thembi Hanify collaborated to do an abstract photo shoot of the SS12 collection to coincide with the launch of the new collection into the Northern Hemisphere.

After achieving amazing results in New York it was time to the west and to see what LA had to offer .

KAHLO and ModelCO, their official beauty brand partner held a bloggers media event at one of their exclusive boutiques Satine. It was an intimate guest list comprising of LA based celebrities, bloggers and stylists.  The night was extremely successful with a positive response.

After a couple of short road trips to San Francisco and Vegas it was time to return home to Australia to exciting new ventures and opportunities.

Digital Print Custer - Licence to Print

posted 22 Oct 2012 20:51 by Sarah conners   [ updated 6 Nov 2012 15:59 ]

Join the TFIA Digital Print Cluster and become part of their exciting Licence to Print project. As a designer involved in this project you will have the opportunity to take a basic Tee design, make it your own and sell it directly to your customers. Enhance your product offering by working together with the Cluster and learning about the possibilities of digital printing. Experiment with new ways of selling products using social media and design and marketing collaborations.

The Licence to Print project will culminate in a LMFF 2013 event to promote the project and individual designers and assist in driving sales of the graphic Tee's they produce.

As a Designer what do you need to do?

1. Register for The Textile & Fashion Hub

2. Attend one of the Licence to Print Workshops where you will learn the basics of Digital Print technology and develop and produce a graphic Tee print.

3. Submit your design to be considered for inclusion in the Licence to Print Project

4. Work with the TFIA Digital Print Cluster to design and build marketing and selling platforms for the graphic Tee design.

5. Sell your Tee products.

For more information contact the TFIA Digital Print Cluster Host Tiffany Treloar or 03 9529 7337 or download the information below.

To register for the Licence to Print Workshops go to:

Thursday November 8th 9am - 2pm



Behind the Label with Livia Arena

posted 5 Aug 2012 22:44 by Sarah conners   [ updated 5 Aug 2012 22:45 ]

Join Tiffany Treloar and Livia Arena as they discuss new season trends, the pros and cons of building a designer label and take a behind the scenes look at Livia Arena.

Describe your current collection and your inspiration for the designs.

The current Autumn/Winter collection The Fall, was borne out of a literal examination of the term ‘Fall’. The collection is a study of how fabrics and textures fall on the body in reaction to the elements and our motions through them – it aims to explore both the duality of the semantic and the physical representations of the term ‘Fall’. The range experiments with notions of how movement and excess fabric make the wearer feel in response to the elements - the level of consciousness and awareness that we attain from our clothing and our surrounds, and the interplay between the two. Asymmetrical draping that falls from the neckline of a dress and flows in the wind, jumpers with frazzled fibres that react to movement and breeze. It centres on the visceral experience of winter dressing.

What is your favourite piece/fabric/print? Why?

The Silkie Jumper – the fabric has such an interesting texture, it almost looks like it’s shivering or has been electrocuted.

To read the full interview follow the link below


posted 2 Jul 2012 17:18 by Sarah conners   [ updated 2 Jul 2012 17:19 ]

During Re.Design – the Textile & Fashion Hub’s sustainable fashion forum - TFIA announced an ongoing partnership with WGSN. This collaboration will see WGSN supporting Textile & Fashion Hub events with their latest insight into where things are heading for the TCF industries and allow Hub Registrants to benefit from WGSN access while onsite at the Hub.

‘We are very excited to have WGSN on board assisting the Textile & Fashion Hub in further supporting small-medium businesses in presenting their latest research’ says Hub Strategic Manager Julia Haselhorst. ‘Especially their ‘think tank’ section will be very helpful to smaller operators not having the time and resources to keep track of all the exciting developments in other parts of the world capturing how this may affect the way we feel and therefore consume and dress ourselves’.

WGSN’s Jen Sherrin opened the Sustainability Forum, running through the latest trends in sustainable fashion and textiles. The WGSN presentation gave an insightful overview of ideas and solutions that will guide how business will be run moving forward, and how the fashion industry can be a leader in this area, changing the way things are done with efficiency and longevity in mind.

WGSN is delighted to be partnering with The Textile & Fashion Hub. “We see this as a fantastic opportunity for WGSN to support the industry and provide Creative Intelligence, Insight and Inspiration in the form of onsite WGSN access and live content for Seminars and Events” – Heidi Dyt, Regional Director WGSN.

Any TCF business can register for the Textile & Fashion Hub by clicking here.

Creating Links Between Industry and Education

posted 24 Jun 2012 22:40 by Sarah conners   [ updated 2 Jul 2012 16:55 ]

Performance and Procurement Cluster 


Linking up TCF Businesses and Textile Science Students.


So many companies have garments and product ideas that need some detailed attention to bring them through the final stages of commercialization. In particular this counts for items where a performance claim or quality level needs to be proven in order for the product to be marketed and used for the right purposes. E.g. you can claim a sports top can wick moisture and dry quickly, but can you prove it? And do you know how it compares to your competition? Or an ordinary cotton Tshirt?


Our cluster has made links with RMIT Textiles and Clothing faculty in order to line up student internship opportunities with companies looking to add focus to projects within their business and give a student some real world experience too.


RMIT are fabulously set up to support and supervise students in the workplace, and a constant catchcall of the industry is that we are ‘crying out’ for skilled people to join it, it’s so much easier to contemplate taking on graduates when you know they have spent time in a commercial environment.


We’ll be organising for interested cluster members to have a look at the RMIT facilities next month, where the resources available, including those for product testing and assessment, are easy to appreciate.



For more information about this and our cluster activity please contact

Young Designer – Sonya Kraan by Elana Harari

posted 12 Jun 2012 20:26 by Sarah conners   [ updated 12 Jun 2012 20:27 ]

As part of the QR window, the TFIA sat down with Sonya Kraan to find out more about her product and what the digital revolution means to her and her business

The SONYA KRAAN label is driven by the belief that the fashion design discipline must be met with equally weighted rationalism and creative expression. Functionality and quality are always carefully considered and some garments have a unique transformable ability. This can be as simple as removable sleeves, layers for acclimatization or as complex as garments that can be reconfigured entirely. Not to be confused with the utilitarian style ‘pants with the zip off legs’, I borrow this thinking and hide it within beautifully crafted pieces.

I believe that if we inject more ‘options’ into a garment and create something less static, we will increase its use. I hope to encourage a shift in customer’s expectations of a fashion product. A garment should posses longevity in both aesthetics and quality. It should last years not months, be worn and enjoyed, not thrown in a landfill. All garments for the SONYA KRAAN label are Made in Australia.

The TFIA have supported my business from the very beginning. Not only with networking opportunities, but also with business planning and mentoring to prepare me for this industry. Through the TFIA I have been introduced to fabric suppliers and garment manufacturers who I continue to work with. I have also found being involved with the Design Cluster a really beneficial way to bond with, and learn from my industry peers. It’s great to have a network to share information and experiences with.

Through the QR Code Pop-up Window project I hope we can gain exposure and promote Melbourne independent emerging designers. The retail market has been struggling so it’s a great time to start thinking outside the box and see what customers respond to.

Find Sonya Kraan on Facebook

To learn more about the QR Window head to the TFIA Facebook page

TCF Defence Tender Training Update from Meriel Chamberlin

posted 5 Jun 2012 23:28 by Sarah conners   [ updated 5 Jun 2012 23:59 ]

To bid or not to bid?

One of the key questions the participants at the TCF Defence Tender Training were encouraged to ask themselves.


Over 60 representatives of both current and potentially future suppliers to Defence in the TCF sector took part in two successful, informative and intensive 2 day workshops in both Sydney and Melbourne. 


We covered every stage of the process, including

            - researching the supply opportunities, 

            - understanding the DMO ‘landscape’,

            - getting your business ready to be in a position to bid,

            - to bid or not to bid? making sure the decision to submit a tender is the right decision for your business,

            - preparing to manage the tender submission process,

            - building a successful submission, understanding the paperwork,

            - understanding what DMO are looking for in your submission.


At both locations we were joined by members of the DMO team from both the technical and contract management parts of their procurement teams for the second day of training. It proved to be a huge benefit to all participants to be able to ask questions and hear discussions around others' questions to increase their understanding of the needs of this very particular customer. 


DMO have regularly made it clear, in this sector, that there is nothing more frustrating than receiving great product submissions (garments etc) that are non-compliant tenders that cannot be considered, and this is often for paperwork reasons. The guidance and information provided by this course should mean that this is not going to be the case for the participants in future submissions to DMO.


What next?

The TCF Supplier Advocate, Tony Quick, was instrumental in getting this unique collaboration between DMO, Government and Industry bodies to constructively tailor this training for the TCF sector. If there is demand from the TCF Industry for further workshops to be made available, and across more of Australia, we need to hear from you. Please let us know at if you’d like to have the opportunity for this kind of training in the future.

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