I’m sure I’m not the only supplier of niche, high quality British yarns and fibres who gets inundated with requests from students doing their Final Year Collections.It’s a regular annual event.
Just occasionally I get one who asks for specific things relevant to my range ie Bowmont Merino yarn, Cashmere yarn or the raw material of both. They will tell me WHY they want MY stuff and what its value will be within their collection.
These students I will bend over backwards to help, offering them what I have and often at a discount even though I can not really afford to do so. But students are the future and the bright, innovative ones who have thought about WHAT and WHY they want certain fibres and yarns and have done their research properly are to be encouraged at every turn. They are glimmers of hope for the future.
All too often however I get generic emails from students -
“Dear Sir, Does your company sell wool? Please send me samples of your whole range, dyed and undyed so I can choose what I want. As I am a penniless student I would love you to send me all this free but if there is a charge (a small one) I will somehow scrape the money together to pay it.” This is a compilation of several I have received recently!
Students, if you want help then please have the commonsense and courtesy to do your research first and ask properly! Grovelling is NOT required, just some evidence that you really understand what you want. Oh and it would be nice to be addressed by my name.
These sentences below show the APPALLING ignorance of fashion students.
“Can you send me samples of your wool cloth please? On cones?”
“How much do I want? Oh, I don’t know. I haven’t a clue and there’s no one at College I could ask.”
”What type of yarn? Are there different types then?”
All absolutely genuine!!!
I despair. It’s VERY clear that students are not always taught the basics of type and production of natural fibres and the yarns they make. Nor are they being taught cutting skills apparently – all that is left to an ageing band of Technicians taught in the Old Days while the students spend time on designing round their computer screens.
To my mind, designing ANYTHING without a fundamental grasp of the raw material you will make it with is a nonsense and does nobody any good. The student, who may be an amazing talent, will be working blind, not knowing what he could technically do with the material, and the supplier may be blamed for supplying yarns/fibres/cloth which don’t do the job they are being asked to do.
It’s a serious problem and I really don’t know what the answer is.