Geelong-National Wool Museum

The Culture, The Sights

Geelong is a beachside town on the Bellarine Peninsula, on the west/left side of Port Philip Bay.  Geelong is actually situated on the Corio Bay, a smaller bay off of the main Port Philip Bay.  The town itself is small, but bustling with lots of people in the parks and along the esplanade.

Who knew that the NATIONAL Wool Museum of Australia was less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne?

One of the NWM’s most famous displays is their original vintage carpet making machine.  It uses a pattern that is similar to an old music box to drop the correct color of yarn into the correct slot/position.  The machine makes an exclusive NWM patterned carpet.  It was awesome to watch the machine chug along, selecting the right colors, chopping the yarn off, and then pressing them down next to the last row of carpet to finish off the new row.

The first section focused on the animals and collecting the wool from them.  There were lots of samples of wool that you could feel to understand the categories that separated them: greasiness, thickness, waviness, etc.  A video screen showed professional sheep shearers; it is amazing how quickly and methodically they can shear a sheep!  Finally, the wool is pressed into bales to be packed and shipped.  They used to have to do it by hand, which required a lot of muscle, but now there is a machine for the job.

The second section focused on the wool after it was collected from the animals.  It started with processing the wool, such as carding it and turning it into yarn.  Then it moved on to uses for the yarn, like weaving on a loom, as modeled by my sister, or a circular weaving machine, modeled by me.  Of course, you could always just turn it into a “sheepasuraus” like the museum did.

And a scoop of gelato to top off the day… what could be better?

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