Recently the ABC reported that demand for Australian-made textiles has gone up 400% in the past two years. Stop by the museum to find out more about Tasmanian wool manufacturing success story: Casaveen Knitwear.
During a downturn in the wool industry, Claire McShane began Casaveen Knitwear in the pantry of her house at Casaveen Farm, north of Oatlands, to ‘value-add’ to the wool grown on the McShane property.
Within a few years Claire was the director of a factory and shop in Oatlands, where local women produced the fabric on knitting machines, and sewed the garments on-site.
At the time, the wool manufacturing industry in Tasmania was in decline, with only Coats Paton, Waverley Woollen Mills and James Nelson still in operation. One of the advantages of Casaveen was that the factory workers could produce a variety of colours and styles in smaller quantities and could make to measure. Most purchases were through the Oatlands shop, with some by mail order.
Casaveen Knitwear continued for 27 years, employing Tasmanians, and creating soft, durable knitwear, until Claire needed to retire. Sadly, Claire was unable to find a buyer for the business, and the factory equipment and shop were sold.
For more on the history of Casaveen Knitwear, visit our museum. Open 7 days.