Reporter 412, 15 December 1997

Textile experts fleece Dolly the sheep in the name of charity

The fleece of Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep, is currently at the University where it is to be made into yarn by the School of Textile Industries. The yarn will then be used to make the world’s first cloned woollen jumper to help raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Dolly, who hit the headlines world-wide when she was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, was sheared for the first time in May. The fleece was given to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, which decided to organise a jumper design competition.

Dolly’s fleece was brought to Leeds where it will undergo a number of cleaning, carding and spinning processes to be made into yarn – which will then be used to make the winning design from a jumper competition open to amateur and professional designers alike.

Dr Steve Russell, of the School of Textile Industries, says: “Leeds was chosen because of our reputation as the country’s leading textile school.”

The University of Leeds also has historic links with the textiles and woollen industries – the School was founded in 1874.

Textile technologist Barry Greenwood adds: “We are very pleased to be given the opportunity to use our facilities and expertise to create yarn that will be used to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.” Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Rosie Barnes said “The competition using Dolly’s fleece is a great way for the CF Trust to raise funds and awareness of the disease.”

After being knitted with the yarn produced in Leeds, the winning jumper will be featured on BBC TV’s Clothes Show. It will be presented to the Science Museum in London in February where it will be put on permanent display.

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