Monday, June 22, 2015

Creswick Woollen Mills - An Australian family dynasty

The Mill

Creswick Woollen Mills was founded in 1947 and is now the only coloured woollen spinning mill of its type in Australia.

The mill is located in Creswick, a small township approximately 120km from Melbourne, between Ballarat and Daylesford.

Over 50 Australian mills of this type have closed in the face of competition from cheap imports, but Creswick remains, employing people directly from the community and indirectly through its contractors and suppliers.

The privately owned company remains buoyant, in part, due to the development of a luxury consumer product range with a natural fibre focus. The Creswick mill has mastered the spinning and weaving of alpaca and woollen fibres. This range is complemented by an imported range of cashmere, cotton and merino.

Creswick’s continued success is attributed to ongoing research and innovation, as well as dedication to quality and an understanding that the Australian market appreciates exclusive designs and high quality.

The Family

When Polish migrant Paul Ryzowy wound wool around his first spool in 1947, he could not envisage the longevity of his coloured spinning mill.

Paul worked in the business until 2008 when he passed away at the age of 96. His grandchildren Boaz and Sharon Herszfeld are now at the helm of the company after learning the ropes under the watchful eye of their grandfather.

It is Paul’s tenacity which made an impression on all Creswick staff and is the lasting legacy of the Creswick brand.

The mill began its operation producing an array of blankets in the 1940’s, and then adapted to electric blanket fabric in the 1950’s. During the 1960’s it branched into fabric design for fashion items such as skirts and blazers and dressing gowns.

Embracing the reality of globalisation, Paul and his Grandchildren concentrated on streamlining and diversifying their operation by developing new products to compete with international imports while maintaining a commitment to Australian made.

Drawing on the wealth of knowledge from Paul, the energetic Creswick team bring fresh, new, creative ideas to the business driving the dynamic company forward into a new era in the textile industry.

  • Creswick Woollen Mills is the fastest growing regional tourism attraction 
  • Over 120,000 visitors have enjoyed the experience in the past 12 months
  • New Tourism Development Finalist in the RACV Victoria Tourism Awards
  • Strategic Partner of Ballarat Regional Tourism and Daylesford Macedon Ranges Tourism

From historic working machinery, through to friendly Australian alpacas, Creswick Woollen Mills caters to everyone as it celebrates 68 dynamic years of operation.

Visitors to Creswick Woollen Mills are invited to help us celebrate Australian manufacturing and surround themselves by the enormous range of Natural Fibre products, the largest selection offered in Australia. Journey through 68 years of the Creswick Woollen Mill experience: from its rustic manufacturing beginnings to its luxury boutique nature fibers offering now available.

A visit to the Creswick Woollen Mills includes -
- An interpretive self-guided tour of the interactive tourism experience ‘A Very Fine Yarn’ historic machinery witnessing the marvel of fibre spun into luxury product.
- Feeding the friendly Alpacas on the viewing deck and posting photos on social media

“We want people to spend time looking and learning” CEO Mr. Boaz Herszfeld said. ”This is not a museum, but a working plant with real life people making real life products."

The Creswick Woollen Mills has opened an extended viewing area for visitors. "We see a fantastic future for the Creswick Woollen Mills site combining tourism and niche manufacturing. The purpose is to provide both our regular and new visitors with a unique experience at the last remaining coloured spinning mill in Australia" he said.

“The thirst of the general public to see manufacturing occurring is incredible and I guess that stems from the perceived lack of manufacturing in Australia. As part of a friendly country town we've been able to open our doors to the public and achieve so much.”

About Creswick Woollen Mills:

Founded in 1947, Creswick Woollen Mills is now the only coloured woollen spinning mill of its type in Australia. Creswick Natural Fibre products are designed for optimum comfort and are available all around the world. Ranges include Alpaca Blankets, Cashmere & Possum Knitwear, Merino Accessories and Wool Personal Protection Blankets used by the CFA & RFS. Creswick Woollen Mills is proud to celebrate 68 years of continuous manufacturing in Creswick, a small township approximately 120km from Melbourne, between Daylesford and Ballarat.

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