HOW ORA WAS BORN
“ORA was born through a combined passion for natural fibres and textiles”
ORA Co-founder Carolyn’s association with alpacas started in 1993.
Windella Alpacas began in 1993 in the mid-west area of Dongara, Western Australia and developed on a stud basis as was the norm in those early days.
The herd was the only alpaca herd residing north of Perth and thrived in the coastal, broad acre conditions. Carolyn’s veterinary background aided in assuring that the herd’s nutrition and welfare was optimum. Windella’s breeding aim was one of quality alpaca producing high quality coloured fleece with an emphasis on the production of true-black. Alpaca is the only fibre producing livestock to produce true black in fleece colour.
Change of circumstance and in 2011 the opportunity presented itself to relocate the Windella Alpaca herd to the southwest of Western Australia.
Windella Alpacas in collaboration with Goldleaf Alpacas have a focus on fibre production of increasing quality whilst not losing purity of colour. This has assisted the development and expansion of the herds to produce quality coloured fleece for the commercial and artisan industry.
Textiles for Carolyn began when her Irish aunt taught her to knit at the age of 7. This passion was to remain dormant for many years.
Later in life, with the development of the Windella herd, love of alpaca and their fibre, her passion for natural fibre rekindled and with a chance meeting with ORA Co-founder, textile artist, Jo, in 2010, the pathway was laid.
As kindred spirits their passions collided, ORA was born and together they have taken alpaca from the grazing animal to the production of soft, lustrous yarns and an exclusive textile range of luxurious, sustainable, classical and unique garments and accessories.
No two pieces are the same and artistic license is their guide.
“There is a feeling of “arrival” when you immerse yourself in alpaca”
ORA Co-founder, and creative artist Jo has a life long interest in textiles and their creation.
Jo has always had textiles in her life, from a paternal great grandmother as a milliner in Singapore in late 1800s and a maternal grandfather’s tailoring business in Perth, Western Australia in the 1920s. Textile and garment creation has followed through the generations in her family.
Always active with textiles, Jo’s interest in knitting was rekindled back in 2004 and in hand spinning in 2009.
A passion for natural fibre and a chance meeting with ORA Co-founder, Carolyn, resulted in an introduction to the world of alpaca. The dye was cast for ORA.
The magic of spinning opens Jo’s horizons to creating fabric especially using natural raw fibres, with an almost exclusive use of alpaca and incorporating other luxury natural fibres such as silk, cashmere, fine merino or qiviut.
Jo loves the process of transforming natural fibres such as alpaca and silk into a garment. With the spinning of the yarn from the raw fibre, many times, if not all, the yarn dictates which technique, pattern, design and style will be used.
Jo has become very innovative at the beginning of each project, quite often ending up as Jo says “wandering down the garden path” with a totally different piece created! Every step in the creation of the garment is a journey.
Jo quite often says to people who ask, “How long does it take you to make?”……
Jo’s response is usually;
“It isn’t a race, it’s a journey which leads to a destination, when the project is finished, it’s time for another trip.”