The Journey to Yarn Road: About Us

About Us: Unraveling Meriel & Nicky's Yarn Road Dream

Meeting of Minds: Meriel and Nicky

The inception of Yarn Road is a synergy of like-minded souls, Meriel and Nicky, who have a passion for yarn and found each other in a landscape dotted with mass-produced, unsustainable textiles. Their pairing was not just a meeting of individuals but a fusion of shared passions, values, and visions for a sustainable future in the textile industry.

Shared Vision, Complementary Skills

Nicky and Meriel bring a rare blend of skills and experiences from within and to the textile industry, a complementary partnership. Nicky’s experience as a textile artist and Director of Thread Collective provides an in-depth understanding of textiles and fibres, business acumen and entrepreneurial journey, industry insights and marketing, combined with a broad network and an extensive range of high-quality yarns and accessories.

Nicky’s passion for nurturing the industry and her extensive knowledge of weaving and textile artistry intertwines well with Meriel’s technical and scientific background in Textile Science and Technology. Meriel, a seasoned textile technologist and founder of Full Circle Fibres, supplements Nicky’s artistic proficiency with her expertise in sustainable and ethical textile production, supply chain transparency, and product development.

While Nicky excels in fostering artistic and craft-based approaches to textiles, Meriel’s emphasis on practical sustainability, technical excellence and ethical practices ensures the integration of responsible innovation in the textile supply chain. Together, their combined skills create a powerful alliance, bridging artistry and science, encouraging a textile sector to thrive with innovative, ethical, and sustainable practices.

Threads of Passion: Meet Nicky Crane

Hello, I'm Nicky Crane, the founder of Thread Collective and a weaver and textile artist. My journey began in 2000, studying Textile Design at Moreton Institute of Tafe. In 201 Thread Collective was created to enrich the Australian textile and weaving community by introducing a diverse range of high-quality yarns and textile products that were otherwise hard to come by locally. Based in Brisbane, Thread Collective has flourished to offer Australia's most extensive range of weaving looms, spinning wheels, yarns, fibre and accessories, catering to the varied needs of local fibre artists and weavers.

Nicky Crane - Director of Thread Collective and Co-founder of Yarn Road
Nicky Crane - Director of Thread Collective and Co-founder of Yarn Road

Through Thread Collective, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with prestigious partners like Louët Loom, Ashford Handicrafts, Venne Cottolin and Leclerc Looms, amongst others. I continuously strive to evolve our offerings and collaborate with local manufacturers to broaden the spectrum of locally sourced products. My quest is to cultivate and nurture the textile industry and craft in Australia, and I'm honored to serve on the board of Queensland Spinners, Weavers, and Fibre Artists, contributing to the development and sustainability of our cherished industry.

In parallel with my textile passion, I have also amassed experience as a Project Director and Development Manager at Economic Development Queensland (EDQ). My role focused on strategic development, project management, and innovation. With a focus on urban development, economic growth, and sustainable and affordable housing options. While my emphasis and heart remain in the world of textiles, my experience at EDQ has enriched my perspective and fortified my commitment to fostering innovation, sustainability, and growth in the textile arts sector.

My devotion to textiles is not just a profession but a way of life. I look forward to continuing to share my love for textiles, supporting local artists, and contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the Australian weaving and textile community.

Crafting Innovation: Insights into Meriel Chamberlin

Meriel Chamberlin is a dynamic textile technologist with a profound passion for sustainable innovation in the textile industry. Her journey began with her love for textiles, an interest so intense it can only be matched by her geeky and curious soul. This passion and curiosity guided her to study at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), where she specialised in Textile Science and Technology, earning her BSc (Hons). This academic endeavour served as the stepping stone to her diverse and impactful career, where she has worked at all scales, with large retailers, global brands and then small enterprises, fabric and garment manufacturers across Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Meriel Chamberlin Director of Full Circle Fibres & Co-Founder of Yarn Road
Meriel Chamberlin Director of Full Circle Fibres & Co-Founder of Yarn Road (copyright Briony Walker 2020)

Meriel's professional voyage is characterised by her unwavering commitment to integrating sustainability and ethical practices within the textile supply chain. She is the visionary founder of Full Circle Fibres, a pioneering entity enabling companies to design and create with Australian cotton, while emphasising responsible production, accountabilty and sustainability. The company, under Meriel’s innovative leadership, earned the esteemed Certified B-Corp status in 2022. Her extensive expertise extends to realms such as high-performance product development, supply chain transparency, ethical compliance, and medical device & personal protective equipment compliance, positioning her as a multifaceted expert in the field.

Beyond her entrepreneurial achievements, Meriel is a recognised leader and advocate for sustainable change in the textile industry. Her industry leadership roles and voluntary technical expert contributions demonstrate her commitment to sharing knowledge and fostering improvements in industry standards and practices. She has received multiple awards acknowledging her transformative impact, including the 'Elevate +' Impact Boom and the CCIQ Ecobiz Circular Economy Pilot Winner award. This year Full Circle Fibres became one of three inaugural recipients of the Country Road Climate Fund grants, developing placed based low impact wool & cotton blends; Mud to Marle. Her work continues with her recently being awarded a Churchill Trust Fellowship to study European zero waste textile systems, and their applicability to Australia.

Meriel's unwavering passion, combined with her extensive knowledge and uncommon sense, continues to drive her pursuit to establish fairness and integrity in supply chains and to redefine the textile industry's approach to people and the planet.

The Road Ahead with Meriel & Nicky

The shared passion, knowledge and determination between Meriel and Nicky drives Yarn Road, propelling it forward in its journey to transform the textile industry and contribute to a more sustainable and conscientious future. Through Yarn Road, they aspire to create a space where like-minded individuals can come together, share, learn, and collaborate to bring about positive change, one thread at a time.

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