Woolspiration: Miss Wool of America

June 12, 2015

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted a Woolspiration video, but the good news is that I’ve been stock piling them so these posts which have been a favorite in the past, will now be more regular.

Miss Wool of America…did you know this even existed?! Well it did from 1952-1972. How amazing would it be if something like this existed today. It’s absence is another sign of the American wool industry’s decline and production moving overseas. While I’m really not a fan of beauty pageants per se, I think the fact that the vibrancy of the wool industry at one point demanded one is pretty fantastic.

If there were a “Miss Wool” of America today, what and who would she be? A farmer? A designer? A knitter? A model? A shepherdess?

There is such a strong pulse in the fiber community and industry right now, I can feel a revival coming on. It may be a long and arduous process, but I do believe one day we will see the wool industry grow again in America and although it will most likely be far different than it was before, how awesome is it that we get to be a part of this movement.

So back to the video…

The Miss Wool of America Pageant took place annually from 1952-1972 in San Angelo to celebrate its strong sheep and wool industry — San Angelo’s Producers’ Livestock Auction is the nation’s largest for sheep and lambs, and the city was once known as the Inland Wool Capital of the World. Sponsored by the National Wool Growers Association, the American Sheep Producers Council, and the Wool Bureau, Inc., the highlight of the national pageant, which brought together the Miss Wools of each state for a competition of poise and beauty, was the modeling of wool fashions for the upcoming season.  The winner represented the wool industry nationally for the following year, touring the country in all the latest woolen fashions. -Texas Archive

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  • Reply Keren Duchan June 13, 2015 at 2:11 am

    LOL! The film was hilarious! Did you notice the part were they referred to the above the knee skirt as a short short skirt?

    Times have changed, haven’t they…

    I hope the new Miss wool of America will be more about substance and character than external youth and beauty. I’m interested to see your take on it!

    • Reply kelsey sylvia June 13, 2015 at 5:32 am

      I worked in a woolen and cotton mill in new england during this time when usa was producing most of our goods.later i would migrate to n vermont. raising merinos.by the way vermont at one time had more sheep than dairy cows.

    • Reply Beverly June 16, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Love it. Brings back memories.

  • Reply Char June 13, 2015 at 5:54 am

    What fun to view this Miss Wool film from the 60’s! The model could have been me from that period when I was in college. I recognize the styles but was surprised to sense the corniness of the time. How long ago was that! I never knew there was a Miss Wool! I was just getting started with my own knitting adventures in those days and was lucky to finish my first sweater about then. Thanks for the memories!

  • Reply Jennifer King June 13, 2015 at 9:51 am

    That video was brilliant! My favorite quote was “sweatered legs”. Awesome.

  • Reply Alina June 13, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Such a fun video! It is amazing that you want to bring it back! Can’t wait!

  • Reply Sharon Fischer June 13, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I believe the wool industry still (sort of) has a competition called “Make it with Wool”. By self selection the entrant are all female and they model their creations.

  • Reply Wendy Bond June 16, 2015 at 9:26 am

    This week’s episode and “man on the street ” question met me right where I am, and are just another reason why I so grateful to have found you. I wait excitedly for Monday to arrive so I can download your latest interview. It feels like I’ve had the creative conversation that I long for but can’t find in my isolation of busy family and farm life and worse, being an introvert. Thank you for introducing me to all the fiber folk I long to know. Having finally acquired the farm and flock of my dreams, I get so bogged down in the daily routines of feeding, watering, moving animals, and selling lamb that knitting, spinning, and playing with wool suffer in my lack of balance and the wool piles up. I have hope that my original vision will result in a sustainable wool product. Your discussion on getting back your knitting and spinning mojo resulted in finally getting the wool on my bobbins plyed so I can move on to spinning my own beautiful wool. Thank you!

  • Reply Ginni June 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Ah the most beautiful book! and yarns. I made a mental note to myself- ” If I finally attempt to knit a sweater this year, it will be from this book”. =)

    • Reply Ginni June 16, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      ^woops wrong section- sorry!

  • Reply Erika June 18, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Love all of this!!

  • Reply Elsewhere | Fringe Association June 19, 2015 at 5:00 am

    […] — Must-watch #1: Miss Wool of America, 1965 […]

  • Reply martina June 22, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Love the book. Would love to win it!

  • Reply Ophelie July 5, 2015 at 4:28 am

    That’s a wonderful video! The checkered jacket and hat reminded me of photos of my grandmother from the late 60s. What today reads as too matchy-matchy was just enough coordination back then.

    I’m surprised we didn’t have a Miss Wool pageant here in Australia.

  • Reply GMC July 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I am looking for a list of the pageant winners. My father was married to one of them and he is trying to find out some info on dates etc. Thanks

  • Reply Gigi March 5, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I grew up in San Angelo and attended the Miss Wool Pageant every year — such fun! I was so pleased to see Quince & Co use wool from our part of the world in their lovely wool — especially like the one named San Angelo — of course . Thanks for sharing!

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