Tucked away in their homes and studios, a small group of Kerikeri fibre artists have been beavering away to create the elements of their entry in this year's Creative Fibre Runway Group Challenge.

They are all independent members of Creative Fibre, but they are entering the challenge as Rāpare, a nod to the fact that they meet regularly on a Thursday. (Other local members meet with the Keri Krafters at the café at Redwoods from 10am on Wednesdays, with visitors assured of a warm welcome.)

The theme for this year's challenge is 'Gold', this year being the 50th anniversary of Creative Fibre.

Team leader Erin Titmus says the aim was to create an on-trend outfit that pushed an artistic interpretation of the theme.


"We've aimed for simplicity and elegance," she said.

The group comprises Kerikeri artists Erin, Glenys Mills and Annette Pye, with Faith Donovan, from Waitakere, and Auckland stylist and model Kristy Gillbanks. All part of a larger team that won the inaugural challenge in 2017, they have been meeting often since April last year to make decisions on design, yarns, techniques, construction and timelines, in order to meet the deadline.

They sourced natural fibres locally and overseas, including cashmere, merino and silk, and have dyed, woven, knitted (by hand and machine), felted and used several allied techniques to produce a layered outfit.

The challenge also requires a journal recording the process of the making of the entry.

"All this activity has been under wraps, as there are 13 groups throughout New Zealand that have taken up the challenge this year," Erin said.

The big "reveal" would take place through static display and a runway show at the biennial Creative Fibre Festival in Palmerston North, starting today and ending on Sunday.

"Ours is named 'Prospecting' to signify the illusive nature of gold, and the group hopes to represent our district well. Watch this space to see news of how it was received."