Adored the world over, the Australian koala has now been honoured with its own official koala tartan for the first time in history. To celebrate this milestone, the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) have launched an international raffle to win a beautiful, handcrafted throw made from the unique koala tartan design.
The Australian weavers who designed the koala tartan, Fred and Marie Lawson, have already created 10 registered tartans before turning their attention to the koala. Aware of the alarming decline in wild koala populations and loss of habitat, the Lawsons said that they hope their design can bring international awareness to koala conservation.
“We are hoping with this tartan we can help conservation. We don’t know how, but that’s the plan,” the Lawsons said.
It took many sample weaves and design adjustments before they were happy with the unique pattern that became the official tartan for the koala.
“You can’t just design something on a computer and send it off to Scotland and have it approved. They won’t accept it.
“It has to have a story behind it.”
The koala tartan tells a lovely woven story of Australia’s beloved animal. Dark and light grey threads represent the koala’s main coat. White threads weave in the speckles of their chest and ears. Black for their nose, and brown for their eyes. Pink for the skin around their mouth. Then, most importantly, green threads represent the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which is the koala’s main source of food and shelter.
“The care and love that Fred and Marie put into making this wonderful tribute to the koala is exactly how people should be treating the koala itself,” Deborah Tabart OAM, Chair of the Australian Koala Foundation said.
“The fabric is as soft and delicate to touch as a koala’s coat is, and the colours bring to my mind all the amazing animals I’ve met over the past thirty-three years. If we want to save the koala, we have to fall in love with them first.”
The koala tartan is a wonderful way of getting that message out. Which is why the Australian Koala Foundation decided on raffling an official handcrafted koala tartan throw.
“This is a chance to own a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, whilst also honouring and helping the precious animal that inspired it,” Ms Tabart said.
A limited number of 100 tickets are now available to purchase for $25AUD each from AKF’s website, with all proceeds going towards AKF’s work of protecting wild koalas and their habitat. The raffle will be drawn when all tickets are sold.