About Us



The Australian Cotton Fibre Expo is a one of a kind event showcasing the creative use of cotton by national fashion design students, professional textile artists and craft enthusiasts. The Australian Cotton Fibre Expo aims to promote the importance and versatility of cotton as a natural fibre – in fashion, craft and home décor.

The Expo has previously attracted over 140 entries per Expo, and attracted over 1500 visitors during the eight day event. Visitors from all parts of Australia and overseas come to view the works, which are made of 90% cotton and created by very talented individuals.

The Expo covers most categories you could think of, from the traditional crafts of patchwork and embroidery to the more interpretive sections of wearable art, fashion, surface design and “quirky calico.” As well as the general exhibition, the Expo traditionally features a dinner and fashion parade, featuring students from the Gold Coast Academy of Design.



The Australian Cotton Fibre Expo has a rich history, having run for the last 27 years in Narrabri, thanks to the efforts of the Founding President and life member, Anna Thomson, who began the Expo in 1988 as a way of connecting the cotton research work of her husband, Norman Thomson with the cotton industry and textile artists. Norm was considered to be the “founding father” of the Internationally renowned CSIRO cotton breeding program.

The Expo grew organically over the years and a look through our gallery will show you that the contributing artists have truly been showcasing to the world the versatility, practicality and uniqueness of cotton.



Wee Waa 2017 – Australian Cotton Fibre Expo

The next Expo will be held on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th October in Wee Waa, New South Wales – more information will be made available soon.

Gold Coast August 2016 – Australian Cotton Conference

The Australian Cotton Fibre Expo is thrilled to be a Featured Exhibitor at the Australian Cotton Conference this year. The Conference will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. We will be showcasing:

  • Previous acquisitive winners’ work
  • Cotton fibre fashion wear from students and designers
  • A workshop featuring Brisbane Designer Jane Milburn, who is re-purposing Cotton
  • Digital presentations sharing the history of the Australian Cotton Fibre Expo and the story of Cotton


Cotton can be used in almost unlimited ways and the Australian Cotton Fibre Expo aims to promote its creative uses, in the following areas:


From High end, up market quality through to organic, re-purposed clothing, there is a huge scope for designers working with cotton.


Cotton has enjoyed many traditional creative expressions from crochet, lacework, knitting, knotting, embroidery, surface design, patchwork and quilting.


Cotton is a favourite fibre to use for handkerchiefs, tablecloths, napkins, tea towels, cushion covers, bed linen and bathroom accessories.


The Expo will inspire designers to work with cotton fibre, by providing access to creative professionals who can mentor and teach specialised design techniques.


  • It is versatile, high performing and naturally comfortable.
  • It can be woven or knitted into velvet, corduroy, chambray, flannel and more.
  • It is a soft, absorbent and breathable natural fibre, perfect for clothing
  • It keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter – it is a good conductor of heat.
  • It is non-allergenic and, unlike synthetic fibres, is a natural product containing no chemicals.
  • It can’t hold an electric charge, eliminating static cling.
  • It is one of the easiest fabrics to dye due to its natural whiteness and high rate of absorbency – it holds up to 27 times its own weight in water and becomes stronger when wet.
    Source: Cotton Australia

Other Cotton Fibre Products Graphic









The Australian Cotton Industry has grown dynamically since the 1960’s. Australian Cotton is the world’s third largest exporter of Cotton, only behind the USA and India.

In areas that cotton is grown, it:

  • generates 35-40% of the regional economy
  • occupies less than 2% of the catchment area

Cotton Producing Areas graphic









The Expo cannot run without  volunteers! There are many ways to volunteer, see our volunteer section if you are keen to get involved.


  • Melanie Moloney – President
  • Elizabeth Phelps – Treasurer
  • Therese McGrath – Vice Treasurer
  • Scott Moloney – Publicity Officer
  • Lexie Killen – former President
  • Brian O’Connell – Coordinator, Australian Cotton Trade Show and Australian Cotton Conference Trade Display – Gold Coast