Merino Retract wovenwear looks like boiled wool but has the resilience and anti-pilling performance of normal wool.
Boiled wool is a term given to a product that has been pre-shrunk to the extent that it has felted and lost most of the resilience and softness associated with wool. Boiled wool is popular for urban wear because it gives a casual look to garments and an alternative texture.
Boiled wool does however suffer from pilling, stiffness, and is limited to hand wash or dry-clean-only care claims. The lack of resilience means that garment styling has to be loose fitting rather than next to skin.
Machine washable versions are feasible.
Merino wool yarns are combined with high-power elastane yarns before or during weaving so that in wet-finishing the elastane retracts and the fabric structure contracts.
The fabric is woven 15 per cent to 20 per cent looser than normal so that the retracted garment does not end up too dense after finishing.
Several trials are normally needed to determine the optimum fabric set and finishing routine especially if close fitting garments are being made.
For further information about Merino Retract (Elastane) contact your local Woolmark Company office.