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Processing Innovations

Optim spinning technology

Chemical-free water-resistant spinning

Optim fibre stretching technology, co-developed by Nanshan and The Woolmark Company, pre-stretches Merino wool fibres which are then spun into yarn before being woven to create wind and water-resistant fabric made from 100% Merino wool.


Wind resistant
Wind resistant

Reduced air permeability enhances wind resistance and improves wearer comfort.

Water resistant
Water resistant

Increased hydrostatic head enhances water resistance.

Naturally durable
Naturally durable

Crisp and resilient handle makes the Merino wool fabric an ideal alternative to jacket fabrics made from synthetic fibres.

How it works

Optim spinning technology

OptimTM fibre stretching technology uses Merino wool fibres which are spun into yarn before being woven to create wind and water-resistant fabric, made from 100% Merino wool.

The resulting Merino wool fabric is constructed at very high levels of thread density in warp and weft using fine Merino wool yarns that have been stretched, but not set, during what is known as Optim™ processing. It is only when the fabric is wet-finished that the stretch is released causing the yarns to contract, thus leading to an extreme tightening of the fabric structure and the creation of the immensely dense fabric.

After optimising the spinning, weaving and finishing processes, the fabrics made from these elastic Merino wool fibres have enhanced water and wind resistant properties (while retaining all Merino wool’s fine properties such as breathability) without any chemical treatments and are also machine washable.

The Woolmark Company’s technical innovation team has continued to work on the development of the OptimTM fabric, which is now commercially available in three different weights: 180g/m2 plain weave, 240g/m2 warp rib, and 265g/m2 gabardine. A fourth option – the lightest of all at 130g/m2 – has a small percentage of nylon blended with the wool, to allows for extra resilience in the lightweight fabric. The differing weights and the inherent properties of the wool fibre allow for interest from both the activewear, streetwear and smart-casual sectors of the global apparel industry.

Contact the Woolmark Technical Team for more information.

Woolmark product innovations using OptimTM spinning

Weather Resistant Wool

Wind and water-resistant fabric made with 100% Merino wool is used in multiple product categories from rain jackets, shoes, board shorts and face masks.

Neulana Double

This innovative double-weave fabric provides maximum insulation whilst minimising fabric weight and retaining all Merino wool's natural properties such as breathability and moisture management.