New innovations pave the way forward for the Merino wool industry, allowing it to be a dynamic one that is forever changing. Innovations can be introduced into Merino wool at any stage in the manufacturing process – reaffirming Merino wool as versatile, cutting edge and a clever alternative to other fibres.
Technology allowing garments to look good and feel better promotes the positive aspects of woollen products and therefore increases consumer demand for these products. From allowing wool products to feel as smooth as silk or promoting them as UV-protectant, having easy-to-care for garments and ones which revitalise the wearer thanks to aromatherapy, innovations in Merino wool have come a long way. During recent years The Woolmark Company and its partners have developed a host of Merino wool innovations, making Merino wool a stellar choice for all those involved in the production process.
Beyond the Edge
Seamless garment technology is the ultimate in knitting technology, with Karl Mayer, Santoni, Shima Seiki and Stoll the four major players. Traditionally, wool base-layer apparel was made by cut and sew production with limited possibilities for variety. Now, however, seamless and flat-knitting technologies are being employed to manufacture not only next-to-skin base-layers, but an extensive range of mid- and outer-layer garments too. What’s so unique about seamless apparel is that it allows for a combination of different patterns and knit structures in different colours on the one piece of fabric.
Shoes with news
The oldest use of wool in textiles dates back to Denmark, circa 1500 BC, making it one of the oldest natural fibres in existence. And yet despite its extensive history, designers and manufacturers continue to innovate, diversifying its use at the same time as refining its inherent properties. That Merino wool is both soft to the touch yet hardwearing, and highly breathable and absorbent yet retains the ability to heat and cool the body, means that it stands to reason that it continues to proliferate wardrobes the world over, most recently in the form of shoes.
Long heralded as the fibre of choice for insulating next-to-skin base-layers, innovations in wool have led to a rise in the use of the fibre in outerwear apparel, such as jackets. A recent development between The Woolmark Company and one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group, has resulted in a 100% wool fabric that protects the wearer from the elements.
“Wool provides an array of natural qualities that benefit runners and delivers a unique addition to our greatest running shoe ever.”