The Wool Lab, a seasonal guide to the most inspiring wool trends and best products, is created to inspire and inform fashion professionals regarding the infinite potential of Merino wool. A trendbook and a sourcing guide, the tool is the result of extensive research undertaken by The Woolmark Company through its global network to select the best wool products worldwide and identify the emerging trends emerging from fashion, design, art, pop culture, music and other fields.
The Wool Lab is created each season in collaboration with the world’s most innovative and quality-oriented spinners and weavers. It is a collection of the most beautiful wool products, commercially available, and in line with the leading fashion and textile trends.
The tool is available free of charge and upon request for designers, manufacturers, retailers, fashion and apparel brands and to all the professionals of the fashion industry, to provide a concrete sourcing service, putting them in contact with the world’s best wool suppliers.
For Autumn Winter 2014/15 the guide proposes seven inspirational themes:
- The Club
- Simple Chic
- Fairy Tale
- Street Market
- Cinque Ports
- Xtreme Knitwear
1. The Club
This theme is inspired by the relaxed but sophisticated elegance of the members of the prestigious London Clubs, well suiting the increasingly evident look for a formal but contemporary elegance. Classic fabrics mostly worsted. The patterns contain a bit of nostalgia for the early-1900s. Materials are extremely luxurious like 100% extrafine Merino wool or mixes of precious Merino wool with other noble fibres such as silk, mohair, cashmere and alpaca. Structures and patterns are retro, revisited with a contemporary touch: pin stripes, regimental stripes, twill and cavalry twill, Glen Check, herringbone and Prince of Wales, satin and beaver. Knitwear is coherent with the timeless elegance of the whole trend and mainly concerns very fine worsted wool yarns.
The mood was inspired by two trends becoming more and more evident: the coming back of the jacket and of tweed or tweed-look fabrics, interpreting a new concept of luxury which is more authentic and close to natural things, with a romance and a history behind it.
The atmosphere and the colours are ones of the English Highland's nature, immediately associated to very traditional UK fabrics and knits, such as tweeds and Shetlands in warm mélanges. Materials are predominantly in 100% wool worsted and carded. The structures and patterns are those of classic tweed, sonegal and Shetland, herringbone, twill, overcheck and hound's tooth.
The knitwear is a feast for the classic Made in Britain taste, featuring mouliné and melange, knoppy yarns, plus jacquard jersey and tweed and donegal knits.
3. Simple Chic
The theme is a hymn to simplicity. Neat shapes, sophisticated colours, great substance. Very special fabrics and yarns reinforce and give a tone to the simplicity of the lines and the overall minimalism of the taste. Materials include mainly 100% wool or wool and silk.
The structures and patterns comprehend crèpe and sablé, beaver and brushed fabrics, gauze, ottoman, cordoury in wool and wool blends, 3D effects and reliefs, ajouré weave along with light felt. Yarns are crépe, bouclé and frisé; soft yarns with a hairy look.
The jersey and knitwear proposal includes transparencies effects, ajouré knit, vanisè jersey, spongy effects, Jacquards and reliefs.
4. Fairy Tale
Romantic and magic, symbolising a will to escape, the trend is inspired by the enchanted world of fairy tales. Fantastic and dreamy printed wool fabrics, embroidery, lurex and shine effects - both in fabrics and yarns for knitwear.
Materials are feminine and fluid with a predominance of 100% wool, wool and lurex, silk and viscose.
Structures and patterns include bouclé, Chanel-inspired fabrics, needle punch, light felt and laces.
The yarns are bouclé, chain yarns, printed yarns, mouliné, shiny and sparkling.
Jersey and knitwear include soft knit, sablé jersey effects and print knits.
5. Street Market
Inspired by the mix and match atmosphere of Camden Town, the flea market in London which has been a symbol of streetwear trends for generations. Self-fashion is extremely trendy in the urban wear market, with a mix of tastes and styles, vintage and contemporary, for a very cool and personal way to dress. Colourful and fancy things, never dull or banal. Materials include 100% wool or wool mixed with mohair, alpaca or cotton.
Structures and patterns comprehend lainages, Casentino, faux fur effects, needle punch, check, multi-stripes and prints, sometimes with a light washed finishing. Fancy, mouliné, bouclé or flamed yarns. Knitwear is jacquards, multi-stripes, ribs, vanisé jersey sometimes with a handmade look.
6. Cinque Ports
The theme is inspired by earth and sea. Austere but fascinating places on the shores of the English Channel. People here live with the certainties of life. Essential things, useful and basic but full of the charm of authenticity and history. Heavy meltons and flannels, thick yarns for typical Nordic knitwear.
Materials are 100% wool or wool plus cotton and linen.
Structures and patterns are compact with some Casentino and twill, denim-style fabrics and sablé, pinpoint and checks. Finishings are mainly worn and washed.
Yarns are thick, slubby, knoppy and mouliné. There are also examples of Jacquards and felted jersey.
7. Xtreme Knitwear
It is becoming more and more evident the trend of the great return, in all its versions, is knitting. Wool expresses its highest creativity in this area, especially with thick yarns, chain yarns, with a slubby, soft and compact touch. There are also printed yarns, maxi ribs, airy and web patterns, fabric effect knits.
In addition to the latest edition of The Wool Lab, The Woolmark Company will also present another special project at Pitti Uomo. The global authority on wool has collaborated with Lanificio F.lli Cerruti for the development of a unique car prototype, designed by Italdesign Giugiaro and featuring Lamborghini motor along with the interior made from of 100% Merino wool, as well as a capsule collection of jackets in limited edition, created with the same precious wool fabrics.
The Woolmark Company joined the project to endorse the quality of Merino wool used for the car’s interiors and for the capsule collection, in order to highlight the versatility and excellence of this precious fibre.
Merino wool perfectly suits the desire of consumers in terms of luxury and performance, providing incredible benefits when utilised in the automotive sector, as well as assuring style and comfort when it comes to fashion. This versatility is the real added value of Australian Merino wool: a 100% natural fibre of immense potential.
The car and the capsule collection of woollen garments will be presented during each day of the fair, with a highlight for press and special guests on Wednesday 19th June from 3pm to 8pm, at the Sala Ottagonale inside the Fortezza da Basso.
For further information, images and interviews please contact:
T: +39 (0) 289 096 705
T: +61 (0) 2 8295 3127
About The Woolmark Company:
The Woolmark is the world’s best known textile fibre brand, established in 1964.
The Woolmark brand is owned by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), a not-for-profit company owned by over 27,000 woolgrowers. AWI’s vision is to be a significant contributor to a vibrant, stable and profitable wool industry providing the world with the best natural fibre. The company works throughout the global supply chain – from woolgrowers through to retailers.
The company mission is to enhance the profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability of the Australian wool industry; and increase demand and market access for Australian wool.
Merino wool provides stability, resilience, softness and luxury to the tailoring industry. The fibre has long been a favourite of designers, but younger consumers, born in an era of ‘disposable’ fashion know too little about the natural benefits.
Wool is a 100% natural and renewable fibre. Sheep live on grass, water, fresh air and sunshine. Wool is a fibre that is grown – not manmade. Every year sheep produce a new fleece; making wool a renewable fibre source.