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Beyond the Bale : September 2014
OFF FARM 17 Anew technology that rapidly moves liquid sweat through Merino wool fabric and away from the body is now commercially available. Merino wool is well known for its moisture management properties – fabrics made from the fibre can absorb high quantities of moisture vapour and transfer the vapour molecules away from the body, thereby making the wearer less clammy. This is ideal for activities involving light exercise. However, if the fibres in a Merino garment reach their moisture limit, liquid sweat will develop and remain on the skin, prevented from moving away from the skin by the hydrophobic (liquid repellant) surface of the wool. The new technology – known as Hydro- duct – addresses the repellency of the wool. It enables the rapid absorption of liquid sweat into the fabric and transfer to the outer side for evaporation away into the atmosphere. This enables the production of Merino wool garments ideal for vigorous as well as light exercise. This new one directional moisture management technology has been developed by Chinese company and Woolmark licensee Diyang Merino Textile Limited in partnership with AWI. During a recent visit to Sydney to meet with local sports apparel companies, the technical director of Diyang Merino Textile Limited, Michael Yang, explained how the high-tech finish applied to the company’s Merino UltimateTM fabrics provides the one directional moisture transfer. “The Hydro-duct technology applied to Merino wool results in the fibres changing from hydrophobic to highly hydrophilic – that is, prone to absorbing liquid – thereby quickly moving sweat to the fabric’s outer side,” he said. “This one-way wicking behaviour results in drier garments that feel more comfortable during exercise and reduce post exercise chills. “Not only is sweat on the skin uncomfortable, but it can potentially be dangerous in cold environments that are encountered during outdoor pursuits such as mountaineering or skiing. Hydro-duct ensures that the wearer remains dry at all times, even throughout the most rigorous of sport or outdoor activities. “The application of Hydro-duct technology to Merino wool fabrics is very resilient to multiple machine washings so will stay effective long after purchase.” There is plenty of scientific data to back up the claims of durability as well as effectiveness – see below. Based at Jiaxing in China, Diyang Merino Textile Limited is a quality knitter with dyeing, finishing, and knit garment production capabilities, specialising in fine micron Merino wool. The company supplies Merino wool circular knits to more than 100 trade customers worldwide mainly for the outdoor and sports markets. NO SWEAT! MERINO MOISTURE MANAGEMENT TEST The treated fabric absorbs most of the water within one second, and all of the water within two minutes. The untreated fabric only starts to absorb water five minutes after application and then at a relatively slow rate. • Hydro-duct is a new technology for Merino wool fabrics that transfers liquid sweat away from the body – and is particularly suitable for the sports and outdoor markets. • Hydro-duct is very resilient to multiple machine washings so remains effective long after purchase. • The technology was developed by Woolmark licensee Diyang Merino Textile Ltd in partnership with AWI. DURABILITY TO MACHINE WASHING TEST The sample was washed at 40°C in a delicate cycle, flat dry. The results show that after multiple wash cycles there was no deterioration in the effectiveness of the Hydro-duct treatment. The technical director of Diyang Merino Textile Limited, Michael Yang, demonstrating the new one directional moisture management technology Hydro-duct to AWI's General Manager Product Development and Commercialisation, Jimmy Jackson. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 %ABSORPTION TIME IN SECONDS 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 MOISTURE MANAGEMENT TEST 20 10 0 WICKINGDISTANCEAFTER1MINUTE(mm) WASH CYCLES 0 Normal wool Treated wool 1 5 10 40 30 50 60 Normal wool Treated wool DURABILITY TO MACHINE WASHING 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 %ABSORPTION TIME IN SECONDS 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 MOISTURE MANAGEMENT TEST 20 10 0 WICKINGDISTANCEAFTER1MINUTE(mm) WASH CYCLES 0 Normal wool Treated wool 1 5 10 40 30 50 60 Normal wool Treated wool DURABILITY TO MACHINE WASHING