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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
18 OFF FARM WOOL CLIMBING TO NEW HEIGHTS IN SPORTSWEAR “M erino wool is currently enjoying a never-before-seen phase of innovation and development in performance apparel,” reports AWI’s Sports and Outdoor Manager Lars Ulvesund, who attended this year’s ISPO sports and outdoor trade show in Germany. “Innovative developments in wool fabrics and yarns for base-, mid-, and outer-layer apparel have triggered a widespread uptake of Merino wool by major global companies through to niche brands. Merino wool has enjoyed a strong history in base-layers, but more and more we are seeing the fibre in mid- and outer-layer clothing.” One such major development showcased by AWI is MerinoPerformTM WP, ideal for outer-wear. Made from 100 per cent Australian Merino wool, MerinoPerformTM WP delivers a unique, high-performance machine- washable fabric that is resistant to wind and rain. Using the latest Optim technology, the wool is pre-stretched and spun into yarn before being woven into MerinoPerformTM WP. Held in January, ISPO attracted more than 80,000 visitors from 120 countries, with AWI in co-operation with trade show organisers once again arranging ‘Wool Street’: an indoor boulevard flanked with trade stands from major sports and outdoor apparel brands promoting the latest and very best in wool. “From our point of view, this year’s ISPO was the best one yet,” Mr Ulvesund said. “We had Technological innovations and Australian Merino wool’s natural performance benefits are helping cement the fibre’s presence in the sports, outdoor and athleisure markets – for base-layer, mid-layer and outer-layer apparel. a constant flow of designers and developers coming to the AWI stand seeking our advice and assistance in incorporating or extending their product ranges with Merino wool. “The Wool Lab Sport (see box opposite) proved to be an important tool that we could provide to help brands source the world’s best commercially available wool performance fabrics and yarns. “Also of great interest on our stand was a ‘virtual reality farm tour’, where visitors could wear virtual reality headsets and be ‘transported’ to an Australian sheep farm to visually experience first-hand the source of Merino wool.” Merino wool apparel from ORTOVOX’s 2016 summer range being worn during a climb on Mount Tyndall in Tasmania. PHOTO: ORTOVOX/Franz Walter. 18 OFF FARM A packed AWI stand at the ISPO sports and outdoor trade show in Germany. Visitors to the AWI stand at ISPO using virtual reality headsets to view and experience an Australian sheep farm.
In the Shops - March 2016