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Beyond the Bale : March 2017
The fabric is constructed at very high levels of thread density in warp and weft using fine Merino wool yarns that has been stretched, but not set, during 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) and are also machine washable, without any chemical treatments. The fabric is promoted by AWI at trade shows and in The Wool Lab – AWI’s sourcing guide to the world’s best commercially available wool fabrics. Major brands, particularly in the sports/outdoor market (including Ibex – see left, and Devold – see page 9), have requested fabric samples and provided very positive feedback. The fabric was used in the Woolmark Optim WR jacket that was produced exclusively for AWI to enable Australian wool levy payers to experience at a discount price of $150 the benefits of Merino wool in an innovative way – see back page and www.wool.com/woolstore DEVELOPMENT OF OPTIM FABRIC The Ibex Pursuit Shell (left) and Pursuit Trench (right) are water and wind resistant jackets made from 100% Merino wool. They will be launched to consumers later this year. A combination of a dense weave and fine yarns has created a fabric that has water resistance attributes. The Manifold family of ‘Boortkoi’ near Hexham in western Victoria sporting the Woolmark Optim WR jacket – see the back cover to find out how you can purchase it. The Optim fabric was developed by the Wool Development Centre (WDC) which was set up in Shandong Provence, China, in 2013 by AWI along with one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group. OFF FARM 11
In the Shops - March 2017