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Beyond the Bale : September 2019
The Wool Lab continues to evolve and go from strength to strength, eight years on from the launch of the first edition in June 2011 by AWI’s subsidiary The Woolmark Company. The Wool Lab contains swatches of a selection of the most innovative and quality wool fabrics and yarns commercially available on the market from the best spinners and weavers in the world. It is issued twice each year, once for the spring/summer retail season and once for autumn/winter retail. “Each season, we reach out to The Woolmark Company’s global supply chain network – hundreds of spinners and weavers in Italy, France, the UK, China, Japan and more – to source their latest fabric developments,” AWI Country Manager for Italy Francesco Magri said. “With this, we curate a seasonal sourcing guide with a selection of the best textile and yarn swatches, which can then be ordered directly from suppliers through The Wool Lab.” THIS YEAR IT GOT EVEN BETTER What initially started in 2011 as an inspirational guide divided in macro trends, The Wool Lab this year evolved to become a more functional guide. “It is now divided into product categories to facilitate and better address the research and sourcing of fabrics and yarns,” Francesco said. This year a new digital component has also been introduced to the showing of The Wool Lab at trade shows. Using the devices provided at the booth, visitors can scan the QR code of a swatch and immediately receive an email with the details and contact information of the swatch’s manufacturer. “This digital innovation has proved popular, with increased numbers of fabric swatches requested, strengthening the connection between The Woolmark Company’s supply chain network and the world’s leading brands.” The Wool Lab is a seasonal guide to the best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns in the world. Since its inaugural edition eight years ago, it has become an important tool for the global textile industry and is helping to increase the demand and use of wool globally. THE WOOL LAB HELPS BUILD DEMAND FOR WOOL The Woolmark Company showcases The Wool Lab to brands and retail buying teams at each of the many international trade shows at which it exhibits (22 trade shows in 2018/19). Individual showings of The Wool Lab are also held with designers and brands. Following the release of The Wool Lab in its new format, in January 2019 for the spring/ summer 2020 retail season, The Woolmark Company’s team of The Wool Lab specialists had more than 420 one-on-one meetings with designers and industry members to present the edition. The spring/summer 2020 edition generated more than 11,800 requests for swatches from clients, an increase from the previous spring/ summer season. THE LATEST EDITION The Wool Lab guide for the autumn/winter 2020/21 retail season was recently launched at the Pitti Filati trade show in June and presented six fashion-oriented categories: • Suiting – woven formal fabrics • Blazers & bottoms – woven fabrics for separate jackets and trousers • Jackets & coats – woven fabrics for outerwear and for the athleisure area • Shirts & blouses – woven fabrics for shirts, dresses and printed fabrics • Jersey & knitwear – circular knitted fabrics and yarns • Lab – experimental inspirations. The Wool Lab Sport and The Wool Lab Denim were also updated with the latest innovations and technical fabrics. “The Wool Lab continues to further build the awareness of The Woolmark Company as an international authority on wool. It is helping The Woolmark Company to be once again at the forefront of the international apparel industry, influencing the key influencers,” Francesco added. MORE INFORMATION www.woolmark.com/education/the-wool-lab Trade delegates at the Pitti Filati trade show in June 2019 viewing The Wool Lab sourcing guide for the autumn/winter 2020/21 retail season. 24 OFF FARM
In the Shops - September 2019