HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : February 2010
The Australian wool industry is investing in R&D that will help Merino wool take advantage of the growing market for lightweight apparel. The Sheep CRC's 'Next Generation Wool Quality' program leader, David Tester, says while wool has many inherent advantages, the industry is addressing several factors to enable it to make further inroads into this particular market. "To ensure the wool industry's capacity to compete with alternative fibres, the Sheep CRC, with support from AWI, is working to ensure that Merino wool provides enhanced skin-comfort, improved handle, and greater whiteness and photostability," David says. NEXT-TO-SKIN COMFORT Under development is a new and practical fabric-measurement technology that will enable the production and marketing of wool garments which meet critical next- to-skin performance criteria. It will enable the wool apparel industry to address any negative association of the word 'wool' with 'prickle and itch', and foster development of new markets for wool knitwear where next-to-skin comfort is required. The instrument measures the relative skin comfort of lightweight, knitted wool garments. It essentially counts the number of coarse fibres protruding from the fabric; as the number of protruding fibres decrease, the comfort levels increase. David says that, with AWI support to fast- track the instrument, the 'Comfort-meter' is coming closer to market: "We hope to commercialise a device to predict the relative comfort of fabrics in another 12 months." HANDLE OF LIGHTWEIGHT KNITWEAR While the Comfort-meter will measure the amount of prickle in a fabric, a separate machine, a 'PhabrOmeter', is being used to measure a fabric's handle -- the way a fabric feels. Work is underway to provide garment developers with effective tools for benchmarking and engineering the handle of knitted fabrics desired by consumers. Dr Trevor Mahar from the Australian Wool Testing Authority is using a PhabrOmeter to estimate the tactile sensations of lightweight knitwear. "From this, specifications will be developed for desirable handle," Dr Mahar February 2010 BEYOND THE BALE 5 SELLING MORE WOOL FAST FACTS l R&D is underway to address the key textile attributes of comfort, handle and whiteness. l The wool industry aims to turn the R&D innovations into successful new products, services and technologies. l The range of tools being developed should create a larger and more certain market for fine Merino wool. says. "And, we're evaluating the effects on handle due to fibre properties and manufacturing changes, particularly to yarn structure and fabric finishing." WHITENESS AND PHOTOSTABILITY To refine how white and pastel shades in wool can be reliably provided to the market, scientists are identifying the genetic and environmental factors and processing issues that influence fleece colour and photostability. The Sheep CRC's eight Information Nucleus flocks in different regions make it possible to separate the genetic and environmental influences on wool colour traits, and select favourable sires for breeding. Project leader Dr Keith Millington, of CSIRO, says wool sample analysis of the Information Nucleus flock has already established that mean fibre diameter and certain trace metals, such as manganese, copper and iron, are strongly correlated to wool colour. However, their role and causative nature is still to be determined. To establish the impact of wool processing on wool colour, Dr Millington says the Sheep CRC is conducting a commercial processing trial using white fleece wools and studying the changes in colour after each stage. More information: www.sheepcrc.org.au/ research/wool-quality.php R&D helping the fine wool market A 'PhabrOmeter' used to estimate the tactile sensations of lightweight knitwear.
September November 2009