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Beyond the Bale : February 2010
February 2010 BEYOND THE BALE SELLING MORE WOOL "Merino wool continues to be well represented in this market due to its unrivalled natural breathability, insulation and next-to-skin comfort. We can clearly see an increased understanding, by manufacturers and consumers, of Merino as a technical fibre," Lars says. "We've been working with the majority of the leading global sports brands and retailers, assisting them to source Merino wool suitable for their specific needs. Marketing, networks, contacts, education and of course product development are the areas of support where we can really make a difference." AWI's Merino PerformTM collection, which is an evolution of the Sportwool fabric technology, was launched in 2009 and is leading AWI's marketing efforts to get Merino featured heavily in the activewear ranges of the world's sports and outdoor brands. More information: www.drizabone.com.au www.wool.com/merinoperform FAST FACTS l Sports apparel manufacturers are increasingly turning to wool when developing next-to-skin garments. l A new range of woollen underwear launched by leading Italian manufacturer Ragno is proving successful in the activewear market. Italian manufacturer Ragno has launched a successful underwear range for the sports sector. 11 Ineke Kuiper from Sydney talks to the press at the finish of the race wearing her Merino top. Leading Italian manufacturer Ragno has launched a new collection of Merino underwear, specifically designed to meet the performance needs of the sports and activewear markets. Developed in collaboration with AWI, Ragno's 'WSK collection' for men and women is made from mercerised Merino wool (85 per cent) and silk (15 per cent). The collection is soft and smooth to touch, and ideal for wearing next to the skin. Ragno, established in 1879 and part of the Tollegno Group, is a leader in the Italian and European woollen underwear market. The company uses Australian Merino wool due to its fineness and natural performance qualities, and to take advantage of the global trend of using natural fibres next to the skin. The Wool Blend logo was used Wool underwear gets sporty prominently in the company's marketing campaign (press and TV advertisements, point-of-sale collateral, website and sponsorship of sports competitions) which accompanied the product's launch. It also featured on the product packaging, which was made from recycled materials to complement the product's natural performance attributes. Professional athletes, such as alpine skiers and ice hockey and motorcycling teams, are now wearing the WSK garments. Exclusive alpine skiing schools (such as Cortina, Madonna di Campiglio, Pila and Courmayeur) are also fitting out their ski instructors in the WSK gear. The collection is available throughout Europe at selected sports shops and department stores. Although the WSK collection has just been launched, it is already a sales success. The company had forecast sales of 500,000 units during the launch, but indications are that these expectations will be exceeded. More information: www.ragno.eu
September November 2009