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Beyond the Bale : May 2010
May 2010 BEYOND THE BALE SELLING MORE WOOL The apparel industry is experiencing a global trend towards casualisation. This is partly due to increasingly busy lifestyles, less formal workplaces and consumers' desire for individualism. In response to this trend, and the threat to wool's market share posed by cotton, AWI has been working closely with the Textile trade embraces new technologies FAST FACTS l AWI's Merino Casual collection, launched for the Northern Hemisphere autumn/winter 2010-11 retail season, has been well received by the global textile trade. l The collection features distinctive textures and finishes, to take advantage of the global trend towards casual-style dressing. 9 Textures and finishes from AWI's Merino Casual autumn/winter 2010-11 collection 3-D Merino Printing technologies enable controlled shrinking to be applied to specific areas of a garment. By using design to create new textures, handles and aesthetics, it is possible to create individual garments that no other fibre can mimic. Devoré Merino Devoré techniques allow 'burn-out' see-through effects to be used to create fun and stylish Merino wool knitwear. The Merino Devoré technology is not destructive, allowing the strength and integrity of the Merino fibre to be preserved. Pleated Merino Creased and un-ironed looks are typical of casual garments. Merino wool's inherent ability to shed creases can be controlled through special printing and finishes to create crinkle and texture effects in specific parts of a garment. These effects will withstand machine washing. manufacturing industry to develop new processes that create casual effects on wool. Innovative dyeing and finishing techniques have been used to create Merino wool knitted and woven garments with distinguishing textures and finishes. AWI launched this unique collection -- the inaugural Merino Casual collection -- last year to buyers and merchandisers for the Northern Hemisphere autumn/winter 2010- 11 retail season. AWI general manager of product development and commercialisation Jimmy Jackson has been very pleased with the reaction from the textile trade. "The response has been unbelievable from some very large names in the retail and fashion business," Jimmy says. "We are now transferring this technology to no less than 60 key retailers and brands who have taken samples, and we are now working with many interested parties to create orders for these new wool effects." One of the companies now using the technology is premium knitwear manufacture Fenix Hong Kong Ltd. The company has 10 factories on the Chinese mainland and in Vietnam that produce high quality and fashionable knitwear exported around the world. "AWI's professional team has developed a lot of new technologies for our industry," Fenix Group director Bernia Chan says. "The 3-D Merino knitwear technology, made available last year, was one in particular that our designers have been using for our autumn/winter 2010 collection. "The reaction to the collection, which we showcased at Hong Kong Fashion Week, was amazing." More information: www.wool.com/collections Relaxed Merino By taking a woven fabric made from worsted-spun Merino yarns and finishing it as though it were made from woollen-spun yarns, a relaxed look can be created on a formal fabric. The yarns in the fabric have been left unset and allowed to distort, while the fabric has only been lightly cropped to leave a surface fuzziness. Vintage Merino Garment dyeing techniques borrowed from the cotton industry are used in a novel way to create a subtle weathered look on 100 per cent Merino wool garments. Garments made from Merino wool fabrics that have been treated with a special polymer are dyed with standard dyes and auxiliaries. Through the mechanical action of dyeing the casual wash-down look is created. Easy Care Merino A woollen-spun coating-type fabric treated with a special easy-care polymer is made into an unstructured garment. Using jeans wear finishing methods it is then garment-washed to create a relaxed casual aesthetic as well as easy-care performance.