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Beyond the Bale : Feb 07 - Mar 07
By Fiona Davis It sounds like science fiction: a garment that keeps its wearer at a similar temperature regardless of the weather. A new fabric, Klimeo, from French wool weaver Chargeurs Fashion, AWI and CSIRO, has made that concept a reality. Klimeo was launched at Premiere Vision, the world's leading fabric fair, which was held in Paris in September 2006. It has now been commercialised by two firms belonging to Chargeurs Fashion: Avelana for women's wear and Roudière for men's wear. Klimeo marketing manager Laurence Jovet says the product suits anyone who travels any distance: "It really is something that you can use every day. What exists on the market now is sportswear or outdoor wear; our product is really different to this as it's for everyday fashion. "It's really the classical fabrics you use for suiting or trousers or travelling clothes that you can use every day, but without having any difference that you can feel." The treatment is ideal for traditional woven textile markets and is beneficial for knitwear used in active outdoor and sports markets, as well as other next-to-skin applications. Garments treated with the Klimeo procedure are machine-washable, colour-fast, have odour-management properties, become stain-proof and perform well next to skin. The unique process moderates fluctuations in temperature throughout the day and provides the wearer with an incomparable feeling of comfort and wellbeing. Mrs Jovet uses the example of a man leaving his warm home on a winter's morning to walk for 10 minutes in the cold before catching public transport. Wearing Klimeo, he would be protected from the sudden changes from hot to cold and then to hot again, as the fabric increases its protection where necessary. To create Klimeo, microcapsules are grafted to the fabric. These capsules change their phase depending on the temperature, in a similar way to an ice cube. "The substance is solid when you are in a cold environment and it is liquid when you are in a warm environment," Mrs Jovet says. The Klimeo treatment cannot be seen or felt by the wearer, rather the change is in the level of protection the fabric provides from the weather. Mrs Jovet says it is an excellent everyday fashion fabric and has been trialled successfully this season in 100 per cent wool and wool-blend suits, trousers and dresses. Visitors to Premiere Vision saw Klimeo in action in experiments held during the event. Thermometers were attached to non-Klimeo and Klimeo fabrics and they were warmed up using a hair dryer to about 35˚C. When the fabrics reached the same temperature, cold air was blown on them. Each time, the Klimeo fabric remained warmer than the non-Klimeo fabric by 20 to 30˚C. Mrs Jovet says the response from visitors to the stand was terrific. "They are very, very interested in the concept; people are eager to have real innovation in new fabrics." Two well-known labels, Bruno Sainte-Hilaire men's wear in France and Brax women's wear in Germany already have Klimeo fabrics in production, while others placed pre-orders at Premiere Vision so they could conduct trials. Mrs Jovet says Klimeo garments will be in stores from February 2007. The invention of Klimeo began six years ago. Mrs Jovet says it was not an easy exercise: "We had to create a whole process with unique machinery. This process has since been patented." Chargeurs Fashion contacted AWI because it mainly works with wool and appreciates the innovative work AWI has been involved in. Mrs Jovet says Australian Merino wool was ideal for Klimeo, as its natural properties helped to regulate its temperature, even without the microcapsules. She says AWI was keen to get involved. "Wool has been through a tough time over the past few years and wool producers are very interested in finding some way to redevelop wool and give the end-consumer the will to have wool again." Pascal Senkoff, AWI's general manager of product marketing, has been working on the Klimeo project. "We see the Klimeo procedure as a treatment that will increase demand for lightweight Australian Merino wool- based woven apparel products including men's, women's and corporate within key global markets," Mr Senkoff says. "You can really notice the amount of warmth or coolness in the fabric as the skin temperature changes. It has been a pleasure working with Chargeurs on this project." AWI and Chargeurs are now looking to the future and working to create a variety of knitted textiles treated with the Klimeo technology; they are expecting to produce knits in line with the requirements of performance apparel manufacturers. ú More information: www.klimeo-fashion.com New textile treatment results in thermal buffering A fabric that insulates the wearer from changes in temperature, such as between the warm home, office or car and the icy weather outside? It's called Klimeo 19 CLIMATE CONTROL BEYOND THE BALE (Above) Ice is placed on the Klimeo fabric (left) and an untreated fabric: the ice melts slower on the Klimeo fabric because the microcapsules on the fabric solidify and act as a buffer, preventing the fabric from absorbing the cold from the ice. (Left) Microcapsules bound to the Klimeo fabric change their phase depending on the temperature.
Feb 07 - Mar 07 Supplement
Dec 06 - Jan 07