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Beyond the Bale : Feb - Mar 08
Air-conditioned suits a hit in Japan A new summer wool suit that breathes like a t-shirt and helps the environment is capturing attention in Japan. Developed by Japanese clothing company Aoyama Trading, in collaboration with Woolmark Japan, the Su-Su-Suit is a lightweight garment with a new, high level of air permeability. The suit was originally designed to support Japan's 'Cool Biz' movement, launched in 2005 by the Japanese Government.The campaign asked office workers to shed jackets and ties, and set the air-conditioning in offices at 28˚C, to save energy and meet the target carbon dioxide emission rate set by the Kyoto Protocol. The fabric specially developed for the Su-Su-Suit provides an air permeability as high as 180 cubic centimetres (cc) -- allowing six times as much air to pass through it than an ordinary dress shirt.The level of fabric breathability was achieved using the special Australian Merino wool yarn 'tornado-twisted' with ceramic-mixed filament to reduce fibre-ends (which make the yarn less fuzzy).When this yarn is woven, the fabric also has a coarser weave, which dramatically improves air permeability. The ceramic-mixed fibre also provides heat insulation.When combined with its improved breathability, the fabric creates a double cooling effect, equal to about a 4˚C reduction in temperature compared with that of conventional mid-summer suit fabrics. The Su-Su-Suit was planned and developed by a team of specialist companies covering raw wool, textile, making-up and marketing including Aoyama Trading, Nihon Keori and The Woolmark Company, under the full support of AWI from fabric development to marketing stage. A total of 30,000 units were produced for the summer 2007 launch. The product was well received by Japanese businessmen, who must wear a jacket and tie even in Cool Biz-conforming offices, to stay comfortable in the hot and humid Japanese summer. Following the success of the launch, Aoyama plans to more than double the number produced next summer season to 80,000 units. Wool past and present in Japan Australian Merino wool went on show at the recent Japan Imported Textiles Agency Council (JITAC) trade fair, which presents an opportunity for the textiles trade to see where world fashion trends are heading. Held in Tokyo, the JITAC trade fair presents the latest woven fabric developments and trends from mills in Italy, France and the UK, along with those from many Asian producers and manufacturers, to one of the world's most important consumer markets. "JITAC provided us with an opportunity to advise European and Japanese textile trade personnel about the integration with The Woolmark Company and the strategy to re-invigorate the Woolmark symbol, and to commemorate 200 years of international trade for the Australian wool industry," says Pascal Senkoff, general manager of apparel product development and marketing at AWI. The AWI site presented a photographic timeline depicting the history of wool from 1807, with the shipping of the first bale, through to the latest innovations in Merino wool in 2007. More information: www.jitac.jp 18 GLOBAL BEYOND THE BALE Australian Merino wool being promoted at JITAC. The Su-Su-Suit from Japan. NAUTICA LAUNCHES MERINO COLLECTION IN SHANGHAI AWI, in cooperation with the celebrated American sports and leisurewear brand Nautica, launched a new Australian Merino wool collection for the northern hemisphere's 2007 autumn/winter season at a three-day showcase held at Shanghai's largest shopping mall, the Super Brands Mall. Founded in 1983, Nautica has evolved from a collection of men's outerwear to become a global lifestyle brand with products ranging from men's and women's to children's apparel and accessories. Now part of VF Corporation, a leader in branded quality apparel, Nautica has become a widely recognised American lifestyle brand. Through its subsidiaries, Nautica Enterprises Inc. designs, sources, markets and distributes apparel under the brands Nautica, Nautica Competition, Nautica Jeans Company, John Varvatos, E. Magrath, Byron Nelson and Earl Jean.These products feature classic and contemporary styling, quality fabrics and functionality. Nautica's autumn/winter 2007 collection utilises Australian Merino wool in a wide range of fabrications. Nautica displays the versatility of Australian Merino with an array of styles featuring classical stripes and grills to diamond pattern designs, and fashionable colour. This season, the sweater collection continues its 'navigation style' with a vest, v-neck, half zip and full zip styles. This is the first time Nautica has incorporated 100 per cent Australian Merino wool into its collection. Models displayed the newly launched Nautica classical Australian Merino wool collection to 6000 customers and VIPs over the three days. More information: www.nautica.com
Feb - Mar 08 Supplement
Apr - May 08