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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
10 OFF-FARM March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE AWI's 'The Wool Lab' seasonal guide to the world's most interesting commercially available wool fabrics and yarns has fast become an important tool for the textile trade. The latest edition for the Spring/ Summer 2014 season was officially launched in January at the Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence, and AWI made 350 new business contacts at the show, up 20 per cent compared with the previous edition of the guide. AWI will now co-ordinate one-on-one meetings with these important fashion and sportswear companies. Like the preceding three editions of the guide, The Wool Lab Spring/Summer 2014 was created by AWI in collaboration with the most innovative and quality- oriented spinners and weavers from across the world. This edition of the guide presents seven inspiring themes in line with the leading fashion and textile trends. The most appreciated themes so far have been The Dreamer and Contadino for menswear and Salon de Thé and Clean for womenswear. Wearing Art, Ellis Island and Contadino fall into the newly developed Urban category, with the seventh theme being New Victorian. Visitors have shown particular interest in wool jersey for summer and have appreciated the presence of knitwear. The most important trade, fashion magazine and newspaper journalists have also shown interest in the latest collection, with titles including Women's Wear Daily, Textile View, Sportswear International, TG1, MFFashion and La Repubblica all producing a good amount of cross-media coverage. Italian-based Global Strategy Advisor for AWI, Fabrizio Servente, says The Wool Lab has now well and truly cemented its place within the industry. FAST FACTS l The latest 'The Wool Lab' seasonal guide to the world's best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns was launched in January and presents seven inspiring trends for Spring/Summer 2014. l The initial response from the trade has been positive, with new enquiries up 20 per cent compared with the previous edition of the guide. l The latest edition is also available as an iPad app, which can be downloaded via Apple iTunes at no cost. "When we began, our trade partners were cautious of giving us their wool products," Mr Servente said. "But now that The Wool Lab has reached its fourth edition and given us increasing success and the capacity to generate business and orders for wool products, it is definitely a point of reference for the market and suppliers." While the full edition of The Wool Lab is a view-on-request guide that includes fabric samples, an iPad app, available free of charge through Apple iTunes, brings a snapshot of The Wool Lab to a wider audience. Viewers are able to discover the seasonal trends, be inspired by the mood boards and zoom in on fabric and yarn swatches. The app is available for the northern hemisphere Spring/Summer 2014, Autumn/Winter 2013/14; Spring/Summer 2013 (with a special section dedicated to Sport); and Autumn/Winter 2012/13. More information: www.woolmark.com/trends Next year's summer trends An example of the popular Salon de Thé theme from The Wool Lab Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Italian-based Global Strategy Advisor for AWI Fabrizio Servente (centre) showcasing The Wool Lab to delegates at the Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence.