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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
Snow business like wool business! FAST FACTS l AWI showcased its latest innovations in the sports and outdoor market at this year's influential ISPO trade show in Germany. l There has been an increase in interest in Merino wool, from base-layers to outerwear, and across a variety of sports of varying intensity levels. l Australian snow brand XTM reported success at the show and was noticing a positive change in consumer perception in regards to wool. AWI continues to bolster Merino fibre's presence in the sports and outdoor market, collaborating with leading manufacturers and brands to promote the natural benefits of wool as a performance fibre. The latest Merino wool innovations in the this market were on show in January at the influential ISPO trade show in Munich, and AWI was there again to showcase the latest commercial developments under its MerinoPerformTM banner to the 80,000 visitors from 110 countries. The standout developments presented 18 OFF-FARM March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE were: • Wool wadding for ski jackets • Woven fabrics for trousers and hiking shirts in 100 per cent Merino wool • Seamless Merino wool garments • New fabric developments in jersey; and • Wovens from AWI's MerinoPerformTM partners. According to AWI's Sports and Outdoors category manager, Lars Ulvesund, there has been a revived interest in seamless knitwear and it appears everyone is looking for Merino wool. "More and more brands are keen to have a consistent story to tell when selling outdoor apparel," Mr Ulvesund said. "Brands want to sell Merino wool base-layers, and then continue to tell the story of wool and its benefits with both mid and outer layers. "The 2014 ISPO show was our best one yet; not only did we form new relationships with brands looking to introduce Merino wool into their ranges, but more importantly, many of the 'early adopters' -- the brands having already worked with Merino for a number of seasons -- are looking to extend their current Merino wool ranges and are increasingly turning to new, innovative Matt Graham of Australia competes in the Men's Moguls Finals at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Matt, along with many of his Australian team mates, wear Woolmark-certified base layers made from Australian Merino wool. PHOTO: Getty Images. AWI presented the latest innovations in Merino wool as a performance fibre at the recent ISPO trade exhibition.