The innovation of Optim fabric

The innovation of Optim fabric

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Advertiser content: Long heralded as the fibre of choice for insulating next-to-skin base-layers, innovations in wool have led to a rise in the use of the fibre in outerwear apparel, such as jackets. A recent development between The Woolmark Company and one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group, has resulted in a 100% wool fabric that protects the wearer from the elements.

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Advertiser content for AWI

Long heralded as the fibre of choice for insulating next-to-skin base-layers, innovations in wool have led to a rise in the use of the fibre in outerwear apparel, such as jackets. A recent development between The Woolmark Company and one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group, has resulted in a 100% wool fabric that protects the wearer from the elements.

OptimTM fabric was developed by the Wool Development Centre (WDC) which was set up in Shandong Provence, China, in 2013 by AWI along with one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group. The fabric is one of many innovative, high-value woven Merino wool fabrics with commercial viability that has been developed by the WDC.

The fabric is constructed at very high levels of thread density in warp and weft using fine Merino wool yarns that has been stretched, but not set, during OptimTM processing. It is only when the fabric is wet-finished that the stretch is released causing the yarns to contract, thus leading to an extreme tightening of the fabric structure and the creation of the immensely dense fabric.

The fabric is constructed at very high levels of thread density in warp and weft using fine Merino wool yarns that have been stretched, but not set, during OptimTM processing. It is only when the fabric is wet-finished that the stretch is released causing the yarns to contract, thus leading to an extreme tightening of the fabric structure and the creation of the immensely dense fabric.

After optimising the spinning, weaving and finishing processes, the fabrics made from these elastic Merino wool fibres have enhanced water and wind resistant properties (while retaining all Merino wool’s fine properties such as breathability) and are also machine washable, without any chemical treatments.

The fabric is promoted by AWI at trade shows and in The Wool Lab – AWI’s sourcing guide to the world’s best commercially available wool fabrics. Major brands, such as Ortovox, Ibex, Devold, and RÖJK have commercialised this development, in fact, earlier this year RÖJK won three awards for their 100% Merino wool jacket made from OptimTM  fabric at this years’ sports and outdoor wear trade fair ISPO. 

Read the full article at www.woolmark.com/innovation/developments/optimal-performance/

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