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Merino innovations address modern fashion trends
Jun '10
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) will unveil its new Merino Casual and Merino Touch collections at Spin Expo New York in July, to inspire buyers and merchandisers for the fall/winter 2011/12 season.

The Merino Casual collection comprises knitted garments and fabrics with distinctive textures and finishes, created using a range of dyeing and finishing techniques.

This unique collection demonstrates the natural versatility of Merino wool, combining comfort and functionality with a relaxed style. The range is suited to street or casual wear, as well as everyday and party wear.

The collection builds on the success of last year's inaugural Merino Casual collection.

AWI general manager of product development and commercialisation Jimmy Jackson says the Merino Casual collection addresses the global trend towards a more casual style of dressing.

“Busy lifestyles and changing workplace fashions have reduced the need for consumers to have multiple wardrobes – and there is also an increasing desire for individualism,” Mr Jackson explains.

“Today's consumers are seeking garments that are versatile, that can be worn in different situations and environments, and that ultimately save consumers' time, effort and money.

“To enable wool to take advantage of this global trend towards a more informal style of dressing, AWI has worked closely with the manufacturing industry to develop new processes which give the Merino Casual collection a range of unique effects on wool.”

This year, new 'Merino Vintage' yarns have been designed to create rustic yet soft feeling knits straight from the cone. An increasing number of new sources of 'Merino Vintage' muted and heathered knits and denim looks are available.

New colouration techniques using coating, printing and injection systems enable innovative urban designs. 'Colour 3-D Merino' combines colour printing with felted texture effects in pure Merino and value blends such as wool/polyamide.

Merino wool's unique tendency to shrink or felt is used to create 'Merino Retraction' – a boiled Merino with a difference: it has the twin benefits of stretch and easy care.

AWI will also be exhibiting at Spin Expo a range of Merino Touch commercial apparel made from super-soft yarns and fabrics that provide a touch of luxury in an affordable knitted garment.

Sourced from around the world, the commercial garments on display demonstrate how the industry's most innovative spinners and knitters have embraced the Merino Touch concept and made it their own.

Mr Jackson says Australian Merino wool is well known as one of the finest and softest fibres in the world, but thanks to the innovative mercerising Merino process, it now feels even finer and softer.

“The process of mercerising makes the Merino wool feel on average two micron finer, which gives the Merino Touch collection such an incredible next-to-skin softness and smooth surface finish,” Mr Jackson explains.

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