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AgResearch to unveil high-tech fashion this year

Jun '07
AgResearch is this year unveiling high-tech fashion that goes even further than its living grass dress that won the Landcare section of the National Fieldays Ag Art wear competition last year at Mystery Creek.

As part of a demonstration of what it hopes will become a new section in the competition, it will this year demonstrate several of the innovative new fabrics developed by the new AgResearch textiles team in what is being called 'Wearable Science.'

On display will be a machine-washable suit that, in a world first, is made from 100 per cent wool without the use of any chemicals, is shrink resistant, has high natural stretch and a lively drape.

AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Andrew West intends to show his support for the Natural Easy Care (NEC) fabric by wearing a suit made from the material during the 2007 National Fieldays.

“We demonstrated a shirt made from this fabric earlier this year but this is the first suit to be made from this amazing natural material. It's machine washable but do remember to take it off first!” he says.

The NEC fabric is just one of the innovative textiles developed by researchers from AgResearch's textiles team, based at Lincoln near Christchurch.

Traditionally, wool has not been used for business shirting because it has to be lightweight. To enable weaving, two single yarns are plied together but they become too thick to use for garments such as shirts.

The NEC fabric utilises a single worsted yarn which is created by specially designed rollers that are easily retro-fitted to an existing spinning frame. The grooved rollers split the wool strand into micro-yarns which are made up of well-interlocked fibres.

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