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Web Exclusive | October 2017

Woolmark presents Optimfabric

The Woolmark Company returned to Première Vision, Paris, recently showcasing the latest innovations in wool, The Wool Lab and highlighting the versatility of wool as the premier ingredient in luxury apparel.

France continues to remain a major market for presenting the latest innovations in wool to the global textile and fashion community. This year The Woolmark Company showcased the latest in Optim fabric, presenting a double-faced pure wool fabric.

Following from the success of the initial release of fabric using Optim technology - co-developed with Nanshan at the Wool Development Centre in China - the latest innovation called Neulana Double presents a 100 per cent wool fabric with two very different surfaces. One face is smooth like a traditional outer-shell, while the other side is soft, lofty and brushed. This innovative double weave fabric provides maximum insulation whilst minimising fabric weight and retaining all Merino wool's natural properties such as breathability and moisture management.

The outer face of Neulana Double 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 Optim 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 inner-side of Neulana Double is soft to touch and is suitable next to skin. By using special treatment technology, a loose-yet-full structure is formed inside the yarn, raising the ratio of fabric volume to weight. The end result is an air-like, soft fabric with voluminous characteristics and an exquisitely soft handle. What's of particular interest is that whilst this fabric appears to be bonded, it is actually woven and so eliminates the need for any synthetics, glue, membrane or lining, and is suitable for high-end casual jackets.

“The Woolmark Company strives to lead the way in the development of technical and performance textiles, both knitted and woven,” explains The Woolmark Company General Manager, Processing Innovation & Education Extension Julie Davies. “Market demand for technical fibres continues to increase and the development of Neulana Double is our response to this rising demand. Wool is an amazing performance fibre and modern innovations and collaborations have led to the creation of lightweight, technical fabrics for the modern-day consumer.”

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