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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2015-16
Sleep health: • Wool sleepwear represents a key strategic opportunity for knitters and growers of fine Merino wool, while wool bedding, underlays and duvets, represent an opportunity for mid-micron wools. • The findings of an AWI-funded clinical study comparing wool and cotton sleepwear at Sydney University have indicated that next-to-skin wool garments promote earlier sleep onset in cooler conditions. The study also indicated trends towards increased total sleep time and sleep efficiency. The associated paper has recently been published in the journal The Nature and Science of Sleep. • A more comprehensive follow-up study assessing the impact of wool, cotton and polyester sleepwear of the baby boomer demographic (50–70 years) under warm summer conditions is currently under way. Development of product market opportunities: • A study has been initiated to improve flammability testing standards for base-layer garments. Wool’s natural attributes – including breathability, odour resistance and flame resistance as well as the fact that it does not melt – provide a competitive advantage in emergency service and military markets. Modern warfare involving the use of Improvised Explosive Devices generates sufficient heat to melt fabrics into the skin, potentially causing massive injury. However the lightweight knitted base-layers now produced burn much more readily than the heavier outer-layer garments for which the standards were designed, hence there is a clear need for a base-layer specific section in flammability standards. Health-related documents and publications arising from AWI activities during the year included: • The effects of fabric for sleepwear and bedding on sleep at ambient temperatures of 17°C and 22°C. Mirim Shin, Mark Halaki, Paul Swan, Angus Ireland and Chin Moi Chow. Published in The Nature and Science of Sleep. • Determining Effects of Superfine Sheep Wool in Infantile Eczema: a randomized paediatric cross over study. John Su et al. Submitted to the British Journal of Dermatology • A Round Trial of Wool ComfortMeters. H . Wang and Crowe, D.W . IWTO Congress, Sydney, April, 2016. • Supplement to IWTO DTM 66, Modifications to the set-up of the Wool ComfortMeter and changes to the precision limits. Submitted to IWTO, Sydney, April, 2016. • Why Cotton as Linen? The Use of Wool in Beds in Norway. Ingun Klepp, Tone Tobassian, Kirsi Laitala. Published in Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture. PROGRAM 2: ECO-CREDENTIALS INVESTMENT FOCUS Investment activities will largely involve: • Continuing to monitor environmental issues and changing legislation which may pose a potential threat to the wool business. • Identification of areas of most concern in relation to chemicals commonly used in wool processing, and identify where possible suitable alternatives. Where no alternatives exist, develop alternative solutions. • Identifying unwanted residuals on wool products and develop techniques to remove or eliminate them which the manufacturer can adopt before the products leave the factory. • Enhancing and transferring knowledge relating to the reduction of water and energy during manufacturing. Developing guidelines outlining options for wool manufacturers in this area. • Developing processes that can be carried out during manufacturing, which enable Easy Care wool products to be successfully domestically laundered (effective cleaning and stain removal etc.) at reduced temperatures during washing, and reduced drying times during tumble drying. • Developing a strategy relating to recycling of wool. • Conducting work to have a better understanding of the parameters which effect wool’s rate of decomposition, from which advisory notes and best practice guidelines can be developed. STRATEGIC TARGETS Targets for three-year period 2013/14 to 2015/16 Progress during 2015/16 Prepare and publish annually Best Practice Guidelines highlighting improvements or new options for the wool- manufacturing sector. Target revised. Feedback from China indicated that this activity would be better managed through AWI’s Trade Education Program. Develop techniques to remove unwanted residues on wool during processing. Achieved. Various techniques were developed to laboratory and pilot scale level to improve removal of pollutants including COD and AOX during 2014/15. Discussions are under way between Deakin University and wool processors on undertaking industrial scale trials in China. Identify areas of chemical use of concern to the industry and support development of alternative processing methods or inputs. Completed. A zero AOX process was developed and tested at pilot scale however alternative techniques developed by industry have proven to be more robust. 28 REPORT OF 2015/16 OPERATIONS – OFF-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2014-15
AWI Annual Report 2016-17