by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2017-18
FIBRE ADVOCACY INVESTMENT FOCUS • Challenging the widespread misconception that wool is an allergen and demonstrating that suitably selected fine Merino products are healthy for the skin, especially for those with the most sensitive skin. • Developing scientific evidence to support sleeping on or under wool bedding, or in Merino sleepwear. • Improve the technical basis and the wool trade’s ability to specify fabrics for health applications across a range of climatic applications, with assistance from technical experts. • Establish partnership with international funding and research institutions, to internationalize the outcomes and program impact. STRATEGIC TARGETS Targets for three-year period 2016/17 to 2018/19 Progress during 2017/18 1. Internationalize studies demonstrating that Merino base-layer garments ameliorate chronic skin conditions associated with microclimate management of the skin. On target. The skin health benefits of base-layer Merino garments to children and adults suffering from eczema was demonstrated through a two-year study in Kentucky, USA. 2. Demonstrate that wool bedding and sleepwear improves sleeping conditions. Achieved. A two-year study at Sydney University has identified improved sleep quality outcomes from sleeping in wool. 3. Support development of product market opportunities in categories such as corporate wear, safety wear, medical product and infants wear. In progress. A project assessing high performance, emergency services fabric that’s been optimised for fire/heat protection, comfort and cost is currently under way. 4. Develop specifications for next-to-skin wear to improve reliability and consumer confidence in Merino base-layer garments. On target. Development of a medical specification for next- to-skin wear by people with sensitive skin is well progressed. KEY RESULTS DURING 2017/18 SKIN HEALTH • AWI’s investments since 2011 to establish wool’s skin health benefits have been consistently positive. The most recent study of children and adults with eczema (based in the USA) again showed a clinically significant improvement in symptoms from wearing base-layer superfine wool garments for at least six hours per day. • An opportunity now exists to move to a multi-site parallel study of eczema in key target markets, including Europe, Asia and the USA. The Chairperson of the International Eczema Council, Professor Amy Paller from Northwestern University in Chicago USA has agreed to participate in this study – representing a huge opportunity for wool. SLEEP HEALTH • The AWI-funded sleep study at Sydney University (2015-2017) demonstrated improved sleep quality for older adults (50-70 years) in warm circumstances compared to sleeping in polyester or cotton. The key findings were: o Less fragmented sleep in wool (12% less fragmented than in polyester) o Faster sleep onset in wool for participants 65 years and older (average sleep onset: 12 mins in wool, 22 mins in polyester, 27 mins in cotton) o More benefit at the extremes (older age, higher body mass index and poorer sleepers benefited the most from wool). NEXT-TO-SKIN SPECIFICATIONS • Good progress has been made in the development of a medical specification for next-to-skin wear by people with sensitive skin. Primary specifications associated with the skin comfort factors of fabrics have been established, namely: 1. Mean Fibre Diameter ≤ 17.5u 2. % fibres >25 micron fibres ≤ 2 3. Wool ComfortMeter ≤ 200 • Terms of reference are currently being developed for a study to define specifications for the parameters which influence the fabric/skin microclimate (ie fabric air/moisture permeability, thickness, mass, tightness/cover factor). AWI studies show that wearing Merino wool base-layers is beneficial to skin health. The aim of the research is to ultimately open doors to new high value markets for wool. REPORT OF 2017/18 OPERATIONS – SHEEP PRODUCTION 37
AWI Annual Report 2016-17