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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2012-13
Quality assurance The ongoing review has continued. Several new (eg Mothers & Babies) or modifed (Cool Wool) specifications were published for implementation in 2013/14. The review of Woolmark test methods for scheduled release in 2013 was completed. Changes to the Super S specification have been made to reflect approved changes to the IWTO Code of Practice for Super S. The level of authorisation of a small number of AWI-authorised laboratories has been widened to allow tests of a wider range of products in their regions. Further round trials have been conducted with the AWI-authorised laboratories to ensure harmonisation of test outcomes. To reduce variation in the measurement of dimensional stability, new Woolmark-specific wash programs have been introduced to replace the former 7A and 5A cycles. New standard knitted fabrics have been developed for Woolmark testing programs, and procedures developed for their distribution to authorised laboratories by AWI. New photographic standards for the afterwash appearance of knitwear and sliver knit fabrics have been developed to replace the physical standards and distributed to suitably-authorised laboratories. A program to test Woolmark-certified products purchased at retail in the northern- hemisphere autumn/winter was conducted by Intertek Testing Services Ltd. The outcomes mirrored those observed in 2012-13. Sustainable and ecological processing -- chemicals, dyes, water and energy A project investigating ionic fluids for the shrink-resistance treatment of wool is proceeding well with significant levels of shrink-resistance achieved on top without the use of chlorine. Follow-up studies on fabric are continuing. A third industrial trial to evaluate an "Ecolana" chlorine-free easy care process was carried out with an Italian partner. Trials to reduce water and energy consumption in Merino knitwear finishing have been carried out using new Xeros Bead technology; initial results suggest 70 per cent reductions might be feasible. Trials to develop a cold-dyed Merino yarn with a major Chinese spinner have started and initial results suggest dyeing temperatures can be reduced from 100 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius. Off-farm carbon footprint, garment care, decomposition and recycling A report commissioned on the biodegradability of wool confirms that, while the rate of degradation is changed by the presence of special finishes, the rate of degradation of wool is still far superior to the rates for non-wool products. A report commissioned on odour prevention shows that wool absorbs and locks away three key smells associated with sweat, thus reducing the need for washing after each use. A report on encapsulation technologies for wool confirms the feasibility of using encapsulation matrices to control the release of more-environmentally friendly antimicrobial and insect resist agents for apparel wools. Results from a project to develop a non-insecticidal moth repellent finish for apparel indicate that a simple surfactant applied at the same time as dyeing can render wool fabrics moth resistant, and it is durable to dry-cleaning. A process that increases drying rates of wool by up to 30 per cent after washing has been identified and deemed worthy of commercial evaluation. The evaluation of an eco-friendly detergent shows that traditional non-ionic detergents can be replaced by ones based on bio-materials . A "wash free" suit has been developed in partnership with Kozuka Keori and Shandong Ruyi. Wearer trials have been completed. REPORT OF OPERATIONS -- OFF-FARM R&D
AWI Annual Report 2013-14
AWI Annual Report 2011-12