The global activewear market is growing rapidly and forecast to reach 564 billion USD by 2024. For cotton and other natural fibers, this market represents the single biggest opportunity to not only halt the growth in market share of polyester and other manmade fibers, but to take back some lost market share. Leading the innovation for natural fibers is the wool industry.
Woolmark and Australian Wool Innovation are doing a great job of working with brands and retailers to develop Wool products for apparel items that are now dominated by man-made fibers. Merino wool is known as the Original Performance Fiber because it is breathable, naturally elastic, and odor resistant. Woolmark, Santoni (knitting machine manufacturer), and Studio Eva X Carola (Designer) have come together to offer a 12-piece yoga collection, including leggings, crop tops, bras, a racer-back tank top, and a t-shirt, which is focused on performance:
Choosing the perfect yarn was an important factor for the design of this collection, and the hero yarn is a superfine 15.5 micron Merino wool yarn from the Südwolle Group. The yarn offers next-to-the-skin softness and comfort with an extra twist – it was designed to put to an end the perception that wool is itchy. The product is seamless and was constructed using the latest seamless technology circular knitting machines from Santoni Shanghai.
It is crucial for cotton to have the technology available to develop new yarns and applications that will allow it to perform in ways like that of man-made fibers. The environmental damage done by the nonbiodegradable, man-made fibers is not compatible with the environmental beliefs of performance and activewear customer. The size of the market makes the task worth the resources spent on R & D and collaboration.
Source: Jernigan Global, 11 November 2019, Issue No. 1044