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Sydney - The Woolmark Company has unveiled the first edition of The Wool Lab Digital, a brand-new online platform for its respected fabric and yarn sourcing guide, which has been developed in response to the changing needs of today’s market environment.

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of The Wool Lab, the first iteration of The Wool Lab Digital pays homage to the innovative essence of the curated sourcing guide, reinventing its offering to meet the needs of the global industry.

While its structure and functionality of the digital platform has been adapted to the times we are living in, the core of The Wool Lab remains the same; it is a guide to the best commercially available wool fabrics and yarns, created in collaboration with the most innovative and quality-oriented spinners, knitters and weavers from across the world.

The Woolmark Company has quickly adjusted to the market changes imposed by the global pandemic and, through The Wool Lab Digital, says it provides a robust solution that continues to connect and support the global supply chain, by providing a digital showcase for suppliers and a leading sourcing service for buyers.

The Wool Lab Digital will be freely accessible to everyone in a dedicated area of www.woolmark.com.

After registering, users will be able to go through the guide and choose a selection of wool fabrics and yarns in which they are interested. Users will immediately receive an email with the details of their chosen swatches along with the contact information of the applicable manufacturers that the user can contact to request samples.

“The Wool Lab is the world’s only collection of curated, innovative yarns, fabrics and processes dedicated to wool and therefore offers an unrivalled and global opportunity for wool textile sourcing,” said Julie Davies, The Woolmark Company’s general manager for Product Innovation and Education Extension.

“Extending The Wool Lab into the digital space will enable designers, buyers and sourcing teams to continue to connect with known suppliers and discover new, global suppliers, strengthening supply chain partnerships which is imperative within our industry.”

As well as being in a new online format, The Wool Lab Digital has identified the new market trends and product innovations that are most relevant to the current unique global situation.

Whilst wool demonstrates its natural versatility as a fibre, technical fabric innovations are the central theme of The Wool Lab Digital which will generate business opportunities for the industry.

Trends

The Wool Lab Digital will present four macro-trends of the new market situation and, for each of them, will suggest those fabric innovations that are most suitable. Two of the macro-trends will be released on the platform in February, with the remaining two to be released in May.

The first two macro-trends that will be accessible on the platforms are:

In Motion - A theme dedicated to clothing for people who are always on the move, whether for work or leisure. Both interpretations, Casual and Active, respond to a new lifestyle and to the need to be able to move independently within the city. It is a new kind of multifunctional clothing: clothes that are easy to wear and combine with each other, sophisticated and comfortable, colourful basics for better visibility without being too stark. Each fabric has a very specific function, with an overlaying of light and performing blends.

Hybrid - A theme dedicated to hybridisation in all its facets, all interpreted in a very personal and young way by the creation of one’s own style that sometimes translates into real self-made clothing. They take shape here in two interpretations: Shuffle and Craft. It is a mix of styles like never before; everything finds its place within this continuous hybridisation of styles, genders, cultures and ethnicities. The noblest materials are used for trousers for a fresh and updated streetwear, denim, sportswear; super-classic jackets combined with baseball caps; sweatshirts and knitted jackets with 1970s inspiration – as if they had come out of grandma’s closet, but wholly contemporary when mixed with unexpected items.

Through these macro-trends, Merino wool reaffirms its position as the ultimate ingredient for both urban and active wear, but also for leisure wear. Thanks to the fibre’s natural qualities and infinite versatility, innovative manufacturing techniques have been applied to wool for use in high-performance sport garments but also the home environment.

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