Going to bed with wool

Coco Chanel is credited with saying that the only thing you should wear to bed is perfume.

That’s all very well on a warm Paris night. People in cooler climes might need a little more covering and AgResearch scientists have come up with something for them to wear which they reckon will make going to bed more enjoyable:

They’ve made a breakthrough in textiles which has resulted in a lightweight natural product which they say:

. . . has no chemical treatment, helps sleeping, maintains and regulates temperature and looks and feels fantastic.

“Easy Care Wool Sleepwear works in both summer and winter and we believe makes excellent nightwear and loungewear with its outstanding comfort properties,” said Dr Surinder Tandon, Senior Scientist, Textile Science & Technology.

The Sleepwear products targeted for the development include men’s and women’s nightwear and loungewear. These were developed using innovative combinations of merino wool and other natural fibres such as bamboo and silk, yarn structures, fabric weaves and knits, and finishing procedures.

The Easy Care bit is important because it’s not that long ago that wool was anything but. However, developments with merino by companies like Icebreaker which has brought us fashionable, itch-free, lightweight, machine washable clothes has helped wool products compete with synthetics.

AgResearch took their stab and fire resistant wool vest to the catwalk at Air New Zealand Fashion Week last year. It is going to invite well known designers to come up with garments made from Easy Care Wool in the hope they will be able to show them at next year’s fashion week.”

“They will look great, function well and be very comfortable,” said Dr Tandon.

The new sleepwear fabrics are being manufactured by South Canterbury Textiles, “This cutting edge textile is exciting from our point of view- it’s new, it’s got real advantages over other fabrics used for sleepwear and it creates opportunities for us once it is available,” said Andrew Miller CEO.

This sleepwear fabric development programme was supported by Textiles NZ under their industry scheme Transform, South Canterbury Textiles and Locus Research.

If this product can be commercially viable it will provide a much needed boost for the wool industry which has been faced with low prices for far too many years.

It will also provide something a bit warmer, and not necessarily any less alluring, for those who prefer to wear something a little more substantial than perfume in bed.

3 Responses to Going to bed with wool

  1. gravedodger says:

    I wonder if in her later years Coco may have added teeth to the perfume. I agree that the wearable comfort of wool has made tremendous strides in recent years with the addition of possum fur another big step forward. Although no longer a wool producer I probably have more wool product as a proportion to wear now than any earlier time in my life. It may even be one of my strongest claims to sustainability and carbon savings.
    ps our home has natural wool floor coverings but alas we didn’t use wool for insulation maybe because I couldn’t see it or maybe it was something to do with regarding insulation as demeaning to wool.


  2. Farmer Baby Boomer says:

    Good to see some positive results in wool research, even if it is mainly Merino that is benefiting here. Coarser wools could with some of the same.
    Yes, Gravedodger, the wool/possum fur mix is great. I reckon a pair socks made with that mix are ultimate in foot comfort.


  3. lulu says:

    I used to work in the fashion industry in the UK – mostly top of the line stuff. Fine wool gaberdine was very popular, even in summer. Wool gaberdine hardly creases, doesn’t make you itch, and is cool as well. The cool bit is what people don’t associate with wool & it might be worth pushing that part of wool’s attraction. I tested a wool gaberdine jacket on a flight to Majorca mid-summer – I arrived looking uncreased and hardly a bead of sweat on my brow.


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