(Photo John Selkirk/Dominion Post)
AgReserach section manager Peter Ingham put the blow torch on model Chris Peck at Air New Zealand Fashion Week.
It was the first time AgResearch had put its revolutionary stab- and flame-resistant fabric to the test on a person.
Sydney model Chris Peck, 20, who braved a blowtorch, admitted it was “pretty scary at first and got the heart racing” but said he had jumped at the opportunity.
“Not everyone gets set on fire with a blowtorch in the name of hot fashion.
“Initially I couldn’t feel anything, then it got slightly warm, but there was no burning.”
AgResearch section manager Peter Ingham also energetically stabbed the fabric with a screwdriver and said that though the wearer would feel it – which is why it was demonstrated on a mannequin – there would be no penetration.
Similar in appearance to a Swanndri, the fabric is made from knitted Vectran-based fabric combined with short wool fibre.
AgResearch also unveiled its new textile-tracing system called Verifi TT, which can be used to detect fake designer garments.
Concern over low returns from sheep has concentrated on the meat.
But low prices for crossbred wool has also contributed to the problem and we’ve been waiting for someone to come up with an inventive way to use it.
Ag Research may have done it:
A revolutionary new wearable fabric which redefines the term tough has been developed by AgResearch.
The stab and flame-resistant fabric is made from knitted Vectran – a non-cut, ultra-high strength liquid crystal polymer – with short wool fibre packed into the outer surface.
Its flame-resistant properties will be tested to the full on Monday, when a blowtorch will be applied to a vest made of the fabric while being worn by a model.
The fabric will resist puncture or knife penetration, is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and has the dual benefits of the breathability and comfort of wool as well as the puncture resistance of the Vectran component, said AgResearch textile science and technology section manager Peter Ingham.
The wool component was naturally flame-resistant and any charring would be contained by the Vectran, giving the wearer “unparalleled protection” against flames.
The fabric looked like a “normal” Swanndri-type wool, but had the super-tough hidden layer of Vectran inside.
It’s a sad indictment on society that we need stab-proof clothing but if there’s a silver lining in this cloud it’s that the fabric which will help protect people will also provide a better market for crossbred wool.
Update: Jim Mora interviews Peter Ingham here.