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Almost three decades as soon as the introduction of fleece fabric to the world of sportswear and casual wear its arch nemesis, wool, has resurfaced with the aim of taking back its crown. Sports goods stores have been instrumental in returning wool like a viable substitute for the most popular synthetic fleece fabric.
Rebirth of Wool
Wool has experienced a rebirth with companies promoting a whole new blend called merino wool and that is claimed to become finer and even more lightweight compared to traditional wool. It’s got even been compared to cotton in feel. Some of the companies gaining from this wool revolution are Icebreaker Ltd. an outdoors apparel manufacturer from Nz and SmartWool a company from Colorado that are experts in outdoor apparel base layers. A variety offer that client demand from customers have gotten those to grow their inventory and sales figures show reasonable increase.
Patagonia, another outdoor apparel company, seems to have improved its inclusion of wool in the manufacture of their base layers; about 57% with the lower layer consists of merino wool with all the 43% composed of combining fleece fabric and recycled materials. Chris Hawson, an individual at Paragon Sports that deals in specialty sports products, claimed that ”Demand has increased dramatically.” The company has adjusted its inventory to allow for wool products which now comprise 50% of these base-layer business.
Wool and Casual Wear
Most significant draws of merino wool for consumers is the fact most items is usually combined with casualwear items like jeans and skirts without looking ”off”, sloppy or too sports-like. Merino wool base layers also out raced the synthetic fleece fabric when it comes to odor control. As outlined by satisfied merino wool user, Jake Jefferson: ”I wear synthetics so i may start smelling it after five days.” He compared it to his use of merino wool layers for double this time and claims that although he smelled unpleasant his merino wool shirt wasn’t as bad.
Wool along with the Environment
Supporters of merino wool have brought up the ever-present environmental issue. Arguments have been supply regarding wool’s being more environmentally sensitive than the synthetic fleece fabric. The CEO and founding father of Icebreaker, Jeremy Moon, claims that the chemical finishes utilised in manufacturing synthetic fleece wears off after repeated washings which lessens its functionality. The relevance with the use of recyclable materials in the manufacture of fleece fabric is usually questioned due to energy consumed in converting these products for use.
But does Fleece fabric STILL enlighten Merino wool?
However, fleece fabric still has a big share of the market in the output of outdoor apparel. Fans with the synthetic material prefer it as it’s low maintenance and fewer scratchy. It’s got also were able to evolve using its customers with all the introductions of innovations just like the addition of spandex in certain varieties of fleece pullovers for the more leisurely fit. Many manufacturers are using recyclable materials in the coming of their fabric too.
The key selling points of merino wool are its departure in the ”uncomfortable” feel associated with wool products and it is supposed positive environmental impact. Manufacturers of wool products have been aggressive in their marketing strategies which has triggered an increase in demand from interested consumers. With that said, merino wool products also cost 30%-50% more than synthetic polyester products. This will likely attract customers who will be attracted to price, quality and prestige but could dissuade the normal consumer who would rather reduce expenses.
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