New Zealand researchers have created a textile that is chemical-free, maintains temperature and helps wearers to sleep.
AgResearch says it has achieved a breakthrough in textiles by developing a natural product which is lightweight, has no chemical treatment, helps sleeping, maintains and regulates temperature and looks and feels fantastic.
AgResearch is New Zealand's largest Crown Research Institute (CRI) with acknowledged expertise in biological science. It is said to play a key role to play in boosting the productivity of the country's bio-dependent economy.
"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 current sleepwear market consists of three main product categories: garments worn during sleep; multi-purpose garments worn both for sleeping and as casual wear around the home or as comfortable items for rest and relaxation; and garments worn over sleepwear that are not generally slept in. The new Easy Care Wool product can cover all these markets.
"We hope in 2010 to repeat our successes at Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2008 and invite known designers to create garments with Easy Care Wool. 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.