Norwegian sports brand and Woolmark licensee Devold has taken out a prestigious ISPO Award at the sports and outdoor trade show in Germany, showcasing the innovative nature of Merino wool.
Devold’s Trollkyrkja jacket, commercially available later this year for both men and women, uses OptimTM technology that makes the fabric both wind and wind resistant.
“We are perhaps the oldest outdoor company in world, established in 1853,” said Devold Product and Business Director Vidar Thorvik. “One of our main leveraging points is innovations, including our new 100 per cent Australian Merino wool shell jacket.
“It [product development] started one year ago at the Woolmark stand at ISPO and we were shown this new fantastic fabric. We’ve been quite busy this past year to be ready to launch the jacket this fall.”
The Optim fabric was developed by the Wool Development Centre (WDC) which was set up in Shandong Provence, China, in 2013 by AWI along with one of China’s leading woollen textile enterprises, The Nanshan Group. The fabric is one of many innovative, high-value woven Merino wool fabrics with commercial viability that has been developed by the WDC.
The fabric is constructed at very high levels of thread density in warp and weft using fine Merino wool yarns that has been stretched, but not set, during Optim processing. It is only when the fabric is wet-finished that the stretch is released causing the yarns to contract, thus leading to an extreme tightening of the fabric structure and the creation of the immensely dense fabric.
After optimising the spinning, weaving and finishing processes, the fabrics made from these elastic Merino wool fibres have enhanced water and wind resistant properties (while retaining all Merino wool’s fine properties such as breathability) and are also machine washable, without any chemical treatments.
The reason wool is still central to the company’s products, Vidar adds, is because environmental issues are important. “One trend is that things should be natural. Wool is natural, it’s a miracle fibre. It won't be destroying the earth, it’s renewable. So a 100% natural fibre is fantastic so it’s important to have alternatives to synthetics.”
Devold also won a 2017 ISPO award for its wool Tinden Spacer jacket. The innovative spacer mesh technology creates air pockets for enhanced insulation, while maintaining wool’s natural properties such as the ability to regulate body temperature and create warmth even when wet.
Every year, ISPO honours the most exceptional sporting goods in the sports industry with the ISPO Award. An international jury of experts consisting of independent sports business professionals evaluates several hundred entries each year. This premium selection is a seal of quality for both sports business professionals as well as end-consumers.