Wow, here’s a wild idea – a wool/jade fabric.
And maybe there’s been other people who have thought of mixing merino wool with greenstone/pounamu – but Marlborough farmer Richard Bell’s been the first to try it.
Along with European clothmaker Dormeuil, Bell’s created a new type of fabric that Prime Minister John Key is apparently going to be wearing as a suit to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (That’s what the press release implies anyway).
Ground up micro particles of pounamu were sent to Europe, along with his Haldon Range superfine merino, and hey presto, a cloth that is apparently smoother and softer than any high fashion wool garment made previously.
Trials showed that the minute pounamu particles washed into the woven fibre, and that the fibrous nature of the stone enables it to lock into wool fibres. The resulting fabric supposedly has a distinctive feel, somewhat mimicking the smooth touch of greenstone when it is polished.
Dormeuil is to manufacture the new line of wool-jade cloth and make it available to some of the leading tailors around the world.
Bell says the unique qualities of the cloth present global sales potential at the premium end of the apparel market. Hopefully he’s right; it will be good for his (and Dormeuil’s) bank balance, good for wool’s image and good for all things innovative.
Now, sticK’s always keen on people trying something new, particularly with a product such as wool that’s been round for millennia.
However, the timing of a press release on the product just before Easter could’ve been better – it’s a tricky period to garner publicity even if the wedding of the year’s imminent.
Secondly, the fact that there’s no photo of this what has to be considered an intriguing product, is even more of a mistake. I’m dying to see what it looks like, but…..opportunity missed guys!