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Autumn 2014 Wool quality program update

The most significant event this quarter has been the signing of the licence agreement with Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) for the Wool ComfortMeter & Wool HandleMeter technologies.

Reports have now been completed for eight major international supply chain companies as part of the pilot trial.

Between the industry validation trial and the pilot trial a total of 11 major global supply chain companies were invited to participate and gained firsthand experience of the new technology.

The pilot trial provided another 40 companies with information about the new measurement systems.

The data is now available from the latest round trials and these have been incorporated into the draft test method documentation.

The draft test methods have been submitted to the IWTO for ratification at the congress in late April. The current timetable included a launch of the instruments in Australia in early May followed by a global product launch at the Shanghai ITMA (International Textile Machinery Exhibition) in June.

A total of nine papers have now been submitted for inclusion in the New TRJ Special Edition with only one paper on the analysis of the moisture sensations still to be completed. This paper is in an advanced stage of preparation.


To link to other related pages click on the headings below:



Wool Quality - a total wool quality system

The Sheep CRC’s Total Quality System for wool knitwear allows retailers and manufacturers to develop

the next generation of improved next-to-skin wool garments


By utilising the breakthrough technologies of the Wool ComfortMeter and HandleMeter, brands and manufacturers can build trust, customer loyalty and increased demand for their next-to-skin wool products. 

The technologies herald a new standard in comfort and superior handle for next-to-skin wool knitwear.



The development of superfine wool that can be worn next-to-skin marked a breakthrough in global textile markets. 

The old myth of wool being only appropriate for bulky outerwear was forever laid to rest.

A new generation of consumers has fallen in love with next-to-skin wool products and have demonstrated their willingness to pay a premium for wool’s unrivaled natural attributes: its drape, breathability, natural wicking, and superior handle.

Wool is back in vogue, not only as a fashion essential, but breaking ground in new product markets like active wear and even kids’ and baby’s wear. 

New technology has now been released to take these developments further.  The Sheep CRC has produced a Total Quality System for wool knitwear which will allow retailers and manufacturers to produce the next generation of improved next-to-skin garments. 

At the heart of the system are two breakthrough technologies: The Wool ComfortMeter and The Wool HandleMeter.

Image: L to R - Wool ComfortMeter and Wool HandleMeter
Image: L to R - Wool ComfortMeter and Wool HandleMeter

The Total Quality System

Despite the advances in production of superfine wool, variation in next-to-skin product quality has too often left consumers with mixed feelings about wearing the fibre directly against their body. 

Wool has been let down due to perceived garment prickle or inconsistent hand feel. This is because currently order specification on things like comfort and handle are based on little more than human estimation.

Until now there has been no objective measurement tools through which retailers and manufacturers could transparently and consistently produce next-to-skin wool products to standardised levels of comfort and hand feel.

Traditional measurements of quality, such as mean fibre diameter, failed to account for the effects of processing, finishing and laundering and could not accurately predict comfort and softness.

With the development of the Wool ComfortMeter and HandleMeter and related specifications the process of quality control has become significantly faster, cheaper and more accurate. 

Retailers and manufacturers can now ensure customer satisfaction, loyalty and reduced risk of returns when utilising the Total Quality System across the supply chain.


For information on the Wool Measurement Pilot Project click here


Media Release - Commercial testing underway for Wool ComfortMeter and Wool HandleMeter

Download the media release below.

DownloadCommercial testing underway for Wool ComfortMeter and Wool HandleMeter (229 KB)