The fashion industry is always on the lookout for innovation and though a lot of work is being done in this area by various trend agencies, The Woolmark Company has created an invincible niche with The Wool Lab, an innovative seasonal guide to the best wool fabrics and yarns in the world. The Wool Lab brings together the Company’s global supply chain network to showcase real samples of commercially available fabrics aligned to the season’s macro-themes.
Each season, The Woolmark Company reaches out to hundreds of spinners and weavers in Italy, France, the UK, China, Japan, India and various other countries, to source their latest fabric developments. With this, their team of experts’ curate a seasonal sourcing guide with a selection of the best textile and yarn swatches, which can then be ordered directly from suppliers through The Wool Lab.
In response to designer and brand needs, The Wool Lab is now divided into product categories to facilitate and better address the research of fabrics and yarns, and to provide a more focused and direct approach to the sourcing of materials and innovate product. The Woolmark Company creates The Wool Lab twice per year, with one edition dedicated to Spring/Summer and other for Autumn/Winter. In response to global trends and consumer demand, two additional editions of The Wool Lab have been created: The Wool Lab Sport and The Wool Lab Denim.
“Each edition of The Wool Lab is created in collaboration with the world’s most innovative and quality-oriented spinners and weavers to present is an inspirational sourcing guide available for designers and brands to view” explains The Woolmark Company, Chief Executive Officer, Stuart McCullough.
What initially started as an inspirational guide divided in macro trends, The Wool Lab has evolved to become a functional and experiential guide, with a focus on the innovations, allowing designers and brands to find the perfect wool fabric or yarn and be connected directly with the supplier, encouraging global networking between brands and manufacturers. Till date, more than 71,200 swatch requests were made via The Wool Lab app across 74 countries
A new digital component has also been introduced to the showing of The Wool Lab at trade fairs. Using the devices provided at the booth, visitors scan the QR code of a swatch and immediately receive an email with requested details and contact information of the manufacturer.
Powerful Kit – Features of The Wool Lab Kit
- The Forecasting and Compilation of latest upcoming trend is done by Ricardo Rami studio, Italy. Their processing and transformation system that goes from the forecast to the product is based on over 30 years of experience in the design sector.
- Sourcing Platform for designers and brands.Hundreds of swatches every season is collected by The Woolmark Company as perforecast and gets featured in the kit.
- Promotion platform for manufacturers and suppliers who make merino wool yarns/fabrics/innovations.
- Commercially available fabrics in the kit. All the fabrics that are featured in the kit have a unique code which stores their information regarding supplier and specifications. Designers and brands who want to source these fabrics can be introduced to suppliers upon request. Digital app supports the selection of swatches which makes it easy to connect both the dots.
- Digital trend library as well as physical samples in theme-based folders to be touched n felt.
The Wool Lab is presented globally during the most important trade shows including, Best Knit (Japan), Intertextile (China), ISPO (Germany), Pitti Filati (Italy), Pitti Uomo (Italy), Première Vision (France), Outdoor Retailer (USA) and SPINEXPO (China). It is also presented at individual meetings to inspire and inform designers, manufacturers, retailers, fashion and apparel brands and fashion industry professionals.
Launching this Spring/Summer 21, The Wool Lab will include ‘The Wool Lab Vision’, which will act as a representation of wool product & process developments and innovations that The Woolmark Company are currently undertaking. The Vision will provide a visually impressive but informative view of these developments, including prototype fabrics and associated technical details.
This year the Indian industry will see the work of The Wool Lab ‘Vision’ at ASW2020 where findings for Spring Summer 2021 will be discussed at a Workshop by The Woolmark Company. This season, The Vision will focus on 2 important development areas:
- 1. Themed “The Wool and The Water” – highlighting fabrics and garments associated with water eg, sailing, outdoor water repellency
- 2. Themed “Woolbeing”- highlighting processes, fabrications and garments suitable for yoga and wellbeing.
The forecast themes to look forward to are: Craft, The Daring Suit, Urban Hiking and Arcade