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20th July 2009, Hong Kong

Esquel blends merino with cotton for enhanced performance

 

A major cotton apparel manufacturer has introduced Australian Merino wool into a range of cotton yarns to give its trans-seasonal garments a softer and more luxurious feel. The new series of yarns, developed by the Hong Kong-based Esquel Group with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) support, is indicative of a trend among cotton apparel manufacturers to give their garments a more comfortable feel by using cotton/merino wool blends instead of 100 per cent cotton, says AWI.

By blending Australian Merino wool with cotton, AWI and Esquel say they have created yarns that are softer to touch and more comfortable to wear than 100 per cent cotton. It is also claimed that the yarns are also lighter in weight and have more breathability, more elasticity and better UV protection.

Esquel has blended Merino wool grown in Australia with its own extra long staple (ELS) cotton grown in China to create 90/10, 80/20, 70/30 and 45/55 cotton/wool blend yarns, known as Comerino. AWI’s General Manager Key Accounts & Innovation, Jimmy Jackson says: “By combining Merino wool with cotton, Esquel has created a softer yarn with a better hand-feel, which is also easy care”. “The Comerino yarns are ideal for trans-seasonal garments, casual and outdoor fashion and men’s and womenswear, added Jackson.”

Jimmy Jackson says the launch of the Comerino yarns this year is particularly significant because 2009 is the United Nations International Year of Natural Fibres. “The blending of Merino wool and cotton in the Comerino range is yet another textile platform where Australian Merino wool demonstrates its reputation as one of the world’s most versatile and technically dynamic natural fibres.”

Esquel and AWI are launching the Comerino range this week at the Spin Expo trade show (20-22 July) in New York. “The yarns are being strategically unveiled at Spin Expo in New York to target buyers throughout the lucrative Americas region”, Jackson says, adding: “Spin Expo is a mecca for leading knitwear designers, product developers, textile executives, retailers and merchandisers from across the USA, Canada, Central and South America.”

The Esquel Group is one of the world's leading producers of premium cotton apparel. Based in Hong Kong with production facilities in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, the group manufactures for some of the world's best known brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Nike and major retailers such as Marks & Spencer.

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