10 November 1995

Winning ideas make the most of British wool

A NEW technique for making wool water-repellent by adding Teflon during the early stages of processing has exciting possibilities for the British woollen industry, and has proved a winner in the British Wool Quality Awards given by the British Wool Marketing Board.

Bradford spinners Daniel Illingworth and Sons are confident that their 100% British worsted spun yarn will keep all the natural characteristics of wool yet produce a "breathable" garment capable of repelling heavy showers of rain. The yarn won the innovations award and the judges felt it has tremendous potential for sportswear.

The main demand for British wool comes from carpet manufacturers. The winner of the woven carpet award was Brinton, the largest user of UK wool, taking 12% of the clip.

A Berber textured 80% wool, 20% nylon heavy domestic carpet in eight natural colours bearing a small Moroccan motif was chosen for its fashionable yet simple style statement.

Sheep farmers wife Dawna Henson has scored another winner for the Fairchild Company, Taunton, with a comfortable and practical wheelchair liner. Already well known for her wool-filled cot mattresses, Mrs Hensons latest product is filled with woven layers of British wool, covered in a removable, washable cotton inner cover with a British wool fabric outer cover. It cushions both the seat and the back of the wheelchair and helps prevent the soreness caused by body pressure and perspiration.

The British Wool Quality awards were presented by Sir Bernard Ingham. TG