Wool ready for Olympic stage

30 Aug, 2000 03:04 PM
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THE Sydney 2000 Olympic Games is going to be the biggest chance for the Australian wool industry to grab centre stage for wool and its qualities, according to a senior The Woolmark Company official. Technical strategy and textile research and development group manager Katherine Kennedy told a large crowd of both women and men at last week's Working for Wool seminar at Katanning of plans for Australia to make an impact at the Olympic Games. The Woolmark Company believes both sport and wool, being part of Australia's heritage, could work together to showcase both Australia's outstanding sporting ability and our quality wool. With up to 10,200 athletes and 5100 officials from more than 200 countries competing and sharing in the Sydney Olympics, and an estimated worldwide audience of 3.5 billion people, this event would be an enormous opportunity to show all the different shapes and forms of Australian wool, she said. Errol, an athletic "Merino" that has been introduced to Australia and the world as part of a major advertising campaign for wool, had caught the attention of many. Ms Kennedy said Errol was not only very sporty, he also was soft to touch (obviously has low micron with a high comfort factor), easy to care for (he can handle all sorts of washing and was very durable) and his wool breathed to keep the future wearer cool. She said wool like that of Errol's had been used in order to produce the majority of the garments that the athletes would be wearing. Most of the clothing would be 30 per cent wool with a blend of 70pc of cotton. However this varied with the different outfits. All of the clothing was designed and manufactured in Australia. The wool and cotton mix increased the thermal comfort, while also offering enhanced softness and appearance. Ms Kennedy said, in a bid to make the community at large aware of the Australian wool market, The Woolmark Company would as part of its sponsorship arrangement display woollen garments at a site named The Woolmark Woolshed that would be located in the Olympic Expo area, Homebush. The Woolmark Woolshed would display sheep, wool production, and garments and offer visitors a chance to observe all aspects of the wool market. This woolshed was designed to be environmentally friendly, in keeping with the clean, green theme, which was one of the images that Australia would like to keep for the Games, and the shed was built of fully recyclable materials.

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