Prince Charles kicks goals for wool in Tokyo

Prince Charles talks up the benefits of wool in Japan

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THE HEALTHY FIBRE: Prince Charles talks wool with Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

THE HEALTHY FIBRE: Prince Charles talks wool with Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

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Prince Charles helped promote The Campaign for Wool on a visit to Japan which was bursting with visitors for the Rugby Wold Cup.

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Prince Charles has been kicking some goals for wool during an official visit to Japan which coincided with the Rugby World Cup.

The Prince showed Japan's Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, around a special display of woollen fabrics and garments organised by the Campaign for Wool at the British Embassy in Tokyo.

He launched the Campaign for Wool, which is partly funded by Australian growers through The Woolmark Company, in 2010 to highlight the attributes of wool for wellbeing.

The campaign engages with consumers to highlight the environmental and wellbeing values of wool including its biodegradability in land and ocean.

"Collectively we can all make a small difference and cumulatively this can only help the plastic issue we are facing globally," the Campaign for Wool said in a statement.

The statement said science was showing wool bedding and sleepwear appeared to promote a better night's sleep and medical studies had revealed the wellbeing benefits of superfine Merino wool, particularly for eczema sufferers.

"Wool can improve air quality and also absorb VOCs (released from many products found in homes and offices such as solvents, paints, cleaners, disinfectants and air fresheners.

Prince Charles supported wool during his visit to Tokyo where he also promoted British exports to Japan.

Prince Charles supported wool during his visit to Tokyo where he also promoted British exports to Japan.

"Used in furniture, carpets, bedding, clothing or insulation, wool can be a sustainable and natural solution to the problem of accumulating indoor contaminants," the statement said.

As Japan found new prosperity in the 1950s and 1960s it became a major importer of wool, some of which was used to stuff futons and mattresses.

This booming market was short lived as mills across Japan started to produce polyester at predatory prices that ultimately reduced wool's place in the futon market to around 10 per cent of the total.

"Wool regulates your body temperature far better than any other fibre, keeping you in what is known as 'the thermal comfort zone'. You therefore not only fall asleep quicker and sleep longer but also have deeper, better quality sleep," Peter Ackroyd from The Campaign for Wool said.

A three-year study at the University of Sydney showed wool sleepwear promoted faster, deeper and longer sleep than cotton sleepwear.

Dermatological trials have shown that eczema sufferers who wear superfine Merino wool garments - 17.5 micron or less - next to the skin have significantly reduced symptoms.

Wool was also making headlines at the recent trendsetting Filo yarn and fibre exhibition in Milan, Italy at a time of growing concerns about the sustainability of synthetic fibres.

It was included in summer yarn collections from Turkish mills, to Chinese and Italian spinners.

Wool was blended with a range of other fibres including viscose, cotton, bamboo and hemp.

Zegna Baruffa's luxury Merino yarns included a group of classic sophisticated worsted weaving yarns in pure wool.

More recycled wools were on offer, for example at Italfil's Green Line where wool is blended with recycled and compostable fibres.

Chinese exhibitors also blended and twisted wool with many other fibres.

The story Prince Charles kicks goals for wool in Tokyo first appeared on Farm Online.

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