Merino jacket a bullseye hit!

26 February 2013

Pursuing lucrative new markets has always been high on the agenda for The Woolmark Company, and in the USA one of the largest ‘hooks and bullets’ brands is helping pave the way forward for this increasingly popular sector.

Field and Stream journalist Phil Bourjaily holding a dove decoy

Field and Stream journalist Phil Bourjaily (holding a dove decoy) who field-tested Cabela’s Diamantina Merino Wool Jacket and labelled Merino wool as the “current hot performance fabric”.

A leading American outdoor retailer, Cabela’s, has introduced Merino wool to its outdoor apparel range and is receiving accolades from key industry commentators.

Cabela’s Diamantina Merino Wool Jacket has an outer shell made from 100 per cent Merino wool, is machine washable and can be put in the tumble dryer. Media surrounding the jacket’s release was outstanding, with positive appraisals in more than 30 publications, plus 80 outdoor writers tested the jacket and all produced very good reviews.

The Woolmark Company is proud to be partnering with Cabela’s and helping introduce to the hunting market an outer shell garment made from Merino wool. This partnership is just the beginning of what is believed will be a long and prosperous venture with one of America’s largest brands in the industry and also marks the re-emergence of wool as an outdoor outerwear fibre.

“The Woolmark Company has met with representatives from Cabela’s at major outdoor trade shows and over the years we have formed a relationship based on quality outdoor apparel offering maximum performance,” The Woolmark Company country manager USA, Michelle Lee, said.

“Our goal was to assist with the development of Merino programs and to provide marketing support for such products. Our great relationship with Australian textiles manufacturer Charles Parsons allowed us to work with the two companies and reassured Cabela’s they would be receiving high-quality Merino wool fabric.

“The 220-gram knitted fleece fabric came from Charles Parson’s Merino State label.”

Across the USA, The Woolmark Company also provided educational and marketing support to Cabela’s staff and the joint campaign also saw The Woolmark Company’s involvement in supplying jackets for user trials.

Senior operations manager for Cabela’s, David Wade, tested the jacket and was amazed by the level of breathability it produced.

“The temperature in New Mexico during September can be very cold or very warm,” Mr Wade said. “The performance and breathability of the Diamantina Wool jacket allows me to wear it all day, no matter the temperature and be very comfortable.”

Field and Stream journalist Phil Bourjaily calls Merino wool the “current hot performance fabric for athletic wear” and reminds readers of the fibre’s ability to “retain warmth when wet and wick moisture away from your body” and praises the fact that it is easy to launder.

And with the US athletic and activewear market outperforming all others, now is the perfect time to be making inroads into this area. Sportswear products are now acceptably worn by consumers of all ages as casual, every day wear. It is generally perceived to be even more comfortable than ordinary casualwear, since sports apparel is designed to allow a wide range of movement and intensity of activity.