Wool can work for the military, according to the manager of the Armadillo Merino brand, Derbyshire-based Ministry of Wool, which had a range of garments on display at DSEi this week.
Lauding the seemingly diverse advantages that wool has over synthetic materials, Armadillo highlighted that merino wool is able to hold up against temperatures up to 600°C. Other materials, particularly synthetic fibres, melt in high temperatures, causing burns.
Other benefits of wool in the battlefield include resistance to acids and greater resistance to chemical residues and aerosols than synthetic alternatives. Due to production techniques the Armadillo’s spokesperson claimed that the garments that the company produces “thermoregulate the skin” – able to reduce overheating in hot climates and chill the body in cold temperatures.
“While there will always be a place for synthetic fibre materials in the military, we’ve created a wool through selective breeding and novel manufacturing techniques that gets past many of the obstacles where previous wool products have fallen down,” said the spokesman.
The product is manufactured using knitting technology that allows Armadillo Merino to produce relatively thin and lightweight garments. They are also knitted so that there are no internal labels and no seams underneath the armpits, reducing chances of discomfort.
The company sources its wool from the New Zealand Alps under a programme called the Zque accreditation programme. This provides The Ministry of Wool with clear traceability and transparency back to the merino sheep stations in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.