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Showcasing Australian wool on the high seas

The Preliminary Regattas of the 37th America’s Cup have got underway with new wool sailing uniforms being worn by the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team in a showcase of the performance benefits of Australian Merino wool.

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The Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team crossing the bow of the Italian Navy's 19th century Amerigo Vespucci in the waters off the Italian island of Sardinia in June.

As reported in the March edition of Beyond the Bale, The Woolmark Company has returned as the official technical partner for the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team for the 37th America’s Cup to be held in Spain next year. This collaboration follows on from the highly successful showcase of Australian wool during the previous America’s Cup.

After months of dedicated preparation and training in high-performance Merino wool garments, the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team in September took part in the eagerly awaited first Preliminary Regatta of the 37th America’s Cup in Vilanova, Spain.

The Woolmark Company co-developed the sailing team’s Merino wool-rich performance-driven training uniforms. The new custom-made training kit includes Merino wool-rich T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, leggings, a cycling suit, a waterproof jacket and a revolutionary ultralight windbreaker for training activities. At just 60gsm, the 55% Merino wool windbreaker is wind-proof thanks to the density of the weave, and the presence of Merino wool ensures superior breathability.

The iconic Woolmark logo, owned by Australin woolgrowers, again proudly adorns the sail of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli AC40 boat.

“The continuation of this partnership further cements the strong link between the world of sport and the world’s original performance fibre, Merino wool,” said AWI CEO John Roberts.

What benefits does the partnership deliver to woolgrowers?

  1. Increased consumer awareness of Australian wool’s technical and environmental benefits amongst a global audience.
  2. Product sales of Woolmark-branded sailing apparel and other activewear.
  3. New business opportunities for global performance brands to work with The Woolmark Company’s teams on product development with Australian Merino wool.

More information: www.woolmark.com/americascup

Prada embraces wool in its new Linea Rossa collection

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Prada’s Linea Rossa marketing campaign frames high performance clothes fundamentally shaped by winter sports. Pictured is the Woolmark-certified zipped sweater made from 100% Australian Merino wool.

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Prada’s Linea Rossa marketing campaign frames high performance clothes fundamentally shaped by winter sports. Pictured is the Woolmark-certified zipped sweater made from 100% Australian Merino wool.

Utilising the expertise of The Woolmark Company, the latest Prada Linea Rossa collection was developed with innovative and multi-functional wool-rich materials to cement a strong link between fashion and performance.

Founded in 1913, Prada is a well-known and influential leader in luxury fashion. The iconic Italian brand’s ground-breaking sportswear-inspired Linea Rossa label was founded more recently in 1997 and is named after the Luna Rossa yacht in the America’s Cup which shares the distinctive ‘red line’ of the Prada logo.

While the Prada brand has a wide product range of wool apparel, its Linea Rossa label has in the past been known for its heavy use of technical synthetic fabrics such as nylon and GORE-TEX®. However, for this Autumn/Winter 2023, Prada’s Linea Rossa label introduced Australian Merino wool into its collection as a 100% natural ‘techno-fibre’ with benefits such as breathability, thermoregulation and elasticity.

A selection of five garments underwent rigorous testing through the Woolmark certification process to ensure enduring excellence, signified by the iconic Woolmark logo.

Four of the selected garments were crafted with 100% wool from Zegna Baruffa, including a zipped sweater, trousers, a neck warmer and beanie. The fifth garment, a pile fleece jacket, consists of a wool-rich blend.

The garments feature innovative treatments, from dyeing to finishing, exploring the combination of wool yarn with chlorine-free colours along with finishes to improve elasticity that reflect the needs of movement-intense wear.

More information: www.woolmark.com/prada

This article appeared in the December 2023 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged.