Find your element: Water

The latest development in wetsuit design is the use of a material used for more than 2000 years –wool

Sports

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The way we work out has radically evolved in recent years as sportswear companies continue to better understand and integrate the use of Merino wool fibre into the products. While wool has traditionally been associated with suiting, its use in sportswear makes perfect sense in that it’s odour resistant, has the ability to draw moisture away from the body, boasts outstanding next-to-skin comfort and is highly resilient.

Now, Merino wool is being used for wetsuits, with Pinnacle Aquatics leading the charge in its development of the fibre for this product since 2003. “I was living in New Zealand at the time and there was a lot of interest in Merino coming from the outdoor markets and I recognised that the properties of Merino would work well in the diving industry,” explains Corey Gordon, the brand’s CEO, about the initial idea. As he says, “The key to the performance of the Merino lining in a wetsuit is its ability to absorb and control water, as it’s the water layer inside a wetsuit which keeps you warm. The Merino also slows the transfer of water around the suit, which also improves warmth.” 

Of course, wool is one of mankind’s oldest fibres, having been used for more than 2000 years. And as Gordon says, its fundamental technical properties haven’t changed, it’s just that the fibre has got finer and the industry has found new ways of applying it. “In addition to the original neoprene we now have waterproof tri-laminates and breathable bi-laminates,” he explains. “We have recently developed a new application that allows us to add panels into specific areas to focus on key organs and muscles.” 

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