From left to right, Stewart Collie (Team Leader, Textiles), Brent Gregory (a Director of BGI Developments) and Surinder Tandon (Senior Scientist, Textiles) showcase a wool garment coloured using a revolutionary new dyeing process.
AgResearch and BGI Developments agress to commercialise revolutionary dyeing process
A revolutionary new dyeing process developed by AgResearch that allows wool fabrics to be dyed vibrant colours is about to be commercialised by New Zealand-based company, BGI Developments.
The agreement between AgResearch and BGI Developments has the potential to earn New Zealand millions of dollars by leading to the large-scale manufacturing of multi-coloured, fine wool fabrics, which will be distributed to fashion houses around the world.
“These products are a world first in textile and fashion development, and an excellent example of how technology can enhance New Zealand’s exports,” says Robyn George-Neich, Director of BGI Developments.
“The new colouring process developed by AgResearch means that patterns and
graphics are dyed in the fabric, not just printed on top. The fabric looks and feels
better, because it doesn’t have plastic graphics on it. The consumer benefits
because the pattern doesn’t deteriorate overtime. The garment feels more comfortable and retains its appearance for longer.”
A team of textile scientists at AgResearch under the leadership of Dr Stewart Collie have developed the new process through intensive research over the last eighteen months.
“The applications are very flexible and allow two colours to be used in all
garments, avoiding the need to commit to one style well before a product
enters the market,” says Dr Collie.
The process can also be used on a wide range of fabric weights, and it is lightweight and machine washable.
Dr Collie says, “Quite frankly, it makes wool look and feel sexy. It’s a world away
from Fred Dagg’s prickly black singlets and brings brightly coloured wool
fashion into the twenty-first century.”
“Judging by the response of New Zealand fashion designers, there’s a great deal
of interest in manufacturing vibrant coloured wool garments from this
fabric. The reaction has been incredibly positive; I’m very optimistic about its
uptake by the industry,” he says.