Your browser is not fully supported. Please upgrade your browser.

跳轉至主目錄
Research

Science backs wool base-layers for first responder clothing

Photo: Frank Rossoto Stocktrek


Wool’s natural resistance to fire has been further endorsed by a new scientific study, which found wool base-layer garments are a proven defence for military and first responder personnel.

The study, undertaken by AgResearch, found wool and wool-rich fabrics performed the best, while the 100% synthetic fabrics (made from polypropylene and polyester fibres) performed the worst due to their propensity to melt and damage the skin.

Wool and protective clothing

Wool has long been a choice for protective clothing - with wool used to protect wearers in hostile environments and weather conditions - making wool the fibre of choice for outer-layer garments. Now, the military and first responders such as firefighter and police officers are looking to base-layer Merino wool garments as the body’s ‘last line of defence’ due to wool’s breathability and its inherent properties of high ignition temperature, high limiting oxygen index and self-extinguishing behaviour.

The increased demand has in part been driven by the incidence of injuries to military personnel in the Middle East, where battle techniques such as improvised explosive devices (IED) were used. Considerably more severe skin injuries occurred when synthetic base-layers were worn, as they can melt onto the skin at high temperatures.

Study proves wool's flame resistance protects military and first responder personnel

A selection of fabrics used as base-layer garments for military and first responder personnel were tested as part of the new study.

These consist of 100% polypropylene, 100% polyester, modacrylic/rayon/nylon blend, Nomex/spandex blend, merino wool/fire-resistant viscose blend and 100% zippo-treated Merino wool. It must be noted the fabrics were of varying weights, as matching g/m2 fabrics were not commercially available.

The test method involved two techniques to simulate the skin’s exposure to, firstly, a naked flame ignition source and, secondly, an accelerant fuelled threat (such as an IED or petrol bomb). The results showed the worst performing fabric was the polypropylene fabric closely followed by the three polyester fabrics.

Skin-images-1.jpgSkin-images-2.jpg

The fabric that performed best overall was the Zirpro®-treated Merino wool (100%) mid-layer fabric, which showed no apparent differences compared to the undamaged control samples in both the naked flame and accelerant tests.

The best-performing base-layer fabric was the double knit of the Merino/fire resistant treated viscose blend, followed by the rib knit of the Merino/fire resistant treated viscose.

 

08/14/2018
Research

羊毛擁有卓越的透氣性

08/14/2018
羊毛纖維擁有卓越的透氣性。它可以吸收大量濕氣,並且可以讓濕氣得到順利蒸發,使羊毛衣服穿上去更加乾爽舒適。
08/14/2018
Environment

微塑膠不斷增加

08/14/2018
海洋中的塑膠微粒污染物有多達35%來自服裝中的合成纖維,相比之下,羊毛等天然纖維容易進行生物降解,對環境的影響較小。
Research

Wool is not an allergen

Science shows wool is not an allergen, with superfine Merino wool textiles and clothes not causing any itch and may benefit eczema management.
Research

Why cradle-to-cradle needs to be included in fashion’s LCA sustainability rating tools

Wool industry completes world’s first textile fibre cradle-to-grave Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) study. Here's what you need to know and your impact on fashion and the environment.