They also looked for improvements in areas such as moisture management, odour control, reflection, noise and strength.
Years of research and development led to the answer that was right under our feet. Carpet wool.
Carpet wool, or strong wool, is thick, long, strong and perfect for use in high impact zones. Traditional spinning is unable to create yarn fine enough, but we’ve adapted Nuyarn® Spinning Technology to transform strong wool fibres into a lightweight, twist-free yarn with unprecedented benefits.
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Herculan® is the 20 year wool. That’s the life expectancy of carpet. We tested Herculan® using a standard Martindale abrasion test. After 3 weeks and 250,000 rubs, the lab ceased the test as it was taking up their machines. We later asked the labs to test Herculan® till a hole appeared. In that test, Herculan® achieved a score of 1,495,000 rubs before a hole appeared. For context, seating on public transport is expected to withstand 40,000 rubs or more.
Herculan® is very abrasion resistant.
In nature, wool can absorb vapour before it becomes droplets of water. Nuyarn® Technology does not twist out this ability. So, Herculan® manages moisture to keep the body drier when performing. Synthetics typically used to provide abrasion resistance, have very little capability in this area, which leaves the skin clammy and clothing damp with sweat.
Herculan® outperforms synthetics for moisture management.
In tests with athletes in the field, an unforeseen advantage of Herculan® was reported. Because Herculan® manages moisture well, it does not become slippery at the interface of say a sock and a shoe inner. This is a trait that synthetic materials suffer which results in temperature (burn) blisters with excessive movement.
Herculan® reduces slip and heat blisters.
High impact zones on products and clothing have always been an issue for manufacturers. To gain abrasion resistance, the options have been limited to synthetic materials, with the result that even natural garments such as socks have a natural fibre content of around 55%. Herculan® allows better performance, whilst increasing natural fibre content of apparel by up to 30%.
Herculan® is a more natural protection for high impact zones.
Herculan® solves the issues of odour, noise and reflectivity, which often accompany synthetics when used in applications such as backpack straps and impact zones in pants and jackets. Wool naturally reduces odour, noise and reflection. These characteristics are preserved by the patented Nuyarn® Spinning Technology used to make Herculan®.
Herculan® is better for concealment.
Herculan® is the first lightweight strong wool yarn that opens up endless possibilities. It has obvious uses as an abrasion shield in hosiery and apparel applications, but its real benefit will come from those who use it to innovate in ways that have not been possible with existing materials.
Herculan® is a new tool for textile innovation.
Strong wool is a by-product of the sheep industry, with sheep needing to be sheared for welfare reasons. Often, the value of the fleece does not cover the cost of shearing. Previously, strong wool was only used for interior textiles such as carpets, a small amount for insulation and in some instances a percentage goes to landfill. Herculan® repurposes this wool, to create a new market for farmers and increase the value of their stock.
Herculan® offers a market for a product that is often wasted.
The apparel industry in particular demands high standards for animal welfare, sustainability and the impact on the environment and people. To take advantage of the new market and opportunities for strong wool, the providers will need to adhere to these standards, which will elevate the entire supply chain.
Herculan® repurposes an overabundant wool supply that sometimes goes to landfill and creates fabrics that have an incredible lifespan. This means fewer products, with greater natural fibre content that last longer for the ultimate sustainability platform.
Nuyarn® Spinning Technology uses 30% fewer resources and 73% less energy with all spinning carried out in Bluesign® and Oeko-Tex® 100 certified facilities in line with our aim to impact the environment and humans as little as possible.
Nothing like Herculan® has existed before. The opportunity to innovate by using Herculan® as an ingredient in a diverse range of products is almost limitless. Contact us to start the journey.