Working with wool
Research into textile and fibre treatments to address wool's care requirements — 'hand wash, dry flat in shade' — resulted in a new generation of knitted and woven fabrics.
Advertising campaigns, such as 'Get Real, Get Wool' and 'Take Comfort in Wool' during the 1990s, attempted to highlight the advantages of wool — but it still struggled to compete with more versatile synthetic fabrics.
Rebranding was the answer and the term 'merino', for the finest wool, appeared.
Today, websites for niche-market merino garments rarely mention wool and Chinese manufacturers of artificial fibres have been quick to launch an 'acrylic merino' yarn.