Australian Wool Innovation has initiated a three-year, $6 million research project to develop a range of nonwoven wool fabrics for surfwear, sportswear, protective apparel and interior textiles. 

The project will be conducted by the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand, which says that nonwoven production has increased by 10 per cent in the last decade, amking it one of the fastest growing textile areas.

According to AWI managing director Col Dorber, the project aims to deliver four new fabric concepts a year, at least one of which will be launched commercially.

Nonwoven fabrics are made without the intermediate step of making a yarn, and have a high production rate and low labour requirements.