A study funded by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) finds the growing market demand for wool base-layer garments can be attributed to the already well-researched benefits of superfine Merino wool, including its softness next to the skin, moisture management, breathability – and fire resistance. Increased demand is driven by the incidence of injuries to military personnel in the Middle East, where battle techniques such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were used. Considerably more severe skin injuries occurred when synthetic base-layers were worn, as they can melt onto the skin at high temperatures.
The study found that the wool and wool rich fabrics, used as base-layer garments for military and first responders like firefighters, are the best in fire resistance, while the 100 per cent synthetic fabrics (polypropylene and polyester fabrics) scored the worst due to their propensity to melt and damage the skin.
AWI studied the fire resistance of various fabrics used as base-layer garments for military and first responder personnel such as firefighters. The study concluded that the wool and wool rich fabrics in the study performed the best, while the 100 per cent synthetic fabrics performed the worst due to their propensity to melt and damage the skin.