12 Jul 2010

Merino company aims to revolutionise martial arts

4:47 pm on 12 July 2010

Merino wool is set to revolutionise the martial arts world.

For years participants in this traditional art have worn a double-woven cotton fabric to withstand the repeated stress of grabbing and throwing in fights.

A Dunedin-based company, Gimono, says that fabric is heavy, stiff and outdated, and it has come up with a new material.

After market research and a four-year collaboration with AgResearch, co-founder Lavinia Calvert says Gimono has produced a fabric that blends the strength of polyester with merino wool.

While it may take the traditionalists in the sport some time to accept the new uniforms, Ms Calvert expects most participants to embrace the change.

Gimono launched the product and Ms Calvert says they've already had inquiries from offshore for the product.

It's estimated 70 million people globally participate in martial arts.