Wool Handlemeter™

The touch, or handle, of a garment is one of the key considerations that guides a consumer’s purchasing decisions at the point of sale. How a garment feels either on the rack or against the skin is equally as important a driver of consumer satisfaction as comfort. Most consumers equate the two.

Selecting garment

The elite handle of wool is renowned for its versatility and the fibre’s ability to cater to a wide range of tastes and end uses. As a result the required handle of a wool garment will not be the same for different products, consumers and brands. Individual retailers will source garments with a specific handle that caters to their target customer, product segment or brand positioning.

There is often a problem in communicating buyer hand feel preferences across a global supply chain as describing handle is very subjective.

The Wool HandleMeter provides a numerical score for a set of easy to understand handle terms, determined by international fabric experts.
With the Wool HandleMeter retailers can specify a numerical score for the handle of lightweight single jersey that suits them, and their customer. They can use this score to ensure that the quality of their garment handle stays consistent over time, allowing retailers to continuously offer the ‘signature handle’ their customers have come to expect of their brand.

How does it work?

The Wool HandleMeter provides a numerical score for a set of easy to understand handle terms, determined by international fabric experts.

By testing a fabric’s physical characteristics, the Wool HandleMeter measures the seven core attributes of handle: smoothness, softness, warm feel, dry feel, hairiness, tightness and perceived weight as well as an overall luxury handle index.

A retailer can specify a value for each attribute that suits the desired handle outcome for its lightweight single jersey products. The resulting handle code becomes the specification used either to develop new products, or to consistently reproduce the handle quality of an existing item.

Wool HandleMeter

Coding the HandleMeter

Retailers can be creative with the HandleMeter, utilising various combinations of handle values until they arrive at the handle code that suits their consumer’s needs. Once the code is locked in, the product can be consistently ordered from the supplier.

For example the code in figure 1 would produce a crisper, cooler hand feel suitable for active wear, whereas the code at figure 2 would produce a warmer, softer garment, more suitable to luxury fashion products.

The type of product the HandleMeter specifies is entirely dependent on the retailer’s knowledge of their customer. The advantage of the HandleMeter is that once the perfect handle has been identified, the retailer has a means to consistently specify this quality to its supply chain, no longer relying on subjective descriptors and guesswork that in the past has led to supply chain disagreement, customer dissatisfaction and returns.

chart active wear