Wool Lifestyle

Our New Zealand wool has impeccable attributes. The integrity of the fibre is outstanding with a lot of effort being poured into its credentials as a truly sustainable material.

None of this matters if we forget to mention how wonderful it is to experience life with wool in your habitat.

Our wool is life enhancing. Wool is a fibre evolved by nature over centuries to provide warmth and safety. It does not melt. Wool won’t attract oily stains like some synthetic fibre.  Wool can breathe and moderate humidity making it great for asthma sufferers. Wool absorbs noise unlike hard floors. Manufactured right 100% wool products will outlast other materials and keep looking good for a very long time.

But what really matters is that wool feels lovely.

People aspire to luxury, and people like to feel good about their investments.  We have the fibre that delivers a luxurious and responsible lifestyle.



All That is Gold Does Not Glitter

The Midas Rug has been a long time coming, but its finally here. The world’s 1st hand knotted rug coloured with particles of pure gold. Aulana uses pure wool and pure gold – no dyes at all, to create a range of Purples, Pinks and Greys.

The Aulana Midas Rug

The Midas Rug – Photograph by Marek Sikora

Wools of New Zealand, have introduced Aulana, a new luxury brand in which cutting edge science, wool and pure gold, combine to produce the ultimate exclusive textiles. The first Aulana product is the Midas Rug, a unique hand knotted rug. Ancient chemistry combines with modern science to create colours without the use of dyes. Fine particles of pure gold shift light into delicate shades of grey, pink and purple. The scientific process is called ‘localised surface plasman resonance’ . To understand this, think gothic cathedrals and their stained glass windows, which are often red in apparent colour – when, in reality, they are gold dissolved in the glass.

Mias Rug

Designed by SoFarSoNear and woven by Obeetee.

The Midas Rug, designed by SoFarSoNear of Milan and on display in their London showroom, is created to illustrate luxury and opulence, the rug does not glitter with gold, but rather uses gold to interrupt light and create elegant soft hues. Aulana is about creating an heirloom. Its products won’t be gold in colour, but gold is in there creating the hues that are visible. And because it is gold particles it is permanent, so, like cathedral windows, Aulana colours will never fade, and our ancestors can inherit an Aulana rug centuries from now and the colour will be just as rich.

Aulana Midas Rug

The Midas Rug from above.

Prof. Jom Johnston

Professor Jim Johnston – co inventor of Aulana. Photograph by Marek Sikora, tweaks by me.


“All that is gold does not glitter”

 Being hand woven right now is the ‘Aulana Midas Rug’ created with Aulana technology. All the colours are created using Noble Bond’s remarkable invention that captures the science of pure gold to create colours in pure New Zealand wool.

midas rug aulana

The Midas rug is meticulously hand woven by crafts people at Obeetee

The Midas rug is coloured with pure gold but don’t expect it to shine yellow gold.

Aulana  uses colloidal dispersions of gold within the pores of the wool fibres to generate a boutique range of colours resulting from the localised surface plasmon resonance interaction of light with the surface electrons of the colloidal gold particles. A similar approach was used in early glass making for Gothic Cathedrals, where gold was dispersed as a colloid in the glass matrix to generate red-purple colours. The Aulana technology captures and extends this approach to currently provide a range of colours in shades of pink, mauve, grey and blue.

Wools of New Zealand and Noble Bond Ltd, and our global partners, SoFarSoNear, Grentex, and Obeetee have joined hands to create the Midas rug which will be available to view, by appointment only, at SoFarSoNear’s London showroom in Grosvenor Place.

More information on the Aulana website

The design is by SoFarSoNear and in its final form will represent three circular pieces with the third being a tear drop as below.  This ‘ear ring’ design has been created to illustrate the precious nature of this one-of-a kind remarkable piece.

the midas rug in laneve wool

Rendering of the Midas Rug

The Ultimate Purple Sheep

Textiles Coloured with Pure Gold

This is probably the 1st time you will read the word “Aulana”, but remember the name because this is truly a remarkable new innovation for wool textiles.

The name Aulana is derived from Au – the symbol for gold and Lana – latin for wool.

It is the ability to colour wool garments, textiles, carpets etc, by using particles of real gold. Deep rich colour can be created without dyestuff. The colour is made by bending light itself.

The process, known as Surface Plasmon Resonance sounds complicated, but it has actually been happening for centuries. The red glass in gothic cathedrals was coloured by putting gold into the molten glass; it just took a few genius to figure out why this happened. It was Brit Michael Faraday who figured that out, but it took another century for someone to find a way to use this effect for textiles.

Professor Jim Johnston and Dr Kirsten Lucas, both of Victoria University in Wellington New Zealand, and now the proud owners of Noble Bond Ltd, worked out that they could change the colour by altering the gold particles at a nano-scale, and then they figured out how to make these particles stick permanently to wool. We say Permanent but the effect could wear off after 10 thousand years or so. The colour can be changed to a boutique range, notably shades of pink, mauve, regal purple, blue and grey. Aulana contains only pure wool and pure gold, no dyes are required!

AuLana has become a way to innovatively link the high value and prestige of gold with high quality merino and strong wool for high value fashion apparel and luxury textiles and carpets.

As an extra bonus the textiles will also be completely anti-microbial and have enhanced conductivity. Not only will you be wearing real gold, you won’t smell and you won’t get static shocks.

Wools of New Zealand is bridging the gap between the science and the market. Part of my job over the last few years has been to foster this innovation and help steer it into real life products. This means engaging with luxury brands and making the science work for the market. The success of Aulana won’t be luck, clever science combined with smart marketing will guarantee success.

By working with Innovation focused the Huddersfield Textile Centre of Excellence, in Yorkshire, UK, we have been able to take this technology from a laboratory and into rapid prototyping, and market analyses. Suiting fabric has been woven by the centre, which will also use its vast textile connections to link Aulana with key fashion labels.

A suit featuring Aulana

The key market for this product is the high-end, luxury apparel market, particularly in the BRIC countries and Arab region. The incorporation of coloured gold provides a distinctive high quality point of difference and is expected to add significant value and a unique selling point to the high quality worsted manufactured in Yorkshire. Additionally, it is a good opportunity to demonstrate the use of the Yorkshire Signature DNA to provide the proof of provenance and authenticity which is increasingly valued in these growing markets.

We are also working with interior textiles companies and carpet manufactuers on a range of product options.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the purple sheep, A purple sheep is a metaphor for something worth remarking about. Purple sheep get noticed as they stand out from the flock. Aulana is just getting started but it is going to get noticed.

And if you wonder why an artist, textile designer and innovator wears a pinstripe suit, its because the stripe in the suit is coloured with Aulana Pure Gold.