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Wool-rice yarn launched on world stage

A unique New Zealand yarn blended from wool and rice straw has officially been launched on the world stage.

The yarn, called Mibu, uses 70 percent New Zealand mid-micron wool and 30 percent rice straw and has just been launched at the World Expo in Milan.

The brains behind the idea is the Formary, a textile design and development company.

Co-founder Bernadette Casey said the expo's theme was about feeding the planet, and the fabric was part of an exhibition where food and textiles intersected.

She said it was amazing to see what other unique designs were also on show.

"There was fabrics from the remnants of wine bottles, there was fabrics made from crab shells," she said.

"There are yarns from different food crops and there were also products that have been made - there's a beautiful dress made from what's called banana silk so that's silk derived from banana leaves.

"It's a bit like WOW [World of Wearable Arts], you've got these beautiful constructions and clothing made from unusual fibres."

Ms Casey said the company planned to make the yarn into upholstery fabric by the end of the year.

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