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wool2yarn Speciality Fibres

Global

BUYERS GUIDE TO WOOL 2020-2021


Established in 1957 by Mr Jo Modiano, G. Modiano Limited is based in London. We have grown to become one of the world’s largest wool trading and processing companies. We sell greasy wool, wool tops, including Superwash and Basolan treated, noils and wastes. We also supply wool grease from our factory in Nejdek, Czech Republic.


Dear Reader

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his year we have been challenged like never before.

Asking whether you and your family are well has taken on new meaning and I hope that you are well, in what has been a tumultuous year. If someone had suggested that we could publish our magazines while in lockdown I would not have thought it possible. So we are pleased to be able to bring you the 2020/21 wool2yarn global magazine. wool2yarn global features many aspects of the wool and speciality fibre industry, from farm gate to yarn, fabric, and garments, in

wool2yarn Speciality Fibres

Global

BUYERS GUIDE TO WOOL 2020-2021

Acknowledgements AWI / The Woolmark Co British Wool Canadian Wool Co-Operative Cape Wools South Africa IWTO Japan Wool Association Mohair South Africa Nanjing Wool Market Secretariado Uruguayo de la Lana Art & Design Ely Torres, Polyprint Pty Ltd Melbourne Australia

addition to industry news and views, textile machinery for wool, and wool testing. We also bring to you three major editorial features Integrity Schemes, Focus on Japan, Wool & Textiles in the Nordic Region. Many articles featured in this issue focus on manufacturers and marketing for consumers after COVID-19 including shopping habits and online spending, environmental sustainability and verification, as well as disposal of waste – and that includes a shift from poorer quality, quickly cast-off clothing to better quality, more enduring products chosen as a preferred alternative.

Published by International Trade Publ. (ITP) Melbourne, Victoria 3162 AUSTRALIA Editor Victor Chesky Contributors Luca Alvigini Robert Wang Tone Tobiasson Jessica Lewis Rebekah Malka

Just as any person entering a retail store will automatically reach out to touch the wool jumper on display we continue to provide our readers a hard copy wool2yarn global magazine, one that can remain at their fingertips to provide information over the coming year. We also value real face-to-face communication and I look forward to seeing you all again into the near future. We know that this is a very challenging time for everyone and we would like to thank all the advertisers and contributors who have participated and helped us to make this issue possible. Victor Chesky Editor

ITP publications wool2yarn global wool2yarn china www.woolnews.net www.woolbuy.net Front Cover Image Oleana Norway Image by Simon Skreddernes Read us on-line www.wool2yarnglobal.com Send us an email info@wool2yarnglobal.com

To acknowledge the preferences of our contributors we use both UK and US spelling in our articles

wool2yarnglobal 2020

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1870

150 YEARS WE ARE WOOL


A sustainable fibre. A responsible future.


WHEN YOU NEED SAFE HAN YOU CAN RELY ON We deliver more… • wool to your specification greasy scoured or tops • delivering all year around • prompt delivery • competitive prices • quality and consistency • British, Irish, Norwegian, European, New Zealand and Real Shetland Island Wool

2021BRITISH

WOOLSALES

113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123

Tuesday 5th January Tuesday 19th January Tuesday 2nd February Tuesday 16th February Tuesday 2nd March Tuesday 16th March Tuesday 30th March Tuesday 13th April Tuesday 27th April Tuesday 11th May Tuesday 25th May

2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021 2021

124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135

Tuesday 15th June 2021 Tuesday 6th July 2021 Tuesday 27th July 2021 Tuesday 17th August 2021 Tuesday 7th September 2021 Tuesday 21st September 2021 Tuesday 5th October 2021 Tuesday 20th October 2021 Tuesday 2nd November 2021 Tuesday 16th November 2021 Tuesday 30th November 2021 Tuesday 14th December 2021

Lawrence House, Dowley Gap Business Park, Bingley BD16 1WA Tel: +44 (0)1274 563444 • Fax: +44 (0)1274 518720


DS TO DELIVER YOUR WOOL ... CURTIS WOOL DIRECT

TRIED AND TRUE - PROVEN RELIABILITY - SECURITY OF SUPPLY FINANCIAL STRENGTH - PRODUCT QUALITY

THE CAMPAIGN FOR WOOL Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales

daniel@curtiswool.co.uk • tim@curtiswool.co.uk wools@curtiswool.co.uk • www.curtiswooldirect.co.uk


cont e nt s

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28

INDUSTRY NEWS

INTEGRITY SCHEMES

10 An uncertain road ahead

38 Wool integrity schemes on the rise

14 China in 2020 - not a typical year 16 Merino wool earns international certification

38

WOOL IN BEDDING 58 The magic is in the crimping

18 Interview - Stuart McCullough AWI

SPECIALITY AND RARE FIBRES

20 The benefits of being a Woolmark licensee

64 Natural Fibres – where we are today

22 Speaking with Pedro Otegui in Uruguay 24 Human capital key in good times and bad 26 Wool industry faces yet another battle 28 Wool for Wellbeing in a Post-COVID World 32 Spinning solutions for sustainability today

MOHAIR 56 Mohair Yarns offers great flexibility 68 No Shortcuts to Mohair Tops Accreditation 70 The Sustainable Journey of Mohair

34 A hub for International Wool, Textile and Product Testing

DYEING

36 Risk and opportunity for wool in EU labelling

100 Consistent dye quality from one batch to the next

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99 Sustainable solution for wool dyeing


cont e nt s

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82

106

NORDIC REGION - Special Report

CANADA

82 Wool, Yarn and Beyond

96 Economical solution

FOCUS ON JAPAN - Special Report

NEW ZEALAND

106 A fusion of tradition and innovation 112 Profiles on leading companies in Japan 120 British Wool in Japan

128 When scoured wool makes better sense PERU

TEXTILE MACHINERY

SOUTH AFRICA

142 Latest in wool technology from Saurer, Tecnomeccanica, Coppa, Sant Andrea, AUTEFA, Prosino, Tomsic

50 Broader sustainability guidelines

COUNTRY REPORTS AUSTRALIA 122 Profiles on leading Australian wool exporters BULGARIA 60 RWS tops a best seller

104 A wool story: From chance to passion

UNITED KINGDOM 134 British Wool in China 136 Building consumer awareness 138 Europa Wool URUGUAY 52 Uruguayan wool – get the full story 54 Environmental Tick of Approval

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industry news

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ccording to 2030 Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Stratigic Plan published in July 2020 economic growth and consumer incomes in the major wool consuming countries are now the key drivers of the demand for wool. There is a strong relationship between the per capita consumption of wool and the per capita income levels in each of the major wool consuming countries. The eight major wool consuming countries at retail are: China, USA, Japan, Italy, Germany, South Korea, UK and France. Collectively these countries account for 65% of world consumption of apparel wool (source: International Wool Textile Organisation). In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4%. China is projected to grow by 7-8%. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6½% lower than in the 10 | wool2yarnglobal 2020


industry news

An uncertain road ahead

pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020 and this will impact wool consumption in many countries. There is a higher than usual degree of uncertainty around this forecast. The baseline projection rests on key assumptions about the fallout from the pandemic, in particular how each country handles the transition to a new normal, and how quickly and successfully the rollout of vaccines will occur. As far as we know sheep are immune to this virus but the demand for wool is uncertain and this will affect wool growers and how much or how little is invested in wool growing at the farm level.

A shift in consumer values will impact every facet of the apparel industry: from fibre production (raw materials sourcing) including product carbon foot printing and ethics; through to supply chain processes – a combination which could lead to higher engagement within provenance messaging and onfarm practices.

Wool production 2020

Australia - In August the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) updated its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2020/21 wool2yarnglobal 2020

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industry news

“pre- COVID-19 NZ experienced full clearance of wool stocks. There is strong demand at the moment and much is going to India and Nepal. We have been at full production for the past two months. In August we washed 70,000 farm bales, which was a near record month for our group”.

season. This second forecast is for production of 280 million kilograms (mkg) greasy, a 1.1% decline on the 2019/20 estimated production of 283 mkg greasy, but an upward revision from the 276 mkg forecast in April 2020. Committee Chairman, Russell Pattinson said that “despite encouraging rainfall in some areas, the effect of the prolonged drought on wool production in 2019 and early in 2020 will, in part, carry forward into the 2020/21 season”.

Clean Equivalent – Year End 30 June (July to June)

50,000 45,000 40,000 35,000 Tonnes

Sheep and lamb turn off data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to the end of June 2020 showed a 10% decrease in total turnoff compared with the previous season as producers in some regions of the country seek to rebuild their flocks.

NZ Wool Exports by Region

30,000 25,000

20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0

The number of sheep shorn (estimated to be down by 5.2%) remains a key factor limiting recovery in shorn wool production in the short term, particularly in Western Australia and NSW, despite a gradual increase in annual average cut per head (up 2.9%) as a result of improved seasonal conditions in many wool growing regions. The Committee estimates shorn wool production for the 2019/20 season at 283 mkg greasy, a 5.5% decline on 300 mkg greasy for the 2018/19 season. Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) test data showed that the average yield ended the 2019/20 season at 62.2%, down 0.9% on 2018/19, mean fibre diameter was unchanged at 20.5 microns while staple length increased by 2 mm to 85.6 mm as producers moved away from shorter shearing intervals (e.g. every 6 months) back to shearing every 8 or 12 months.

New Zealand - Greasy wool in storage is hard to accurately determine, but could be 150,000 farm bales. Included in the numbers are the approximate 30,000 bales of genuine Merino wool. Sheep per head is currently around 27 360,000. Wool weight per stock unit is 5.13 kgs/head/greasy. Total greasy kilograms is 140,356,000 gsy/kgs. The total number of farm bales is 850,000 and the average yield is 76% across both Islands or 106,671,000 clean kilograms. According to Nigel Hale, CEO of NZ Wool Scouring, 12 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

North Asia

European Union

South Asia

Middle East

2018-19

North America

Other

2019-20

Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand Economic Service | Statistics New Zealand

South Africa - wool production in 2019 was 29.2 million kg clean. South Africa went into “hard lockdown” at the end of March 2020, resulting in the cessation of all trading activities, including wool exports. This did, however, result in some backlogs in normal trading activities and also extended the wool season into July 2020. “Taking into account the difficult trading conditions, especially at retail level for the fashion brands, we feel encouraged by the current prices still being achieved for the SA wool clip.Good quality wool, especially when produced sustainably, is attracting good interest from the buyers, with these fine merino wools usually performing better than the market average”, says Deon Saayman of Cape Wools. “We have seen and probably will for some time to come experience price volatility and can hopefully build on the current lower price levels as a base for processors and spinners to once again incorporate more volumes of wool in their offering. Improved market sentiment and an upward trend in consumer spending in the major consuming countries will be the catalyst for better prices”.


industry news

Uruguay - wools are mostly produced on native grasslands in combination with beef cattle. With a stock of 6,3 million sheep, wool production was about 24 million greasy. Annual exports of wool and wool products in the 2019 season reached a total of 35 mkg (greasy basis). The majority was exported as tops (57 %), scoured wool represented 26 % and greasy wool the remaining 17 %.The present distribution of sheep shows a predominance of dual-purpose breeds that generate incomes both from wool and meat. Recent results of a national survey showed most popular breeds run by woolgrowers were: Corriedale (42 %), Merino (27 %), Polwarth (9 %), Merilin (4 %), Romney Marsh (3 %) and Merino Dohne (2 %). As a direct consequence of this, the micron profile of the wool produced in Uruguay is mainly mid-micron (2430 microns) and fine wools (less than 24 microns) to manufacture a wide range of end-products (apparel uses and interior textiles).

Argentina - Federación Lanera Argentina (FLA) forecast a slight increase in the production of 44,6 million kg greasy for this season. Argentina is the 5th largest wool producer in the world with a wool production of 42.000 tons of greasy wool in 2019/2020. The industry is forecast to grow this volume in the new season to 44.611 tons. The national wool clip is split up into 60,5 % fine wool, 37,5 % medium crossbred and 2 % coarse wool. This wool clip was grown on the back of a sheep population of 10.623.542 sheep. For the upcoming

season 2020/2021 it is estimated that the Argentinian sheep population will increase by close to 2 million sheep. This increase is based on a recent headcount during a wider vaccination activity in a couple of wool growing regions. The largest number of sheep live in the province of Chubut 31,77% followed by Santa Cruz 22,51% and Buenos Aires 13,96%. Only 1000 tons of greasy wool is consumed in Argentina while the rest is exported to various wool manufacturing countries. In 2019/2020, 25 % of the Argentina wool clip was exported to Germany in the form of wool tops as well as scoured wool and noils. The second-largest export destination was China, with 19.7% of which the majority was in greasy form. Overall, 60% of all Argentinian wool is exported as wool tops, 30.5% as greasy, 5.9% in form of noils and 3.2% scoured. The remaining 0.4% are by-products such as burrs. Over recent decades the Argentinian wool industry has developed its sheep genetics to a finer wool clip to meet the demand of consumer markets for more next-to skin-friendly wool fibres. Today, the fineness of the Argentina wool clip ranges between 16.5 and 32.6 or above. 40% of the clip has a fineness between 19-21. Source: World Economic Outlook (WEO), McKinsey 2020, The State of Fashion 2020 10 Houzz & Home 2019, AU Houzz & Home Renovation Trends Study, Argentine Wool Federation, NZ Meat and Lamb, AWI Wool 2030 – a strategic plan for Australian woolgrowers, British Wool, SUL Uruguay, Cape Wool

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industry news

China - not a typical year 2020

has been called the ‘unprecedented year’. It has been the toughest year so far for the entire world wool textile industry, and certainly not a typical one. China has not been spared. When the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold in Wuhan, China took extraordinary measures to lock down much of the country until early April. The national economy took a nose dive and this was at its lowest growth level in last 20 years. The wool textile pipeline was at a standstill for nearly 3 months. This devastating situation was further compounded by the trade war with the USA, with increased textile products tariffs into the US market. Robert Wang, China Manager for Australia Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) says: ‘The coronavirus in Europe and North America virtually stopped global trading. As a result more than half of the Chinese wool textile manufacturing capability was idle until May. A significant part of the workforce was laid off, factories were deserted, and shops were closed across the country. The GDP growth target set by the central government for 2020 was 6%, however, in April, the economists argued that this figure should be revised down to 1%. Furthermore, in June, the government announced that a fixed target for 2020 was no longer required. This shows the seriousness of the economic 14 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

By Robert Wang

performance in the first half this year. In April the Chinese government attempted a new initiative to encourage “internal economic circulation”. Trillions of dollars were injected into the domestic economy to boost commercial activities. With the easing of the pandemic and government assistance, from May onward the economy showed signs of revival. Although foreign trade has still been hurt badly, the domestic economy has come out of hibernation and is starting to grow again. China re-entered the Australian wool market in April and has been dominating purchases again. Given the withdrawal by other major Australian wool buying countries such as Italy and India, China has purchased more than 90% of Australian wool offered since June. The beginning of the new season, China continued to be the dominant buying power in the global wool market. On the other hand, global wool supply has hit the lowest

level in the last 80 years due to consecutive years of severe drought and devastating bushfires in Australia. Despite the dominance of Chinese buying in the Australian market, the actual quantity of raw wool intake by China has reduced sharply. Overall, because of the low demand, even with the historical low wool production, the EMI has fallen by more than 40% since the beginning of this year. With the deepening global economic crisis, it is almost certain that further deterioration in the wool textile industry is envisaged. Notwithstanding the partial economic recovery in China from April, the eventual normalisation will take much more time. The latest industry survey shows that consumers have become extremely cautious with their disposable income. There is a general lack of enthusiasm in the retail sector. Textile manufacturers therefore have gradually run out of steam. The lack of orders from retail has forced a large number of mills in China to close, which was reflected in the Australian wool auction rooms. The wool price index has fallen down below 1000 Australian cents since 2012. Unfortunately it will slide further. It may take at least another two years for the industry to fight its way back. The world is still in the middle of COVID-19, and there is no doubt that everyone has to bite the bullet. This is the reality that we all are facing today’.


Powering creationâ˜ş From formal to functional Wool is a valuable raw material offering multiple end uses and needs to be handled with outmost care along the whole textile value chain. Saurer offers solutions for worsted yarn processing from spinning to winding and twisting from a single source. Our main focus is on highest yarn quality, ensuring that we create value for our customers.

saurer.com


industry news

Merino wool earns international certification International certification body Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) has officially recognised bedding products made from Merino wool as asthma and allergy friendly. By preparing independent scientific standards for products, ASL’s aim is to help create the healthiest possible indoor environment for individuals with asthma and allergies.

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SL works with a number of patient advocacy groups, charities and government bodies across the world including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In its rationale for issuing its new certification standard (ASP: 0225/101) for bedding containing Merino wool, ASL references results contained in four recent

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industry news

fibres, such as acrylic and nylon, as by coarse wool fibres. Importantly, the study found that suitably selected superfine Merino products are healthy for the skin, especially for those with the most sensitive skin. Superfine Merino wool fibres bend easily, causing minimal or no skin irritation. The study also found that known allergens applied during textile processing are minimally present in wool garments today given current industry practices and are unlikely to lead to allergic reactions. In addition, recent studies suggest that contemporary superfine Merino wool, with its reduced fibre diameters, in fact benefits eczema management.

research papers funded by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI). “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that high quality, fine Merino wool is nonirritant and of low risk to those with sensitive skin,” ASL said. “A recent report reviewing the literature on the subject found that a coarse fiber diameter (30-32m) will induce a cutaneous irritation that is not observed with finer Merino wool. “The effects on patients with mild to moderate Atopic Dermatitis wearing Merino clothing was also recently examined in several clinical studies carried out in Australia and the US.”

The major study conducted by an expert group of allergists, immunologists, and dermatologists from across the globe, reviewed the past 100 years of research to assess claims that wool causes allergies. The analysis found no evidence that wool is an allergen. The study found that any skin irritation caused by a fabric was due to the incidence of coarse fibres, for example fibres with a large diameter, protruding from the fabric and that this cause is independent of fibre type; it is not due to the fibre type being wool. Skin irritation can just as readily be caused by coarse synthetic

AWI fibre advocacy and eco credentials program manager Angus Ireland said the ultimate aim of the research was to lead to increased consumer demand for products made using Australian Merino wool. “Collecting the evidence that wool is not an allergen was the first step in overcoming the misconception that people with eczema or even those with sensitive skin should not wear superfine wool next to the skin,” Mr Ireland said. “Our second aim was to have our research results recognised more widely by allergists, dermatologists and physicians, and so it is very rewarding to see bodies such as ASL now recognising Merino wool as asthma and allergy friendly.” Source: AWI wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Q &A Stuart McCullough CEO AWI with Victor Chesky

All wool producing countries and all manufacturing chains within the wool industry have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of retail outlets, and the cancellations of trade shows and exhibitions, have disrupted market plans for all. I asked Stuart McCullough, the CEO of AWI, the peak body that represents most wool growers in Australia, how current issues have affected marketing and R&D. The fact that so many negative occurrences all came in rapid succession and within a short space of time has been unprecedented. It has forced us to re-evaluate how we spend wool grower funds and what we must do to stay ahead of the curve. Firstly, AWI revenue is largely dependent on the wool levy income, which is determined by wool production volumes and prices. This levy was reduced from 2% to 1.5% in 2018 and that has affected our discretionary spending. Of course, this was a wool grower decision, and we respect it. Secondly, Australia has also been in the grip of an ongoing severe drought and although this is not an unexpected occurrence in Australia, it usually only affects 18 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

one or two wool growing regions at one time. This time the drought has affected most wool growing regions and therefore wool production as well. Thirdly, wool prices that were at a high of $21 per kg also came down in late 2019 and this also affected our income. And in addition to these issues the COVID-19 pandemic has effectively put a stop to consumer spending in all our main markets. Traditionally AWI funding was split with a ratio of 60% directed to marketing and 40% for onfarm R&D. Currently that ratio has shifted to 30% marketing and 70% on-farm R&D. AWI must be particularly smart about when, where, and indeed whether it is prudent to actually invest woolgrower funds - and

this is especially the case with our marketing activities at the moment. For example, before COVID-19 we were running 400 projects, now we are running 200 projects. Marketing projects can be turned on and off quickly enough, but the toll on human resources can be much more damaging. Our on-farm R&D is continuing as normal. Some of the main projects to mention are in animal welfare, in particular large investment has been made into mulesing solutions. We also continue to invest in programs around wool handling and shearer training. This is particularly important this season as New Zealand shearers who traditionally supplement shearing capacity here in Australia has not


industry news

AWI must be particularly smart about when, where, and indeed whether it is prudent to actually invest woolgrower funds - and this is especially the case with our marketing activities at the moment. For example, before Covid-19 we were running 400 projects, now we are running 200 projects

We see some good opportunities that have been created, particularly in the technical textile market. Wool is not classically known to have a strong position in this market but we see the opportunity for wool to be used more widely in such areas as personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks.

been possible because of travel constraints. An important part of AWI’s Wool Harvesting & Quality Preparation program is the funding of hands-on practical training for shearers and wool handlers in the shed, aimed particularly at increasing their productivity, skills development and professionalism. In the student and trade education space we continue to focus on on-line training through our Woolmark Learning Centre. Our self-training is based on a digital delivery platform so this is working well in the current climate for all our markets around the globe. Do you see consumer trends changing because of COVID-19 and are there new opportunities for wool fibre?

We don’t know how consumer behaviour and spending will shift in the near future. For example, a fear of using public transport may see commuters cycling and walking to work and working from home. This will influence the types of clothing they wear, creating opportunities in the apparel sector. So there could be a swing away from tailored textiles and we could see this slack being picked up by commuter wear and sport wear. AWI released its Wool 2030 Strategic Plan in May. Can you expand on the developing new markets for Australian wool? New markets are not so easy to find. There is no country that can process wool and convert to finished garments better than China. China will of course remain a major country for wool processing and wool consumption. China was the first country to be affected by

COVID-19 but it has also been the first country to come out of it - an exceptional achievement if you consider its large population. We are very pleased to see life and commerce resuming in China. There are three major trigger points for a country to be a mass consumer of wool. It must have a large population, appropriate cold climatic conditions, and an affluent consumer base. Very few countries in the world have all these distinctive features. China has all three. There is no other country as important as China. It has a 300 million strong affluent middle class, and another 300 million on its way. So, China is the perfect customer and converter of our product. Therefore we will continue to introduce marketing strategies in China. We will see how the USA emerges from the pandemic before we make decisions on our plans there. The northern hemisphere selling season will give us some indication about market conditions. Until this new data is available, showing how the pandemic has affected consumer behaviour and spending, we would like to keep our powder dry. We will preserve funding and make assessments as we go based on real numbers when they become available. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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industry news

Woolmark-certified products are tested to exacting standards, as demonstrated in the Meaning Behind the Mark campaign film

The benefits of being a Woolmark licensee

T

The Woolmark brand is one of the world’s best known and trusted textile brands. By becoming a licensee of the iconic Woolmark Certification Program, companies benefit from using the iconic Woolmark logo on their product.

he Woolmark logo is well established across the globe in the apparel, interior textiles and home laundry sectors. It has been applied to more than five billion products since its launch in 1964. Customers and brands appreciate that the Woolmark logo not only guarantees a product’s fibre content but also provides an assurance of quality, performance and durability for that product. 68% of surveyed consumers† believe clothes with the

20 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Woolmark logo are worth paying more for, while 85% of consumers agree the Woolmark logo ensures quality. Leverage the reputation and authority of the iconic Woolmark logo to build customer confidence in your products. All new Woolmark licensees will be eligible to take advantage of a 50% reduction in the annual Woolmark licence fee, valid until July 2021. The Woolmark Certification Program tests and provides

assurance of the quality of wool apparel, wool yarn and fabric, and wool care product – with testing undertaken at independent laboratories. Compliance with Woolmark specifications enables licensees to use the Woolmark logo as an independent quality endorsement of their products, thereby providing licensees with differentiation within the marketplace. Furthermore, Woolmark specifications and standards are set at a high level,


industry news

Swing tickets and product labels are made available to all licensees to drive purchase intent for product

meaning that low quality products do not ‘make it through’ to the customer. This avoids returned products and thereby prevents damage to company’s brand integrity and inventories. From a marketing perspective, global apparel markets are now driven not only by glamour and hype; customers are increasingly interested in the values ‘behind the brand’. By utilising the Woolmark brand, companies can differentiate their products by leveraging the stories of heritage, natural provenance, craftsmanship and innovation in the wool industry. As customers become more discerning about the sources and contents of the products they buy, the Woolmark brand is more important than ever. Each year, The Woolmark Company spends millions of

dollars educating consumers about the value of wool and the Woolmark brand. Additionally, Woolmark licensees have the opportunity to be championed on The Woolmark Company’s global digital and social marketing channels. Licensees can also amplify their brand awareness and client reach with swatch and yarn features in The Woolmark Company’s trend forecasting and sourcing guides, The Wool Lab and The Wool Lab Vision. The Woolmark Company’s dedicated technical team of experts have specialist knowledge in all areas of the wool supply chain and is able to provide ondemand support for Woolmark licensees in technical transfer, traceability, process and product development, quality assurance,

and supply chain optimisation. Establishing a global supply chain can be a huge and costly task for companies. However, The Woolmark Company gives Woolmark licensees the opportunity to connect with a global network of brand and design partners, manufacturers, suppliers and buyers of wool yarn and fabric. The Woolmark Company also offers comprehensive training sessions tailored exclusively to Woolmark licensees to not only educate staff about the benefits and versatility of wool, but to ultimately allow them to maximise their sales of wool product. For further information about the benefits of becoming a Woolmark licensee, head to woolmark.com/ certification. †Nielsen Brand Survey 2019

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industry news

Sheep enjoy the best care in Uruguay - natural grass pastures, abundant clean water, excellent veterinary care

Speaking with Pedro Otegui in Uruguay Pedro online and he has shared his thoughts with me below’.

Pedro Otegui

‘The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to my travel plans to South America earlier this year and so I was unable to meet face-toface with Pedro Otegui of Lanas Trinidad in Uruguay. This is a meeting I always look forward to’, says Victor Chesky. ‘However, I was able to make contact with 22 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

‘The world is changing faster than we ever thought possible and nobody hesitates to stop and question this’, says Pedro Otegui. ‘And then the COVID-19 pandemic presented itself and turned our world upside down. This has given us some breathing space in our busy daily lives, and has encouraged us to rethink our way of living. With so many uncertainties and unanswered questions we have to think about what is the future for wool fibre!’. ‘We are convinced that people will behave in a differently in their day to day lives after COVID. In this new scenario we imagine that the number of potential buyers willing to consume natural and renewable resource products over and above non-renewable man-made fibres will rise rapidly’,

Pedro comments. ‘Increased curiosity about the world around them will see buyers wanting to know more about what they are wearing. This vision embraces concepts like Animal Welfare, Wool Traceability and Environmental Impacts among others’. Lanas Trinidad is committed to animal welfare and responsible land management. It is also committed to good stewardship of the environment, and generation of energy from renewable resources from its waste water treatment process. ‘If you are looking for certified wools such as RWS, Gots, and Nativa then Lanas Trinidad is the place to come to!’. ‘We have to deliver future generations a better environment than the one we inherited long ago!’ says Pedro Otegui.


Trusted for more than 50 years, the world’s most iconic textile brand.

Highest quality

Global technical support

Brand recognition

Unrivalled quality assurance to the supply chain and consumers

Technical transfer, process and product development and supply chain optimisation

85% of consumers agree the Woolmark symbol ensures quality† Nielsen Brand Survey 2019

Brand trust matters more than ever, so we are offering a 50% FEE REDUCTION to new and current licensees to support the promotion of your quality-assured wool product* www.woolmark.com/get-certified *Until June 30, 2021 © 2020 The Woolmark Company Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.GD3970


industry news

HUMAN CAPITAL KEY IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD Textile machinery production is always a good barometer to measure the wellbeing of the textile industry. Sales of new textile machines are often the first to experience the impact of both good and bad times. nsc fibre to yarn has been making machinery for the textile sector for over 200 years and today you would be hard pressed to find a topmaking or spinning plant anywhere around the world that does not have NSC fibre to yarn machinery operating on its floor. Étienne Leroi has led the company since the 2008 financial crisis and has seen his share of challenging times. Victor Chesky asked how a company such as NSC fibre to yarn manages these economic downturns and how does it retain its human capital and continue to service its customers across the globe?

‘When things are really bad we, the French people, remember these words from our recent history’, says Etienne Leroi. “Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He 24 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own”, said Charles de Gaulle. ‘This is the position that we have chosen to take at NSC. Our French pride demonstrates our will to

survive and overcome the brutal disruption to investment projects in practically all area of the world market for long fiber spinning’, he says. ‘We have 3 key business priorities.


industry news

Firstly to remain fully operational, and retain and continue our sales, services, and spare parts deliveries despite restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our agents, in all countries, remain available to our customers. Secondly, our dictum for this unprecedented time is best described by our commitment to the future of the wool industry, and to keep going. When sales are down, the first temptation is to cut all expenses and investments to the minimum. Since ITMA 2019 we have committed to retain our product list with fully automatic machines that can be linked up to a fully communicative production line either for combing, recombing and spinning. Our shareholder backing has enabled us to keep all of our departments working full time, in the office or from home. Every engineer from concept drawings to machine testing follows the values of “le Grand Charles”. Our company shares this strong belief, that despite this world economic disaster, the wool industry will come back stronger than ever, and so too will our customers eager to modernize their plants and “make the wool industry great again”. Thirdly, it is our responsibility

think we have succeeded in keeping the family of NSC together and well supported.

to take care of our employees. Of course we have done this before. There is nothing more discouraging than suddenly going from full production to empty production floor. Three years ago, we worked together in small groups called “s’améliorer ensemble” (perform better together) and the first thing we defined was what we stand for, and our values. Our objective has always been to satisfy our clients. We specialize in long staple preparation and spinning and we aim to maintain close relationships with our customers by providing communication and on the ground agent assistance. Our employees are our major asset. South Alsace has been the most affected by COVID-19 in France and we have all been impacted directly or indirectly with disease and death. Fighting adversity and being compassionate may not be typical to business and industry, but during these many weeks I

Writing these lines, in the middle of the 2020 summer, we are far from knowing how the market will turn in the next months but we went through this first wave and are organized and ready for the next challenges the wool industry will face. This major pandemic has shown a generosity of spirit in our employees and it is the responsibility of our management team to continue to support them and their families. I am sure that our customers have been through the same experience and I hope that this pandemic will provide a real opportunity for the wool industry to also embrace a more generous value system. This is an extraordinary year and it has provided me with the opportunity to remark on the way we have responded to this unlikely situation. I am glad to share this testimonial with our customers, regarding the way NSC has managed this crisis. We are more than just a leader in long fiber technology that has survived for 200 years. We are also a really human organization with a will to act in adverse business conditions and still take care of its family of workers. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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industry news

Wool industry faces yet another battle By Yang Xiaoxiong, chairwoman of Nanjing Wool Market

T

he COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 changed people’s lives. After a difficult fight against the pandemic, many industries in China are slowly recovering. Even shopping malls and catering services are starting to open. Yet one industry, struggling to get back to work, has been dealt another fatal blow. This is the textile and garment industry with the largest proportion of exports. As the outbreak abroad spirals out of control, the biggest concern is the decline in orders, either already cancelled or on the way to cancellation. We are facing

an unprecedented predicament and crisis, which is the most incisively and vividly manifested in the current situation of textile industry in 2020. As of September 11, 2020, NWM Comprehensive price index closed at 6043 cents/kg, down 33.5% from its 2018 peak, but still higher than the 2008/09 lowest of 4,014 cents/kg. The main reason is that the market price surged to a new record from 2015 to 2018, and a large amount of high-priced inventory accumulated. Even if the market plummets, it is still

hard to fall below the minimum price. Others are comparing declines to those seen during the 2008 financial crisis and ready to stock up. Although during the economic crisis in 2008 the prices fell, all industrial chains and terminal consumption were basically in normal operation, as the roadblock was removed, so the market recovered soon after financial order was restored. All industrial chains have been damaged to varying degrees, after being hit by the pandemic this

Madame Yang (back row centre) with Nanjing Wool Market team 26 | wool2yarnglobal 2020


industry news

Nanjing Wool Market composite price index and consumer confidence index (January 2019 to September 2020)

year. In particular, the situation is still grim in some foreign countries and regions, where production and life are still stagnant. The economy is far from normal. Prices fell and rebounded quickly in 2008, while it will be a long time before prices recover sustainably this year. The whole market liquidity is impeded. As external demand is blocked, the strategy has to be changed to “domestic sales”. In order to stimulate the internal circulation economy, the domestic garment market has taken the role of Noah’s Ark. But this time, under the dual effects of the pandemic at home and the decline in overseas markets, we need to be prepared for more pressure. After all, we did “take a break” for a long time in early 2020, leading to job losses, wage cuts, and bankruptcies. Consumers

have far less extra income to spend than they used to. Coupled with the pressure of car loans and mortgages, the so-called “retaliatory” consumption did not occur. Moreover, wool is a luxury fiber, not a necessity, so the impact on the wool industry is even more severe. Of course, there are opportunities in times of crisis. With many of the world’s vaccines already in phase III clinical trials, the pandemic will sooner or later be contained. In the post-pandemic period, every country and region will restore economic systems as soon as possible and increase financial and policy support. There are also signs that the industry is moving in a better direction. According to the customs data from January to July 2020, domestic exports of wool textile

raw materials and products totaled US$4.67 billion, which decreased 31.3%. Exports overall situation is still grim, but that was up 1.9% from the first half of the year, a narrowing of the decline for the first time this year. Each link within the wool industry does its best to destock this year. The lower price of raw materials will also arouse the interest in developing products, making products more competitive. Once the global pandemic is under control, market demand will gradually pick up. There are only broken enterprises, not collapsed industries. We believe that the wool industry can be revitalized under a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Dalena White - Secretary General, International Wool Textile Organisation

WOOL FOR WELLBEING IN A POST-COVID WORLD

E

merging from the chaos of 2020 one thing is clear: health is not merely the absence of disease but a state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Of the many fibres on the market, how many can say – backed up with peer-reviewed research – that they have an active, positive effect on health and wellness?

Wool is unique in many respects, but its natural abilities to boost wellbeing to those who wear it is truly one of a kind. Synthetic textile innovators have been attempting to replicate wool’s natural characteristics for the past 60 years. The result: a plethora of polyesters that outlive their purpose.

Wool – Creating a Positive Microclimate The virtues of wool in both skin health and sleep health stem from the fibre’s ability to maintain a more stable microclimate between the garment and the skin. Skin is the largest organ of the human body. The use of wool base layers supports skin health in ways researchers are only beginning to discover. 28 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Eczema Clinical studies around the world show an improvement in eczema symptoms when wearers change from non-wool undergarments to superfine Merino wool base layers. Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis (AD), affects up to 28% of children worldwide. Its prevalence varies geographically and is increasing in many countries.


Worn next to the skin, superfine Merino wool works as a dynamic buffer, helping to stabilise the humidity levels and temperature of the micro-climate between the fabric and the skin. It appears superfine Merino wool acts like a second skin for people whose ‘first’ skin is too dry. This has been proven in dermatology trials with infant, adolescent, and adult eczema sufferers. All reported reduced symptoms when wearing superfine Merino wool next to their skin. The wool in these trials had a mean fibre diameter of ≤17.5 mm and the garments were worn at least six hours per day for six weeks.

Sleep A good night’s sleep boosts immunity, enhances memory, and even helps manage anxiety. According to the latest science, wool can get you to restful sleep faster and keep you there for longer. When we sleep, and especially in deep sleep, the body’s capacity to regulate temperature is also relaxed. Wool steps in to fill the gap, helping to ensure that we do not become too hot or too cold. Research undertaken at Sydney University compared wool, cotton and polyester sleepwear on adults aged 50 years and older. Wool performed best, allowing

a faster sleep onset and less fragmented sleep. Research also shows that newborns sleep more restfully (with fewer movements) when they sleep on wool underlays. Restful sleep promotes healthy growth and good weight gain. Sleep is an up-and-coming area: more research is on its way. The Woolmark Company for example reports positive feedback from parents following pilot programs in which Merino wool sleeping bags for babies were tested.

Protective Clothing Alongside wool in “everyday life,” wool also plays an important role wool2yarnglobal 2020

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in protective clothing. Wool’s natural resistance to fire has been further endorsed in a study by AgResearch, finding that wool and wool-rich fabrics perform better in resisting flame than a number of non-wool blends. Polypropylene and polyester, both 100% synthetic, performed worst. Both showed a propensity to melt onto the skin. Worn next to the skin in base layers, wool provides a “last line of defence” for military and first responders. Wool’s high ignition temperature and self-extinguishing characteristics can help prevent 30 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

severe skin injuries stemming from fire and high heat.

choose wool, that time is most certainly now.

The Active Fibre

About IWTO

Wool is an active fibre that interacts with the human body to changes in temperature and humidity. Wool does this as well in the Arctic as it does in the Sahara. The inimitable natural 3D crimp of the wool fibre makes this possible.

With a worldwide membership encompassing the wool pipeline from farm to retail, the IWTO represents the interests of the global wool trade. By facilitating research and development and maintaining textile industry standards, IWTO ensures a sustainable future for wool.

In the post-COVID world and for some time to come, health – in all of its forms – takes priority. If there’s ever been a time to

Follow IWTO on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to keep up with the latest wool news. Or sign up for our newsletter on iwto.org


Via Molino, 9 - 13891 Camburzano (BI) Italy T. +39 015 590993 | tmb@tbsrl.it | www.tbsrl.it

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industry news

Kurt Haselwander

G

oing green is a phenomenon taking hold in industries across many supply chains today. Growers of natural fibre including Wool, Alpaca, and Cashmere have been embracing ecologically responsible practices for some time. Processors and manufacturers using these fibres are being swept up in this ground swell. ‘The process of developing a very specific yarn for a very specific application, with a certification level nominated by the customer, requires the entire chain to work together. This is why we believe that spinning together yields the best solutions. The superior natural credentials of the natural fibres we use and the methods of process we use provide a firm focus on good sustainable outcomes,’ says Kurt Haselwander, CEO at the Schoeller the Spinning Group.  The company can offer yarn that achieves a number of levels in certification including Bluesign® GOTS, EU Ecolabel, IVN, ISO, Nativa, RWS, Eco-Tex

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Smart solutions for Standard and Global Recycled Standards. ‘We are committed to sustainable development goals and subscribe to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) set out be the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’, he says. ‘We offer four main product types in their wool yarn selection, providing certification at levels selected by each client for our yarns that include Pure Wool (GOTS); Pure Wool (Nativa); Merino-Tencel (EXP chlorine free processing); Alpaca-Merino (Zero 100)’. Schoeller’s Alpaca Nature brand is a yarn that is blended using undyed merino and fine undyed

alpaca.The untreated fibres are sorted based on their colour. This allows melange colours to be created that do not require dyes or quantities of water for dyeing. The program got off to a successful start in the sustainable fashion sector and has been adopted with surprisingly good results in the upholstery and automotive sectors. Natural colours are a huge advantage for sustainability, or as many people say, “a new level of sustainability (NLS)”. The high level of interest from the market in the Schoeller NLS products is supported by the use in the automotive industry. This natural alpaca NLS thread yarn is used in seating fabric. This is a further step in sustainability


industry news

is a truly all-round sustainable innovation that we use for our yarn that is recognised by EU Ecolabel, Bluesign, GOTS, RWS, and Oeko-Tex,’ says Kurt Haselwander.

sustainability today in interiors for the automotive sector. ‘We provide a stock service for flat knitting, upholstery and automotive use’, says Kurt Haselwander. ‘Some European brands are also using our Alpaca Nature for alpaca garments at the high end of the fashion industry. Thanks to these sustainable arguments, Alpaca Nature won the Sustainability Award at the Performance Days Fair in Munich ‘. ‘The functional qualities of our ACTIVE and PROGRESS yarn brands make them some of our most popular products, working very well for SEAMLESS use. Superfine Merino is blended with polyamide or Tencel using Superwash or EXP according to client specification’, says Kurt

Haselwander. It feels dry even when saturated, keeps the wearer warm even when wet, and is odour-retardant. It is the most natural and functional of fibres. Thanks to the smart blend, Progress is fully degradable within a period of around one year. Active, in its most sustainable variant, has a proportion of degradable polyamide and can therefore also degrade without leaving any negative residue in the environment’. Schoeller’s patented EXP wool treatment has been developed to produce washable wool without chlorine. Tumble drying is also possible. EXP completely avoids the use of chlorine, using natural salts as an oxidization agent. ‘It

‘For us, sustainability does not end with the end product’, Kurt Haselwander continues. Schoeller is working on various projects that deals with production- and post-consumer waste. Concrete products are already available from processed wool waste for the automotive and upholstery sectors. A process for which Schoeller has applied for a patent, for example, in which leather or degradable composites can be produced from wool waste, still looks innovative and new. ‘Sustainability is an important feature to all of our product lines. This applies to sourcing the most appropriate wool, to the technical design, yarn manufacture, and final garment production. A well thought out process of expertise and collaboration creates the perfect combination of sustainable fashion and function‘. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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industry news

NZWTA a hub for International Wool, Textile and Product Testing product testing. Even though New Zealand sits remotely at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the success of NZWTA’s international testing is due to a number of factors. It’s access to international freight services enables it to provide wool testing services to a growing number of international wool and textile customers.

G

lobal wool and textile trade continues despite closed borders and COVID 19 restrictions. Manufacturers are continuing to source raw materials and products from foreign producers. Specifications provide certainty for these purchases, and give buyers the ability to predict processing performance. These specifications become more and more important to those who are not able to see the products before they buy. This is very relevant in our current “Covid” world. A key part of the success of this trade is the ability to purchase raw materials and manufactured goods with measurements that enable certainty around their performance. Wool and product testing are the key to this trade. Test results provide

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confidence of performance and the New Zealand Wool Testing Authority Ltd (NZWTA) has a growing international reputation for carrying out these tests for customers both in New Zealand, and from overseas.

International testing hub For international wool producers or processors, having access to a testing facility may not be easy to achieve if it is not readily available in their country. Not all countries accept foreign wool for testing, and not all test houses have a complete set of tests on offer. Because it has access to robust quarantine procedures, prompt service times, a wide range of key tests on offer, and an international reputation for high quality certification, NZWTA has increasingly become an international hub for wool and

Traditional wool testing and certification is now being undertaken for wool producers outside of New Zealand. NZWTA regularly tests wool from Chile, Falkland Islands, USA, Canada, and Kenya.

Reducing barriers to trade New Zealand’s robust and effective quarantine protocols allow the importation of samples into New Zealand from all over the world. Whilst there is a need to protect New Zealand from biological risk and avoid potentially harmful pests and diseases, our Ministry for Primary Industries also focuses on facilitating trade and reducing barriers, allowing easier and faster across border processing. Details of how to send samples to NZWTA are available on our website https://www.nzwta.co.nz/ importing-samples/

Extensive suite of tests NZWTA’s wool laboratory has an extensive list of tests for raw and


industry news

recently its scope of accredited tests was relatively small. A recent review of NZWTA operations and services has seen an investment into new testing equipment which has allowed us to extend our suite of accredited flammability tests. This accreditation will provide customers withconfidence in our test results and knowledge involved in these tests. processed wool. Tests like yield and Vegetable matter, micron, and Conditioned Weight are common. Other valuable tests such as colour can help when there is a perceived issue and not a real problem. These tests, which are not all widely offered in other laboratories, are regularly used by NZWTA customers to better describe their wool. For some wool producers perceived problems can be quantified and their impact minimised. NZWTA’s textile and product testing division also has a comprehensive list of tests available. A list of tests fees and terms and conditions are available on the NZWTA website link using the link https://www.nzwta.co.nz/ fees-and-t-and-c/. International environmental agencies demand strict regulations relating to chemical (pesticide) residue levels in wool. NZWTA Ltd and Agrifood Technology Ltd (Australia) have expanded their capabilities to analyse chemical residues in raw wool samples from anywhere in the world. This is a positive addition to the extensive range of services offered by the laboratories, and continues

to support both domestic and international wool trade through the provision of accurate, timely and cost efficient residue testing. Agrifood Technology, based in Melbourne, Australia is the only testing facility in the world with ISO 17025 accreditation status for the chemical analysis of raw wool residues under the IWTO standard DTM-59. Conducted under license from the CSIRO, analysis is performed on extracts taken from wool samples in New Zealand using patented equipment and processes. These systems are independently reviewed and accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ). NZWTA also offers various forms of flammability testing services to support the wider textiles and building materials industries. Until

Document security Certificate verification has been a popular service offered through the NZWTA website whereby purchasers of wool can verify the certificates they have been sent by fax or email, to ensure they are genuine certificates. This process can be accessed on the website by entering the test number and the verification code from the copy of the certificate. A secure copy of the certificate will be emailed back to you NZWTA certificates have a strong reputation in the market place for providing independent and reliable measurement of the qualities of the wool and textiles which are fair to both buyer and seller. Samples are either provided by the customer and are issued as “Test Reports”, or they are sampled by NZWTA officers and are be issued as certificates.

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I Angus Ireland 36 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Risk and opportunity for Wool in EU Labelling

t is expected that within a couple of years, products for sale in the European Union (EU) will be required to include a label that provides consumers with the EU’s assessment of a product’s environmental credentials - this is both a risk and an opportunity for wool. Wool is

well placed to take advantage of the increasing demand for more earth-friendly products. But it has been at an historic disadvantage when it comes to environmental ratings agencies that have rated wool poorly against synthetic fibres as they do not account for factors such as natural,


industry news

studies and provide a more scientific and technical analysis of wool’s environmental benefits. Recently the first cradle-tograve LCA of a textile fibre was published in Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, a peer-reviewed journal. In an article recently published in Beyond the Bale magazine AWI’s Program Manager for Fibre Advocacy and Eco Credentials, Angus Ireland outlined the work that AWI has been doing in this space. ‘By undertaking the study we are now in a “knowledge-powerful” position regarding wool’s supply chain and understanding its impacts. The work is especially timely as it will assist the wool industry’s engagement with the European Union’s Product Environment Footprinting project (PEF)’, Angus Ireland explains. ‘The wool industry has a seat at the table at key technical forums in the EU. We are working to ensure the environmental footprint of garments is correctly assessed at all stages of a product’s life’, he says. biodegradable, and renewable. This rating is important when major retail brands choose the fibre for the products they sell. It is also an important issue as the EU is now putting policies in place to have environmental labelling on consumer products including apparel, as early as 2022. During the past ten years AWI, through IWTO has been funding research to improve the body of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

The EU PEF has some advantages over previous rating systems. It is a government initiated and led system and is more scientifically robust. It is also more comprehensive and included 16 impact categories from toxicity to climate change, although there are some notable omissions such as microplastics. Importantly the PEF does include the ‘use phase’ and the ‘end of life’ of the garment which helps somewhat in levelling the playing field for wool.

While there are some advantages to the PEF system and the requirement for point of sale labelling it is still not clear how well wool will be scored. Initial modelling suggests that the EU’s rating of environmental impacts from wool may be higher than some competitor fibres because of a high weighting for on-farm greenhouse gas production. An AWI funded study has been proposed to improve the assessment for wool in LCA methods, given that wool is produced alongside meat. AWI is also investigating impact categories where little work has been done and ensuring that methane is accounted for correctly, given its relatively short life in the atmosphere. It advocates for regionally relevant methods in nutrient loss at farm, and providing evidence regarding the less frequent washing of wool garments that will strengthen the case for wool compared to other fibres, as well as addressing the weakness of other fibre types in microplastics and short-lived fashion types. ‘AWI continues to be dedicated to generating scientific evidence of wool’s true environmental credentials. It is only by taking and publishing technically sound scientific studies that wool’s true environmental credentials will be established’, says Angus Ireland. It will also help ensure the EU develops an accurate and positive rating for products containing wool. Source: AWI wool2yarnglobal 2020

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integrity schemes

Wool integrity schemes on the rise By Victor Chesky

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integrity schemes

T

here are a number of integrity verification schemes operating throughout the wool industry worldwide. These schemes can broadly be divided into two categories; schemes operated by players within the wool industry itself such as wool export companies; and external independent schemes, such as Responsible Wool Standards (RWS), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN). International wool industry standards and certifications are not new. The Woolmark Company’s quality certification has been guiding consumers for over 60 years. What is new, however, is the demand by the consumer at retail for information beyond just quality and fibre performance. Now the focus includes good environmental credentials and ethics all the way to the finished product. Most integrity schemes aim to provide authenticated information from the farm that

grows the wool on sustainable land, and treats its animals and people to accepted standards, and also provide greater information about the wool that is processed using clean water, bio-degradable chemicals, and renewable energy sources. These schemes are all backed up by a block chain infrastructure that transmits this verifiable and certified information along the supply chain from farm to hanger.

but believe it’s important for the industry to converge towards common standards. It would be confusing and counterproductive to have a plethora of schemes representing different interests and varying levels of reliability and robustness. We are seeing an increase in demand for RWS accreditation and have therefore joined this scheme. We also have EU Ecolabel accreditation which ever more of our clients trust.’

This article provides information about some of the integrity schemes available around the world. It looks at their objectives and explores whether the wool industry would be better served by a single scheme accepted by all within the industry.

Eric Durand of Lempriere Bulgaria also comments that ‘we have seen a growth in demand for RWS certified tops and now around 20% of our top production in Bulgaria is RWS certified’.

Michael Modiano, of Modiano topmaking comments, ‘we are in favour of integrity schemes

Each manufacturing stage has its own interest, or lack of interest, regarding the integrity schemes best suited to them. In addition wool producing countries are each embracing their own localised integrity scheme options. There is no shortage of opinions within the industry as to which schemes are most suitable , and as the availability of certified wool is limited, large users must source from a number of

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schemes to access the quantity of certified fibre they need. Some insist that independent certification is more objective and will be better accepted by consumers. Others believe that industry certification is just as reliable as long as the information is freely available for anyone to trace the wool right throughout its journey from farm to finished product. Perhaps it would be fair to suggest that the retail consumer will be

happy with any integrity scheme as long as it provides information that is accessible and reliable. Interior textile products, such as carpet and upholstery, that use crossbred wool, have not experienced the same consumer pressure for environmental certification as finer wools. However this is now changing. Major retailer IKEA announced that its stores will only sell products that contain RWS certified wool. A laudable gesture,

To better understand the process of sheep farming and wool processing Südwolle Group operates its own Mount Hesse sheep farm in Victoria, Australia. Rather than blindly following the varying approaches taken by the growing number of schemes now available Südwolle Group has chosen to approach this issue to better understand the reasons behind their requirements. ‘Wool Integrity Schemes are very important to us’, says Südwolle Group. ‘They establish guidelines and criteria for the entire wool industry, and environmentally and socially responsible production should be in all our interests!’ “Our Mount Hesse team feels that we have a responsibility to not only have a production system that suits our own goals but also the values and aspirations of the global community that utilise our products such as our raw wool’, says farm manager David Kininmonth. ‘’Schemes like ZQ and RWS open up a holistic view of our farm as part of this community and the gives us guidelines that allow us to go some way towards meeting if not aspiring to achieve the standards set out. The standards have made us review every aspect of our production system so that not only are our sheep happier and more productive but our staff are also working in a safer more collaborative work place.”

but New Zealand is the biggest producer of crossbred wools and to date it has less than a dozen RWS certified farms. UK also has a limited number. So, surely there are not enough to supply IKEA and other large retailers that may pursue this same path. There is, however, a growing 40 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

number of companies in New Zealand offering alternative integrity schemes for crossbred wools. Bloch & Behrens NZ markets its wool under the Wool Integrity NZ scheme, and New Zealand Wool Services International offers its traceable Purelana brand. Operating in

New Zealand, Schneider Group offers Authentico and Chargeurs Luxury Materials offers Nativa, as all-round integrity schemes. New Zealand Woolscouring Ltd, the only scourer in New Zealand, is both RWS and GOTS certified. New Zealand Merino offers QZ certification for NZ Merino wool. Few would disagree that environmental issues are fundamentally important. Nevertheless the objectives at retail are to deliver to consumer demand, and still safeguard brands from unfair vilification from animal rights groups. It is for these reasons that retailers and brands favour more independent certification from outside the industry, such as RWS, that is more widely accepted worldwide. Woolgrowers, on the other hand might favour local certification that is more manageable and cheaper to implement. Topmakers, spinners, and weavers, in the middle of these two pressure groups, need to navigate the varied and numerous landscapes of integrity schemes available. Talking to wool industry players it is hard to see a clear majority view that could create a unified scheme - growers, exporters, and some topmakers see external certification as an unnecessary extra cost. It can also be a logistical and administrative nightmare to implement when dealing with 100,000 wool growing farms in Australia alone. Surely the main issue is how to effectively transmit verifiable data throughout the production chain in the most cost effective way.


integrity schemes

The reality is over 70% of the world wool clip is processed in China. 60% of products made from this wool are for the domestic Chinese consumer. Many of these consumers lag behind their international counterparts in concern for the environment and sustainable production. But the growing disposable income and buying trends of China’s domestic consumer suggest they will catch up soon enough. The growing need for integrity schemes and certification is not just an issue of animal welfare, but an acknowledgement that selling a wool product needs a story, and if that story is open to negative messaging it is damaging to the industry. The further along

the production chain toward fabric and garment manufacturers and retail, the greater the need for environmental accreditation. If you adopt the basic economic principle that the customer is always right then the industry must find a way to convince the consumer that wool is a natural fibre with excellent environmental credentials and ensure that this distinction is plainly evident. But in doing so a way must be found to ensure that an increase in fibre cost does not reach a level that will see consumers walk away from wool all together.

Independent Schemes The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) scheme is gaining a

Schoeller - always one step ahead

foothold worldwide. It is a voluntary standard that provides an opportunity for farmers to demonstrate their best practices, and is a means for brands to build trust with consumers. It is operated by Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit organization incorporated in Texas USA in 2002, initially designed to save the cotton industry from accusations of worker exploitation and abuse. This scheme has specific standards in relation to wool and mohair fibre. RWS certification ensures that wool comes from sheep that have been raised with respect to their Five Freedoms, that the land has been managed responsibly, and validates the source of the material for all

ÂŽ

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integrity schemes

products. Any player, at any stage of the wool production chain, from wool grower to topmaker, spinner, or weaver, can seek RWS certification. Using the same certification throughout the production chain simplifies the flow of documentation, and is this is why it is gaining wider acceptance. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a worldwide textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed by independent certification. The GOTS standard defines organic status of textiles, from raw materials, through environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing, to labelling, and providing a credible assurance to the end consumer. At all stages of processing organic fibre products must be separated from conventional fibre products and clearly identified. All chemical inputs (e.g. dyes, auxiliaries and process chemicals) must be evaluated and meet basic requirements in toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability, prohibition use of toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic

solvents, functional nanoparticles, genetically modified organisms (GMO) and their enzymes. The use of synthetic sizing agents is restricted; knitting and weaving oils must not contain heavy metals, bleaches must be based on oxygen (no chlorine bleaching), and Azo dyes that release carcinogenic amine compounds are prohibited. Version 6.0 was published on March 19, 2020, 15 years after the launch of the 1st Version. GOTS relies on a dual system to check compliance with the relevant criteria consisting of on-site auditing and residue testing. OEKO-TEX® - STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® is one of the world’s best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. OEKO-TEX® consists of 18 independent research and test institutes in the field of textile and leather ecology in Europe and Japan with contact offices in more than 60 countries. The independent OEKO-TEX® partner institutes are entitled to conduct appropriate laboratory tests or company audits in accordance with worldwide standardised guidelines. These

comprehensive product and process tests guarantee risk management, consumer and environmental protection, as well as legal conformity. The test criteria are globally standardised and are updated at least once a year on the basis of new scientific information or statutory requirements. EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal. Established in 1992 and recognised across Europe and worldwide, the EU Ecolabel promotes the circular economy by encouraging producers to generate less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process. The EU Ecolabel criteria also encourage companies to develop products that are durable, easy to repair and recycle and provides guidelines for companies looking to lower their environmental impact and guarantee the efficiency of their environmental actions through third party controls.

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integrity schemes

REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaced a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system. Although REACH does not apply to other countries outside the EU, it is an international reference for other countries. For example, Switzerland is not part of the EU but generally accepts EU regulations. BLUESIGN technology provides independent monitoring from material from factory to final product. It provides expertise in chemistry and textile production, as well as specialist services to oversee a robust system of factory auditing and certification. This Swiss company is involved at every step in the supply chain—from chemical formulation to finished product—to keep chemicals of concern out of the process. Main areas of certification are resource use including water, energy and chemical use; occupational health and safety; water and air emissions for standards for pollution control; and consumer safety with an emphasis on chemical safety requirements for textiles.

Schemes by International Wool Companies Two main schemes operating in all major wool growing countries are Authentico by G. Schneider Group and NATIVA™ Chargeurs Luxury Materials. G. Schneider Group specialises in

Regulation 2092/91). Customers can choose organic wool, nonmulesed wool, or RWS certified wool. All G Schneider Group processing mills are GOTS and RWS certified. NATIVA™ by Chargeurs Luxury Materials certifies every step of the supply chain, from farm to brand. It has a presence from grower to mill, and industry partners including spinners,

weavers, knitters and garment makers. Nativa™ certification recognises animal welfare, land management and environmental sustainability and protection, as well as social responsibility. Chargeurs Luxury Materials sources its fibre from Australia, NZ, USA, Uruguay, and Argentina, and processes wool into tops in the USA, Uruguay, Argentina, and China.

Devold of Norway says ‘Sustainability is not a trend. It is the very foundation that Devold is built on. It is about a strong belief that nature has the answer to the climate problem caused by the textile industry. It all comes down to choosing natural materials that degrade after use. All Devold garments are traceable and over 60% can be traced all the way back to the farm where the wool came from. You can find the farm on the garment’s label. We source our wool from 3 farmers in Australia, 2 farms in Argentina, and 15 farms in New Zealand. Devold is REACH standard compliant for use of chemicals and chlorine free TEC treatment. All products are Oeko-Tex certified and all cut-offs from its textile production is recycled, and sold and used in new products.”

processing fine wool, cashmere, vicuña, silk, and other animal fibres at its eight processing mills around the world. The Group also manages 13 farms in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and cooperatives in Mongolia and Peru, most of which are GOTS certified. Authentico certified wool comes from 400 selected wool growers from Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina. All farms are audited by Control Union. CU is an independent, internationally operating organization that carries out inspections and issues certificates for sustainable production methods based on EU organic requirements (EEC

Australia 80% of world merino wool is produced in Australia, in particular superfine merino, increasingly used in active and leisurewear, where the issues of environmental integrity accreditation are increasingly more important. The National Wool Declaration (NWD) was introduced in 2008 to provide information to users and buyers of Australian wool. The NWD is a voluntary Declaration from woolgrower about information that cannot be objectively measured, namely Mulesing Status and Dark and Medullated Fibre Risk (DMFR). wool2yarnglobal 2020

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slow to react to the increasing demand from consumers to better understand everything there is to know about the products they consume. At that time the industry was devoid of a verification or assurance certification that could represent farmers in a way that didn’t compromise other aspects of their business.

The information from the NWD is transferrable along the pipeline and is used by buyers of Australian wool. Following its inception, there has been increased interest in the NWD along the wool pipeline, in particular for Mulesing Status Verifications.

SustainaWOOL™ growers produce non-mulesed wool.

NWD data is passed on to Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) where it is published on Test Certificates and stored in AWTA Central database. This process occurs for virtually all wool which is presale tested by AWTA.

Wool Solutions, a wool brokering company in Tasmania became RWS certified 12 months ago. ‘We now market well in excess of 1 million kgs of RWS certified wool annually’, says Alistair Culvert. ‘We have a strong engagement with many downstream wool processors along with wholesale and retail companies. By engaging with brand partners and retailers we are able to deliver better value to both buyer and seller; in many cases for little or no extra cost.

The SustainaWOOL™ Integrity Scheme was established in Australia in 2015 by New England Wool. Today it is managed by the Australian Wool Exchange Limited (AWEX) to provide accreditation for sustainability standards within the wool production system in Australia. SustainaWOOL™ has over 1,000 accredited wool grower members. Over one-third of all accredited

‘It has always been our view that we need to collaborate with our ultimate customers to drive improved financial outcomes for farmers. The commodity approach may be fine and suit some, but in our view this is never going to drive true engagement and excitement about a product on which all of our livelihoods depend. Unfortunately, the broader wool industry was

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‘This has led to the situation where commercial businesses have tried to “paddle their own canoe” to try and gain competitive advantage. Unfortunately, this has only confused Australian wool growers. Some have become members of numerous single faceted schemes, and often they have become disgruntled with all schemes. ‘To represent the best interests of both ends of the supply chain we needed to deliver the continuous improvement end consumers are demanding in a user-friendly verification scheme recognisable by industry as a whole and not just by individual processors or brands’, Alistair Calvert comments.

New Zealand As mentioned earlier, crossbred wools have not come under the same pressures for environmental accreditation as merino wools. However, New Zealand wools are gaining a foothold in the activewear market, and therefore with the younger buyer, who is often more in tune to sustainability and environmental issues. And although the New Zealand wool industry does not have a unified certification


integrity schemes

In the last few years we have experienced a significant increase in customer requests for integrity scheme verification’, says Vincenzo Tumini, Marzotto Raw Material Purchase Director Marzotto Italy. ‘The Marzotto purchase system is built to ensure we have a constant supply of quality wools. The direct connection with farmers is a key point that enables us to transform the requests of final customers into best practices on the ground’, he says. ‘Our entire production process – from wool combing to dyeing, spinning, weaving and finishing, is certified GOTS and RWS. We also use Authentico and ZQ’. ‘We are raising awareness among wool associations and single farmers about the importance of increasing wool availability, and providing certifications demanded by brands and final customers. Looking at the whole industry we are waiting for a final assessment of a unique integrity scheme that will support market competition and provide information about fabrics – as well yarn or garments,’ says Vincenzo Tumini.”

scheme, individual companies have come on board. While mulesing is not generally practiced in New Zealand, the New Zealand government passed a law last year to prohibit this practice. Bloch & Behrens, a leading exporter of wool to European markets, launched Wool Integrity NZ™ in 2015 and now partners with many users of New Zealand wool around the world. The brand is based on visibility and transparency around important aspects such as animal welfare, wool quality, environmental sustainability and land management practices. It provides a transparent supply chain from farm to market. Purelana™ Red Band wool by New Zealand Wool Services International (NZWSI), the largest exporter of greasy and scoured New Zealand wool works to ISO 9001 and 14001 standards and has Eco Labelling, GOTS, and REACH certification.

ZQ certified wool is a 3rd party audited certification, established in 2006 by The New Zealand Merino Company to provide a mark of integrity for farmers committed to the ethical production of wool. ZQ grower certification can be gained by merino, mid-micron, and strong wool growers from around the

world who meet the standards in animal welfare and health, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, consistent fibre quality, and traceability to fibre origin. The ZQ programme is underpinned by long term forward contracts, providing brands and growers with certainty in fair and sustainable pricing, quality and availability. ZQ is used by leading brands such as Allbirds, Icebreaker, Smartwool, Hugo Boss, Glerups, Best Wool Carpets and Egetaepper, who have established long term relationships with their grower suppliers. New Zealand Woolscouring Ltd is the only wool scouring company in New Zealand, scouring over 50% of the New Zealand clip. ‘Our wool is the cleanest wool on the planet with the lowest level of fibre residue’, says Nigel Hales CEO. ‘We are accredited with RWS and GOTS. In addition, by New Zealand law, we must be

New Zealand Woolscouring - accredited RWS and GOTS wool2yarnglobal 2020

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able to trace the entire product that we receive back to the farm of origin. Our very comprehensive recording systems allow us to follow that wool though to export deliveries’.

RWS: ‘their approach was progressive, inclusive and thorough. The 24-month process saw engagement with hundreds of stakeholders, which included farmers, mohair traders, processors, spinners, luxury brands from across the world, as well as leading experts in sustainability standards and incredibly valuable input from the South African mohair industry’s own veterinarian’.

South Africa The Sustainable Cape Wool Standard (SCWS) is an industry owned standard and Cape Wools, as the representative industry body, provides market driven supply chain intelligence to offer assurance and trust for users downstream. ‘Wool is a brand and the trust we put in the wool brand starts on the farm. To ensure that trust can be established with the consumer, we need to ensure there is transparency across the entire supply chain, and this starts with a traceable source from the farm’, says Deon Saayman, General Manager Cape Wools. ‘We have successfully rolled out broader sustainability guidelines, based on the initial Cape Wools Code of Best Practice’. The guidelines are measured onfarm and based on the principles contained in various standards, including the RWS. The rapid growth in demand for RWS certified wool has probably made this standard the most recognised in the global textile sector and the Cape Wools standard will be a good measuring tool for producers. The assessment of a producer’s practices is a 46 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

completely paperless process and will enable every farmer to be certified as sustainable, irrespective of the size of their farming operation. ‘The SCWSA is displayed in the sales catalogue’, he continues. ‘This creates the basis for a sustainable, traceable wool supply, integrated into a single platform, incorporating critical bio-security recording principles’. South Africa is the biggest producer of Mohair. The Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) was officially launched in March 2020. Lindsay Humphries, General manager at Mohair South Africa, comments on its work with Textile Exchange and its

‘We understood that sustainability was not a quick-fix, but rather a journey in ultimately changing the underlying culture of the industry over time. 2009 saw the launch of the Sustainable Mohair Production Guidelines. A decade later we identified the need to adapt further. The first step in this new part of our journey was to find the right partners that were not only credible and respected internationally, but also had experience in developing and executing standards within natural fibre. Global fashion brands had to be included, as they represent a critical stakeholder within the value chain’.

Uruguay Excellent environmental conditions have always created favourable growing conditions for wool growers in Uruguay. Ignacio Abella of SUL says: ‘the Uruguayan wool industry is committed to achieving the highest standards


Uruguayan Wooltops

integrity schemes

If you are looking for the best, just contact us!

Achieving the best in environmental preservation. Investing over US$9 million in self-supply water and effluent treatment

Best farm practices - natural grass pastures, clean water supply, weekly controls and veterinary care, no mulesing

Lanas Trinidad

Lanas Trinidad S.A. 2047 Calle Miami, 11500 Montevideo, Uruguay Phone: 598 2601 0024 E-mail: CwUruguay@wtp.com.uy

www.lanastrinidad.com

Delivering 15 - 32 micron combed wool top in rolls and bumbs in different weights all year around


integrity schemes

of animal welfare. Uruguayan wool is 100 % mulesing-free and produced under the best animal husbandry practices according to the “Guidelines for ethical sheep production in Uruguay”. In recent years, some topmakers and greasy wool exporter companies have arranged with woolgrowers to achieve the GOTS protocol (organic wool) and the Responsible Wool Standard protocol (welfare of sheep and land they graze).’ According to Pedro Otegui of Lanas Trinidad, who has always been a champion of sustainable and environmentally friendly wool production, ‘we are convinced that people will behave differently in their day to day lives after COVID-19. In this new scenario we believe that the number of potential buyers willing to consume natural and renewable resource products over and above non-renewable man-made fibres will rise rapidly. Increased curiosity about the world around will see buyers wanting to know more about what they are wearing. This vision embraces concepts like Animal Welfare, Wool Traceability and Environmental Impacts among others’.

Argentina Argentina is one of the five major wool producing and exporting countries in the world. The major sheep-producing area in Argentina is the Patagonia region in the south where there are around 10.5 million sheep, of which 75% are Merino. All major exporters of greasy wool and tops are certified 48 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Our commitment to sustainability comes from a deep love for the environment as well as for the local territory and its physical and natural resources, a bond that is the basis of the Group’s efforts to preserve the culture of wool and its manufacturing techniques’ - Francesco e Fabrizio Botto Poala of REDA says. “We have always listened to the market and we tried to anticipate the interests of the final consumers, as they become increasingly aware and informed. They are very interested in traceability, the origin of the raw materials, the treatments they undergo during processing and the well-being of those who work there. In 2009, Reda made an agreement regarding the acquisition of raw materials from New Zealand using ZQ certified farms. The certification ensures animal welfare, the wool is not mulesed, and there is full traceability of the wool’s path from the farm to the mill. In March 2015, Reda, through its Australian wool acquisition company, New England Wool, created the SustainaWool accreditation framework aimed at Australian growers. The fundamental philosophy is to promote the production of the best wool through a sustainable management of physical and natural resources while respecting animal wellbeing and tracing the entire path of the wool. Today SustainaWool is the accreditation system with the most farms in the world and is currently in the process of including RWS. Today more than ever, we have a duty to evolve and seek full-circle sustainability that looks at all aspects of the company, people, environment, finance, and suppliers. And that’s why we decided to start the process and have now become a B-Corporation. This social and environmental performance certification was obtained through an evaluation and control process that involved all areas of governance, employee relations, customer relations, role within the community and environmental sustainability of the processes and products, without any impact on any preexisting processes.” and most with RWS. Lempriere Argentina and Fuhrmann (G Schneider Group) export greasy wool and tops that are RWS certified.

USA The American Sheep Industry Association is not currently partaking in the Textile Exchange’s RWS program although there are a few companies in the US

that do participate. ASI has been working on developing the American Wool Assurance (AWA) Program, an independent scheme that is appropriate for the American industry. The AWA has completed the initial phase of development and is currently undergoing review before the next development phase and plans are to have it finalized at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021.


integrity schemes


South Africa

CAPE WOOLS SA

broader sustainability guidelines ‘The term “sustainability” can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For the purposes of the textile industry it must be considered within a recognised framework from wool production to retail consumer’, comments Deon Saayman, General Manager Cape Wools South Africa.

A

s an industry body representing the value chain in South Africa, from woolgrowers to exporters and processors, Cape Wools SA (CWSA) has a leading role in the implementation

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of guidelines in certification for the wool industry. ‘South African wool growers should regard sustainability guidelines as an opportunity to further demonstrate the excellent practices already performed by them, as most growers already meet these criteria’, he says. ‘We have successfully rolled out broader sustainability guidelines, based on the initial Cape Wools Code of Best Practice. The

guidelines are measured onfarm and based on the principles contained in various standards, including the RWS. The rapid growth in demand for RWS certified wool has probably made this standard the most recognised in the global textile sector and the Cape Wool’s standard will be a good measuring tool for producers.The assessment of a producer’s practices is a completely paperless process


South Africa

and will enable every farmer to be certified as sustainable, irrespective of the size of their farming operation. ‘The industry standard is known as the ‘Sustainable Cape Wool Standard’ (SCWSA) and is displayed as such in the sales catalogue’, he continues. ‘This creates the basis for a sustainable, traceable wool supply, integrated into a single platform, incorporating critical bio-security recording principles. ‘All the certification standards completed successfully are integrated into one sustainability platform, creating a trustworthy sustainable wool certification source for the international market, thus becoming a “one stop shop”. ‘Wool is a brand and the trust we

put in the wool brand starts on the farm. To ensure that trust can be established with the consumer, we need to ensure there is transparency across the entire supply chain, and this starts with a traceable source from the farm. South African wool producers have a distinct advantage in that mulesing is not practiced in South Africa’, Deon Saayman says. ‘The on-farm assessments are performed under contract by the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), with 3rd party verification being part of the assessment process.This ensures further credibility to the verification process. A shearing application is also in the process of being developed to further enhance the transparency of onfarm production processes.’

‘Although certified and sustainably produced wool may attract a premium within certain markets during certain cycles, it is predominantly an assurance to the market’, he adds. ‘Today fashion brands are under pressure to maintain a defendable position when it comes to sustainability of the raw material supply chains. Consumers want to know that they can trust the brand they are buying and that the product they are wearing was produced in an ethical manner. ‘The SCWS is an industry owned standard and Cape Wools, as representative Industry body, is excited of the role the South African Industry can play in providing market driven supply chain intelligence in order to provide assurance and trust for users downstream.’ wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Uruguay

Q&A

with Victor Chesky

Origen by Engraw The importance is in the origin

Federico Raquet (left) and Frank Raquet

E

ngraw SA manufactures its wooltop at its mill 100k from Montevideo Uruguay. It is surrounded by 100 hectares of pristine pasture and woodland. It produces approximately 4,500 tonnes of tops per year. It was one of a small number of topmakers in South America to embrace environmentally friendly practices into all aspects of its production. I asked Federico Raquet, company

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director at Engraw SA how the company continues to developits environmental accreditation and compliance and all about its new product: Origen by Engraw.

A. We are deeply committed to wool as a renewable fibre. We use renewable energy and greater efficiencies, and we are proud to be carbon neutral.Our two Vestas 1.8 MW wind turbines generate the electricity needed


Uruguay

for our entire production. We have eliminated environmental problems at every stage of our production process.In 2020 we launched our new Origen by Engraw tops. This new product is available to all customers and comes with a very high level of accreditation that starts at the farm.

Q. What differentiates Origen

by Engraw from any other wool produced in Uruguay?

A. Embracing this new project

involved working exclusively with farms that share our vision and values. We focused on ethics and traceability. We have a story to share with consumer about the origins and journey of our wool and this is a story that they are very interested to hear. A story of passion and of caring. We can assure them that the 3000 growers we partner with in Uruguay look after their sheep and shear them with care. Uruguayan sheep live in a near perfect habitat, free from stress and are mulesed-free. The wooltop we sell offers the very best in quality, and in eco-friendly and ethical wool production. We have a personal relationship with each farm and animal welfare is fundamental. This is a key point for these wool growers as well as for Engraw. We have each grower sign a declaration that they comply with our strict environmental and animal

welfare protocols. Our company audits provide customers the fundamental assurance without the big costs often associated with some certification. We developed our own Origen by Engraw to demonstrate that environmental and animal well-being is adhered to at all stages. We offer a high quality product that the final customer can trace to its origin, providing the story behind its creation.This information provides commercial and practical advantages to our customers. When the wool arrives to our facility it is processed using 98% renewable energy. All sub products are processed so there is no waste. We have Carbon Neutral certification, and we deliver a premium, ethical product that is fully traceable.

Q. Today our industry and the

consumer at retail talks about connecting nature to garments. How doesOrigen by Engrawfit into this new narrative?

A. A strong relationship with farms must underpin our ability to manufacture Origen by Engrawtops. We provide a fully traceable route that takes the final consumer back to the land where the sheep were raised. We can achieve exceptional quality by focusing on animal welfare, technological innovation, and a perfect blend of experience and passion. We combine the experience and tradition of a 4th generation family business

with the flexibility and dynamism needed in the 21st century. When you buy wooltop from us with the Origen by Engraw label you can be certain you have purchased “”animal welfare”” and “ethical textile processing”, as well as become part of our wonderful Origen story.

Q. In addition to Origen by Engraw label what other certifications can Engraw SA offer its customers?

A. On request we also provide third party certification with three options including from SUL, RWS, and GOTS. Full traceability, telling the whole story right back to the farm provides the marketing information expected in today’s world. We offer the best Uruguayan wool with a wool top range including premium types, super types, standard types, and other types including grey and brown coloured types. Moreover all Uruguayan wool is free from mulesing. Our tops offer excellence in colour, strength and length enabling spinners to increase the speed and efficiency of their spinning process. The diameter range of our wool top production goes from 17.5 micron to 34.0 micron. We process wool from corriedale, merino and polworth, the predominant breeds in Uruguay. Federico Raquet can be contacted at engraw@engraw.com.uy wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Uruguay

Environmental Tick of Approval D’Jalma Puppo and Margarita Cortabarria

A

n increasing number of textile manufacturers around the world are embracing the need for

environmental certification. But as wool growers in main wool growing countries have been slow to acknowledge and take up this certification at the farm level, obtaining RWS certified greasy wool can be a challenge. Uruguayan wool growers have always been known to grow their sheep in the most natural and clean environment. Estancias Puppo SA, has recently been awarded RWS and GOTS certification for the wools they trade. Estancias Puppo exports over 2 million kg clean every year. The biggest customers are topmakers in China that take over 53%, and European mills take the balance.

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Uruguay

The company offers wool from 17-27 microns, very low VM (under 0.3%), with an average dry yield of 77%, and no colored dark fiber or contaminants. ‘The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on all business and this is particularly the case for textile manufacturers. So, if you are a manufacturer looking for a supplier of RWS certified wool you will now have an additional point of supply here in Uruguay’, says D’jalma Puppo of Estancias Puppo SA. ‘We have been supplying leading topmakers in China and Europe for many years and are very familiar with their requirements. And RWS and GOTS certification is now a further benefit for our

customers’, says D’jalma Puppo. ‘This environmental wool accreditation is a great achievement for us’, says D’jalmo Puppo. ‘Spinners and weavers around the world are increasingly demanding this type of certification and certainty, and can pass it along the supply chain all the way to retail’. ‘Our customers appreciate that the wool they receive comes directly from farms located in the best growing wool regions of Uruguay. We control the quality of the wool to ensure that no contamination or dark fibre is present in packed orders. The result is an excellent wool selection’.

BUYING DIRECT FROM THE WOOL GROWER HAS IT’S ADVANTAGES

IC T E XTI L

LO

STANDAR

GOTS

D

AN

E

BAL ORG

BETTER QUALITY BETTER SERVICE BETTER PRICE

ESTANCIAS PUPPO S.A.

G

Ramon Masini 3298/202, CP 11300 Montevideo – Uruguay Tel/Fax: (598-2) 707 5614 Email: exportaciones@estanciaspuppo.com

www.estanciaspuppo.com wool2yarnglobal 2020

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mohair yarn

Gina Moolman

MOHAIR YARNS

A LUXURIOUS AND VERSATILE PRODUCT

M

ohair is a luxury natural fibre, exceptionally versatile, and can be blended with a variety of other natural or synthetic fibres. ‘Mohair is still as popular as ever and our collection of rich loop and brushed mohair yarns of different thicknesses, textures and blends is still highly sought after’, says Gina Moolman, Head of SAMIL Yarn Sales Division. ‘These are all offered to clients in dyed or undyed form supplied on cones, hank/skein or in ball form’.

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Despite the challenges being faced by the Mohair Industry in terms of the ongoing drought in the Karoo regions of South Africa where the Angora goats are farmed, as well as the world wide COVID-19 pandemic, there is still an unceasing demand for highclass mohair yarns. ‘We operate to high industry standards and use only the best mohair top processed at our own combing facility in the Eastern Cape. We may be far from our

main customer base in Europe and China but we take pride not only in our product quality but just as importantly, our dedication to providing the best service in terms of meeting or exceeding customer expectations in terms of delivery’, she says. SAMIL spinning produces yarns in a variety of blends. ‘We are not limited to being only spinners of mohair. We consider ourselves as a spinner of the Noble Fibres such as mohair, wool, silk, alpaca,


mohair yarn

bamboo though we can also produce yarn blends of these natural fibres mixed with synthetic fibres such as nylon and acrylic should the customer request it’. SAMIL spinning is geared mainly for the export market in terms of fancy hand knitting yarns, although it also produces a significant range of worsted yarns for the South African domestic single jersey and sock knitting industries. ‘We invested in a new dyehouse and colour matching lab in 2016, in order to enable us to satisfy customers wanting custom colours, beyond colours already available in our established range. This is one of the most significant influences towards our growing our Hand Knitting business by more than 40% in the last 2 years’, Gina Moolman comments. ‘We have just completed our Autumn/Winter 2021/22 collection which we usually present in Florence at the Moda Baglioni In July. Unfortunately, we have not been able to show our collection in Florence in 2020, due to the COVID pandemic, but none the less we have managed to put a smaller collection together to send out to our customers’. Although these collections are particularly aimed at the hand knitting market, there are yarns that are suitable for machine knitting, as well as weaving. The company has also just added another 3 stock service yarns, to its ever-popular Kid Mohair/silk stock service yarn. The reason for this is to cater for the market that is seeking high quality yarns but

on a smaller scale, at a premium price. ‘The collection not only shows our versatility in making yarns, but initiates ideas to the customer in making a yarn to their own specific requirements’. ‘SAMIL spinning is extremely fortunate in that we are able to source mohair directly from our own Combing &Trading Division. This enables us to access mohair directly from specific farms, (including our own), which, in the very near future will be certified to the new RMS (Responsible Mohair Standard)’.

AFRICAN EXPRESSIONS: In 2011 SAMIL created their own inhouse, handknitting brand, African Expressions, which is available in 14 yarn qualities. This range was initially developed mainly for the South African market, to provide a high-end knitting yarn, with the intention of educating the local market in South Africa about this noble fibre. African Expressions has since expanded into the international market and is slowly but surely making a significant name for itself. ‘The African Expressions Brand will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary next year and we intend to do so in style. Stay tuned for some exciting ideas!’. ‘It is our aim at SAMIL Spinning to provide customers with the most luxurious knitting yarns. This is achieved by using our homegrown mohair, blended with other natural fibres as well as making blends with synthetic fibres – all of which then get the extra

special beauty treatment in our specialised dyehouse to further enhance their inherent natural beauty. ‘It is, however, just as important to us to provide excellent services in terms of delivery in order to keep our customers satisfied for many more years to come. We invest a lot of time in market research, on current and developing trends, inspiring us to create trend related ranges. However, there are always the classic yarns that we will continue to manufacture, due to the customer trusting and knowing the product they have been working with for many years and thus being a staple yarn in their collection. Our ultimate goal is that one day in the foreseeable future consumers the world over have a SAMIL Spinning Mohair yarn in their range.” Gina Moolman can be contacted at - Gina@samil.co.za wool2yarnglobal 2020

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wool in bedding

The MAGIC is in the crimping

J

oma Wool has launched its new website and explains its emphasis on the independent traceability of its wool. Developed by New Zealand wool exporters John Marshall and Company, ‘Joma Wool is simply unmatched in the world as a premium bedding ingredient’, says Peter Crone company director. Joma Wool is a one-of-a-kind wool used by leading mattress and bedding makers around the world. Grown in New Zealand, Joma Wool has the signature bounce, body and soft support characteristics of wool. However unlike other wools Joma Wool is further enhanced through a special crimping process. This adds 40-50% more bulk to the wool, which greatly increases its wear life, volume and comfort, without adding any extra weight. ‘Pure crimped NZ wool provides for the healthiest, most comfortable sleep’, says Peter Crone. The brand guardians for Joma Wool recognise the importance of protecting and promoting the brand to both manufacturers and consumers worldwide. 58 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

manufacturers and customers of its genuine New Zealand origins, the company has partnered with Oritain, an independent traceability auditor. Peter Crone

The new website at www.joma.nz tells the story of Joma Wool and ensures the brand has a compelling presence for customers at all levels. ‘Clean, persuasive and premium, our website supports manufacturers by giving Joma Wool the power to touch hearts and minds of everyday customers in their quest for healthy, environmentally friendly and high­performance products’ says Peter Crone. ‘The refreshed website takes the brand to a new level. We can’t just create a product and expect people to get it. We need to tell the whole story, so people can understand what makes our wool special, and why they should seek it out.’ Another area where Joma Wool excels is in its origin verification process. All Joma Wool is grown and processed in New Zealand following strict quality protocols and ethical standards. To assure

Oritain uses a scientific method to prove the origin of any given product. For Joma Wool, they have scientifically analysed known samples of the wool to reveal its unique chemical “fingerprint”. This fingerprint is held on file and can be matched to any product claiming to contain Joma Wool, to confirm its true integrity at any point in the supply chain. It has been a significant investment but Peter Crone believes it is worth every penny. ‘In today’s market of fast-paced global trade, it’s essential that we can reassure our customers that our wool is 100% guaranteed to be from New Zealand. We are very focused on product integrity, from working with Kiwi farmers who promote healthy ecosystems and maintain excellent animal welfare, to partnering with manufacturers who value bringing premium natural products to their customers.’ Peter Crone can be contacted at info@joma.co.nz


JOMA WOOL® IS FREE FROM HARMFUL SUBSTANCES. OUR WOOL PROUDLY MEETS OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100.

So many reasons to love a mattress made with Joma Wool® PROVEN AUTHENTICITY Joma Wool® is independently verified by Oritain to be of genuine New Zealand origin.

CLEAN & NON-ALLERGENIC Joma Wool® is clean and non-allergenic. It is also available treated with UltraFresh, an antimicrobial, antifungal treatment for added protection.

FLAME RESISTANT Joma Wool® is safe. Its high keratin and moisture content resists burning without the need for harmful chemicals.

THERMAL REGULATION Joma Wool® traps air to create a stable microclimate, keeping sleepers warm in winter and cool in summer.

SUPERIOR COMFORT Joma Wool’s® special crimping process makes it feel extra soft and springy, and resists compression over time.

MOISTURE CONTROL Wool’s unique natural properties repel liquid from the surface but absorb vapor, so sleepers never feel clammy or damp.

Visit our website today to find out more www.joma.nz


Bulgaria

RWS tops a best seller accredited with Interwoollabs. It has a production capacity of 6 million kg tops per year. ‘80% of our production is for Lempriere Group and 20% is on commission basis’, comments Eric Durand. ‘New, recently installed nsc combs that are more efficient have been a boon to our operation. Proximity to port and excellent road connections to all European countries and close to fashion brands enable us to provide quick deliver time within Europe.

Eric Durand with RWS certified tops

T

he Covid-19 pandemic has seen a major disruption to the wool industry from wool grower to retailer. It is very difficult to predict how the industry will re-emerge from this crisis, but the issues of quality, traceability and certification will still be important factors for buyers of wool products’, says Eric Durand CEO Lempriere Wool. ‘Prior to covid we saw a demand for Responsible Wool Standards (RWS) certified wool tops increase steadily. 20% of our production is now allocated to RWS certified tops’, he remarks. ‘If the level of demand recovers to pre-Covid-19 levels quickly we can see a shortage of specific wool types’. 60 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Lempriere Wool sources RWS wool from certified Australian growers. ‘There are still a limited number of certified farms in Australia and so far we can meet the demand’, he says, ‘but as this demand increases there could be a shortage of RWS certified wool. We hope that as growers receive a premium for this certification more growers of merino wool, not just in Australia, but around the wool, will become RWS Accredited’. As an independent and widely accepted certification RWS is preferred by many and European spinners in particular. Lempriere Bulgaria can also provide GOTS and EU Flower and is fully

Lempriere opened its topmaking plant in Sliven, Bulgaria in 2016 and today it is a well established supplier wool tops to major brands worldwide. Operations are mainly focused on processing 17.5 - 25 micron wool from around the world but mostly from Australia, South Africa and South America. ‘Of course we can be in completely new territory post Covid-19. The market has been happy to accept USD12 for 19.5 micron and USD11.5 for 21 micron and if wool prices stay within this range we feel that the demand for wool in this micron range will continue to be strong and fashion brands will continue to use it in their luxury apparel’, Eric Durand comments. ‘Wool cannot be easily replaced by synthetics or other fibres and high end consumers appreciate this fact’. Eric Durand can be contacted at Eric.Durand@lempriere.bg


OFDA: Diameter and Length Measurement Instruments NEW: OFDA2000 IS NOW SMALLER AND MORE PORTABLE 1/3 the volume of the original portable and benchtop models, same great performance

OFDA4000 for diameter and length measurement of wool tops • The major wool fibre characteristics in one measurement, with greatly reduced operator involvement • Length and short fibre content by length is measured automatically, as well as hauteur (cross section biased length) • Diameter vs. length is provided • International recognition by test method IWTO-62 • Cost, size and weight of the system is lower than the 3 instruments (Fibroliner, Almeter, OFDA100 or Laserscan) that it replaces • Software is included to allow viewing, blending and exporting results to spreadsheet: no need to buy extra software to combine results from different instruments • Ability to measure fibre diameter from samples in web form using snippet mode, compatible with OFDA100/ OFDA2000

OFDA2000 Benchtop and Portable for measurement of diameter of greasy and clean wool • More than twice as fast as the OFDA2000 analog version • Five times faster than OFDA100 (fibres per minute) • Allows replacement of the PC without the need for recalibration • Remote operation via the internet for servicing • Runs on a standard Windows PC to allow easy networking, printing and export of data to spreadsheet formats • International recognition by IWTO Test Method 47

BSC Electronics

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wool testing

Mark Brims of BSC Electronics

OFDA celebrates 30th anniversary

2021

represents 30 years since the first OFDA100 image analyser for measuring wool diameter was sold. Since that time the OFDA has given rise to the world’s premier family of fibre diameter measurement instruments, and is the most widespread way of measuring the diameter of wool cashmere and alpaca. The new OFDA2000 is now smaller and more portable, about 1/3 the volume of the original portable and benchtop models, and still providing the same good performance. It is hard to remember the time when 200 fibres per hour 62 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

were measured manually on a projection microscope. Now OFDA automatically measures up to 10,000 fibres in 30 seconds. Some scientists even thought it would be impossible to make an accurate image analysis system since the required 0.1um accuracy is much smaller than the wavelength of light used to capture the image (0.6um). The OFDA2000 was released in 2000 and is the only instrument that measures the fibre diameter along the staple. Diameter can vary up to 50% along a staple and in extreme cases an animal can be producing 20um fibre at one time of the year, and 30um at another time, usually due to the diet. It comes in a portable version which allows use in a shearing shed

in the outback, or in a vehicle in Mongolia or on farm in the Peruvian Andes. The OFDA4000 was released in 2004 and measures the main wool top parameters of diameter, length and hauteur in a single measurement. It is the only instrument that measures length and short fibre content directly, the older measurement of hauteur is only accurate if there is no diameter variation along the fibre or between long and short fibres, which is very rare in animal fibres. OFDA technology was incorporated into OFDA MFX, the only image-based instrument to measure hundreds of monofilaments online as they are extruded. It is mounted directly


wool testing

OFDA 2000 mini portable

with new 2000 mini portable model onto the extrusion line and can provide over 1 million diameter measurements per second. CSIRO work combined with OFDA technology produced the Cottonscope, which measures cotton fibre snippets in a water bowl. It is the only instrument to automatically measure cotton fibre maturity (wall thickness) and fineness directly, and has been used to improve cotton varieties worldwide. Research was done into detection of airborne asbestos fibres, and whilst this is not yet successful it led to the surprising discovery of quantum magnification and this, combined with the Cottonscope technology, led to the Diamscope instrument. This

is the only optical image analysis instrument capable of measuring fibres with diameters as low as 0.2um. It is a revolution for manufacturing quality control and used by ultrafine ceramic and fibreglass manufacturers including companies such as Unifrax and SpaceX. The OFDA technology was also incorporated in the SIFAN (SIngle Fibre Analyser) instrument which has recently been upgraded to provide the highest resolution single fibre diameter and cross section instrument and the first instrument to measure birefringence (caused by the alignment of interior cells) automatically along a whole fibre. SIFAN has recently discovered faint but definite birefringence

patterns in wool fibre and human hair, the significance of which is not yet known but will open a new field of research. ‘With well over 500 instruments sold, the OFDA story has been a journey of innovation and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us or bought our instruments. There are far too many too thank individually, but Marco Schneider from the Giovanni Schneider group deserves special thanks for believing in us and buying the first OFDA100 at ITMA in Hanover in 1991. None of us would realise how successful it would become’, remarks Mark Brims of BSC Electronics, distributor of OFDA testing technology. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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speciality fibre

Natural Fibres - where we are today

N

o one could have predicted the events that would turn the world upside down in 2020. But the underling position of speciality fibres remains relatively intact according to Luca Alvigini of Alpha Tops in Biella. ‘Generally Luca Alvigini

the outlook for speciality fibres remains positive,’ he says. Natural fibres represent only 2% of total textile fibre consumption so demand will be sustained. ‘All textile fibres have experienced price reductions in 2020 and on the basis of these current price levels we feel there should be a market for speciality fibres. Of course, niche products are always subject to cyclical fluctuations’, he comments. ‘After the recent lockdown with subsequent 3 months of total consumer absence, there should surely be a basis for sound demand, maybe not in the short term, but probably in 2021/2022’. Luca Alvigini believes ecologic and traceable issues will play a major role in decision making at retail beyond COVID-19.

64 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Effective marketing strategies and good information can make a difference. A return to natural and environmentally sustainable products, and with a “story”, will provide a leading edge, when customers make their purchasing choices. An estimate of current production figures for speciality fibres worldwide is Cashmere (basis dehaired) China 4 mil kgs; Mongolia 4 mil kgs; Alpaca (basis tops) 5 mil kgs; Mohair (basis tops) 3 mil kgs; Vicuna (basis dehaired) 10 tonnes. ‘Alpaca prices have reached a competitive level after peaking in 2018/2019 and compared to other fibers the clip quantity has been very consistent. ‘Mohair is very stable’, he says. ‘In drought conditions in South Africa


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speciality fibre

last year the clip has reduced by 10-15% and has resulted in finer microns. The price difference between coarse and fine qualities has widened resulting in more “correct” or shall we say more realistic prices. So demand balances the offering’. He further comments that ‘Vicuna is stable but future demand will depend on the ability of the luxury segment to respond post COVID-19. It is expected that as this fibre is used by top brands it will continue to find customer demand. Cashmere probably still has to find a balance between supply and demand. The problem remains excessive price fluctuations and speculation. ‘So far we are finding that feedback from our customers is generally positive. There are also signs that attacks by animal rights and activist groups such as PETA,

first against Mohair, then against Alpaca, are being addressed.’ Luca Alvigini is the current President of the International Association of Alpaca (IAA), a not-for-profit organisation created 36 years ago, with partners in all 5 continents. ‘Our aim for Alpaca is to generate shared values in sustainability and industry standards. Our farms and operation centres have their doors open to clients, visitors, authorities and certifiers. That transparency is what ensures the welfare of the animal and the reliability of the products’. 85% of the world population of alpaca is concentrated in the Peruvian Andes, in an ecosystem of extreme climates and natural pastures above 4,000 meters of altitude, where more than 90,000 rural families with low incomes subsist, challenging these natural conditions and giving value to its precious fibre.

The government of Peru is in the process of commissioning new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on alpaca to ensure that it is fairly ranked. It argues that until these are ready, the dubious score for alpaca being used on the Higg MSI should be removed immediately, so that factual information is available in technical terms about alpaca environmental credentials across its entire supply chain from farm to retail. The South African mohair industry is working closely with Textile Exchange (RWS) to introduce world recognised standards for mohair production. The Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) was officially launched in March 2020. The shearing of fur animals is an almost identical procedure in all species: the animal is taken from the pen, it is held, its hair is cut, and it is returned to the pen. The shearing of the alpaca is practically the same as that of the sheep, with the only difference that, being a larger animal, with longer legs and a little rougher and less docile than the sheep, it is held with a few ropes. However, the process is short and avoids hurting the animal. ‘We reject any form of animal abuse and we trust that the work we have been carrying out with the participation of all members of the production chain and government entities, will ensure a universal and responsible treatment of alpacas that guarantees their sustainability’, Luca Alvigini comments.

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wool2yarnglobal 2020

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mohair

No Shortcuts to Mohair Tops Accreditation

Mike Brosnahan

S

pinners and weavers that use mohair tops are increasingly putting fibre traceability and fibre credentials as central requirements. So, it is not surprising that Mohair South Africa has moved swiftly to join with Textile Exchange to certify the environmental credentials of mohair fibre similar to the RWS standard for wool. In March 2020 Textile Exchange released its Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) 1.0 that addresses the welfare of angora goats and the land they graze on. The Standard outlines the best practices for mohair growers to ensure that mohair comes from farms with a progressive approach to managing land, and goats that have been treated responsibly. 68 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

‘We are committed to providing our worldwide customers with mohair tops that has the best environmental credentials’, says Mike Brosnahan, CEO of SAMIL Natural Fibres in Port Elizabeth. ‘Our customers will welcome an independent RMS certification’. SAMIL Combing has the capacity to process more than half of the Cape mohair clip as well as mohair from origins such as Lesotho, Texas and Australia. ‘We are only limited by the availability of the fibre, as mohair production has decreased dramatically in the past three decades,’ says Evert Vermeulen Head of SAMIL Tops Trading Division. ‘Mohair’s principle characteristics are similar to those of wool, however, it does possess other

unique properties not found in any other type of fibre. Its lustre is the natural sheen in the fibre caused by the reflection of light, helping dyed mohair resist fading, and making it hard-wearing; its structure is durable, it can be twisted or bent without damage, making it the most durable of all animal fibres. It is almost non-flammable, and moisture retention qualities allow for moisture absorbency and breathability’, comments Evert Vermeulen. Apart from the standard commercial range of tops available, SAMIL also makes every effort to supply speciality lots when requested by individual clients, such as smaller lots guaranteed from source to spinner. SAMIL sources the bulk of its Cape and Lesotho mohair through auctions held at the Wool Exchange in Port Elizabeth. It also sources mohair from its own farms and emerging farmers that require support. ‘SAMIL has invested heavily in the latest processing technology. Our mill is dedicated to processing only mohair and is situated in the Eastern Cape, the heart of global mohair production. This enables us to offer the widest range of quality mohair tops for any application’, says Evert Vermeulen.


79 Burman Road, Deal Party, Port Elizabeth, South Africa | P.O. Box 3446, North End, Port Elizabeth, 6056, South Africa TEL +27(0)41 486 2433 | FAX +27(0)41 486 2655

yarns@samil.co.za | sales@samil.co.za | www.samil.co.za


THE SUSTAINABLE JOURNEY OF MOHAIR

by: Lindsay Humphreys, Marco Coetzee, and Riaan Marais - Mohair SA

Image by David Dettmann


T

he mohair industry has seen a decade of development in two short years – or two very long years, depending on how you choose to see it. The evolution of consumers has put pressure on the manufacturing sector as a whole, especially on the luxury fashion industry. They are becoming increasingly sensitive to the effect their purchases may have. They want to know the people behind the product, and they want assurance that they are not playing any part in harming the environment and, in the case of natural fibres, the animals involved. This ever-shifting focus toward the wellbeing of life and land has made sustainability and ethical practices the number one non-negotiable in the modern world, and the mohair industry could not allow itself to fall behind. We understood that sustainability was not a quick-fix, but rather a journey in ultimately changing the underlying culture of the industry over time. 2009 saw the launch of the Sustainable Mohair Production Guidelines, a solid foundation that gave us a competitive edge heading into the future. A decade later, and with the groundwork in place, we identified the need to adapt further if we were going to drive the required changes within the industry. The first step in this new part of our journey was to find the right partners that were not only credible

and respected internationally, but also had experience in developing and executing standards within natural fibre. Global fashion brands had to be included, as they represent a critical stakeholder within the value chain. Enter Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that works closely with brands to drive industry transformation in preferred fibres, in terms of integrity and standards, and responsible supply networks. Working with them immediately took our progress to a whole new level. Their approach was progressive, inclusive and thorough. The 24-month process saw engagement with hundreds of stakeholders, which included farmers, mohair traders, processors, spinners, luxury brands from across the world, as well as leading experts in sustainability standards, and incredibly valuable input from the South African mohair industry’s own veterinarian, Dr Mackie Hobson. And after two very short (or long) years, the Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS) was officially launched in March 2020. Hanna Denes, senior manager of standards at Textile Exchange, said the core focus of the RMS is healthy and well cared for Angora goats. “The Responsible Mohair Standard verifies and identifies mohair produced in farming systems that respect animal welfare and the environment. Strong assurance systems are applied and regular


mohair

“We found that while the journey was a professional one, we developed close relationships with their team and deep respect for their process and approach.” Every link in the value chain was part of the RMS development, they supported the process, and all those links now have to play their part to ensure the success of the new standard. Farmers need to adapt their practices in line with the animal welfare, environmental management and social welfare requirements set out in the RMS, while every other entity between the farm and endproduct needs to adhere to their own strict protocols to ensure full sustainability and traceability of the fibre. To put it plainly, launching the new standard did not flip a switch and instantaneously activate a booming supply of RMS fibre. This is merely the start of yet another journey – one that will need the continued support from all stakeholders.

Image by Riaan Marais

audits are performed on farms, before the material is tracked to the final product. The RMS is designed to ensure that animal welfare outcomes are delivered, and that the goats are treated humanely.” Mohair South African general manager Lindsay Humphreys said that while the journey was 72 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

not always easy, having the right people to support this cause made it easier, and the end result was well worth the effort. “We worked closely with the Textile Exchange team and, over this period, our organisation built enormous respect for Textile Exchange and what they stand for.

“Every industry, company and individual has a responsibility to work towards a more responsible and sustainable future, taking the environment, its animals and its people into considerations. Sustainability is not a decision, it’s a journey, taken one step at a time,” said Humphreys.

Innovations along the way With the mohair industry shifting almost its entire focus toward sustainability, we were given some unique opportunities to


mohair

showcase not only our fibre, but our landscape, practices and the people behind the scenes. Dr Mackie Hobson, the industry’s veterinarian, played an invaluable role not only during the development of our new standards, but in assisting our mohair producers in understanding what the new standards mean. Through the South African Mohair Growers’ Association (SAMGA) Dr Hobson was involved in the production of a series of Best Practice videos. These videos explain crucial parts of the dayto-day activities on an Angora goat farm, and is intended as educational material for farmers and farmworkers, to ensure that they adhere to the requirements of the RMS. Subjects like the proper handling of goats, how to administer certain treatments, and the shearing of goats are just some of the important aspects touched on in these videos. These videos were uploaded onto YouTube, and can be viewed by farmers and any interested parties.

And on the local front these tools and have been a great addition to the training and development programs the industry already had in place.

Mohair market The 2019 mohair summer season started at the same level as the last sale of the 2018 winter

season. Throughout the summer season the demand for finer mohair was high, driven by the kid-mohair sector, which closed 15% higher than the start of the season. The summer season had its challenges with foot in mouth decease prohibiting the export of mohair to China for a period of time, which specifically affected the strong adult mohair sector, Image by Riaan Marais

With the help of virtual reality (VR) technology we were also able to take our farms abroad. During the 2019 Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference, held in Vancouver, the team from Mohair South Africa took VR headsets along, allowing conference goers to ‘experience’ goats being dipped and shorn as if they were on the farm themselves. This proved to be very popular and more applications for VR are being explored for the future. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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mohair

Image by Amy Scheepers

closing down 7% from the start of the season. Overall, the average market indicator for the 2019 summer season was R285.74 per kg and the market closed 2.4% higher than at the start of the summer season. A highest summer price of R801.10 per kg was paid for a bale of 23-micron super style kid mohair through the official auction system. When the market opened for the 2019 Mohair winter season, the world economy was in a dip, which impacted the mohair market directly as can be seen in figure 1. The continuous trade war between the USA and China put a lot of pressure on the adult mohair sector as the Chinese buyers’ markets were low in confidence, which reduced their 74 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

appetite to purchase mohair. The fine adult sector closed down 16% and the strong adult sector closed down 11% from the first sale of the winter season. The demand and price for the finer mohair remained stable with the kid sector closing 1% higher than the start of the winter season. The average market indicator for the winter season came in at R224.74 per kg, which is 9% lower when compared to the first sale of the winter season. A highest winter price of R551.10 per kg was paid for a bale of 25-micron good style kid mohair through the official auction system. A comparison of the clip composition between 2018 and 2019 can be seen in figure 2, which indicates some minor

changes. Strong adult mohair decreased by 5%, fine adult mohair increased by 3% and kid mohair also increased by 1%. The buyers, share of the market, indicated in figure 3, remained fairly constant from 2018, with top makers taking up 75% of the market and the greasy buyers 25% of the market share. Italy remains the leader in mohair imports from South Africa, importing 38% of the total South African mohair exported. China’s figures reduced dramatically due to reasons mentioned above, but still remains the second biggest importer of South African Mohair (18%). Taiwan’s figures increased by 24% and they are now the third biggest importer of South African Mohair (14%).Overall, the export


mohair

of mohair has reduced from 2018 to 2019 as can be seen in Figure 4.

Figure 2:

The South African mohair clip is estimated at around 2.08-million kilograms for the 2019 year, which is 7.14% down from 2018. This is mainly due to the extreme drought conditions experienced over most of the production area. The majority of the mohair production areas have received much needed rain early in 2020; however, it does take time to recover from such a lengthy drought. The main focus for the South African mohair industry is sustainability and producing fibres within an ethical environment. The substantial journey of developing an internationally recognised mohair standard, the Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS), started in 2018. Mohair South Africa worked hand in hand with Textile Exchange, a global non-profit organisation, throughout 2019, and finally launching the standard in March 2020. The goals of the Responsible Mohair Standard are to provide the industry with tools to recognise the best practices of farmers and to ensure that mohair comes from farms with a progressive approach to land management, animal welfare and social responsibility. Beyond the farm, it also aims to provide a system of traceability throughout the entire value chain – from farm to finished product. This is what the International and National brands require to purchase mohair.

Figure 3:

Mohair South Africa will continue to treat sustainability as a journey, which we will continue to grow and improve on. Figure 1:

Figure 4:

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wool testing

SGS new online testing service language, provides for an easy, simple, fast, and inexpensive service.’

Alpaca/Fleece/FlockTesting

I

SGS also offers a special online testing service to breeders. Tests available include Micron (average diameter), Staple length and strength, length-diameter profile, and yield, with simple online credit cardpayment.

Jeremy Wear

n 2020 SGS introduced an online testing servicethat is accurate and easy to use. ‘This service is now fully operational and provides an easy to use step-by-step process for both buyers and sellers of wool and other fibres’, says Jeremy Wear, manager SGS Wool Testing Wellington New Zealand. Wool testing provides valuable information to the processor, helps them process the fibre efficiently, and identifies which products to which this fibre is best suited.’ Greasy and scoured wool sellers can no longer afford to sell from the sheep’s back without testing certification. Wool offered for sale with wool testing certification will always attract a premium price’. This online service starts as soon as the request for sampling is made by the customer.An electronic certificate will be generated on completion of the test and sent to the client by direct email. ‘We have special arrangements with major courier 76 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

groups, and sending samples for testing is quick and hassle free’, comments Jeremy Wear. SGS provides independent wool testing and it is carried out to IWTO test method requirements. Its testing services include Yield (woolbase and vegetable matter), Mean Fiber Diameter, and Color, as well as Staple Length and Strength, bulk, fibre curvature, fibre diameter distribution, diameter-length profile, and medullation. ‘Many wool growers, wool cooperatives, and textile companies around the world, including in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and the Nordic Region, use SGS Wool Testing Services. SGS is well known, well recognised, and trusted’, comments Jeremy Wear. ‘We have the ability to reach wool companies in just about every country around the world from any one of our 2600 offices and laboratories. Communicating with a local SGS office, in your own

‘Fleece Testing is sampling from individual animals for breeding selection purposes. This is very popular with animal owners in helping improve their fibre quality. With Fleece Testing we test greasy samples using a variety of lowcost methods that are specifically designed for animal selection purposes’, outlines Jeremy Wear. ‘We have been testing wool for over 50 years and we are the only testing house that provides testing from greasy wool all the way to finished garments. We can provide inspection, verification, testing and certification services – anywhere in the world’. The SGS range of services and technical information can be viewed online at www. wooltesting.sgs.com Information about online services is available at https://onlineservices.sgs. com/nz and SGS offices around the world are listed on https:// www.sgs.com/en/office-directory Jeremy Wear and his customer services can be contacted at woolonline@sgs.com


AUTHENTICITY

WOOL

MAKING THE

QUALITY

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© SGS Group Management SA – 2019 – All rights reserved – SGS is a registered trademark of SGS Group Management SA

DELIVERING HIGH QUALITY

Recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 97,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world. Our solutions include:

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• Sampling, supervision and audit • Fibers testing from animals, pre-sale and post sale greasy shipment • Comprehensive yarn fabric and product testing via the SGS network

NOW ONLINE Online access to testing services via the SGS Online Shop or onlineservices.sgs.com/nz 24/7 SGS Wool Testing Services is an IWTO licensed laboratory.

CONTACT US SGS Wool Testing Services 46-48 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie P.O. Box 15062 Miramar, Wellington, New Zealand + 64 4 387 8565 SGS Online Shop www.wooltesting.sgs.com nz.wool@sgs.com SGS Agriculture & Food


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wool testing

Impartial Wool Testing Services and Guaranteed Certification

A

test result is only as good as the test method used to produce it, which is the reason why we are very proud of the accreditation we hold to the international standard ISO 17025:2017, and our status as an IWTO accredited laboratory. “Wool Testing Authority Europe only use IWTO approved test methods and have been issuing certificates to the wool industry in Europe, including the UK, since 2004. Our accreditation is assessed annually by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) from which we receive outstanding reports,” commented their Managing Director, Courtney Pye. She goes on to say: “2019/2020 has been a challenging year, with many political and economic factors having their effects on the wool industry. It is difficult to know what the future may bring as we head further into 2020, but one thing we can guarantee is that Wool Testing Authority Europe Ltd will be here offering our expert services to our clients and anyone else who requires our services”. Wool Testing Authority Europe are also members of the ILRT group which consists of other test houses located in the Southern Hemisphere, namely Australian Wool Testing Authority, New Zealand Wool Testing Authority

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tested parameters provide an accurate reflection of processing performance”, Courtney comments.

Courtney Pye

and Wool Testing Bureau South Africa. Participation in these trials ensures that test results issued worldwide are harmonised and gives our clientele further assurance of WTAE being Europe’s leading wool test house. WTAE can offer an impartial sampling service throughout Europe. By being in control of the entire testing process, from sampling through to the issue of a test certificate, WTAE offer a completely impartial service, which is fundamental to the core of the business. Wool buyers and sellers can be fully confident that this impartial service, coupled with WTAE’s technical ability and excellent round trial performance, gives certified results that can be relied upon time and time again. “Predicting buying trends can be difficult, so making the correct commercial choices is very important. Testing with WTAE, and obtaining IWTO Certified wool shipments, buyers can be confident that the

We are also able to offer a test report service. Test reports can be used if impartial sampling is not possible and the client has to take and submit their own samples to the laboratory. All samples are still tested in accordance with the testing regulations, and reports generated offer a lot of valuable information that would otherwise have been unknown by the merchant. Our test report service is very popular with many of our European clients and is used frequently. WTAE offers an Online Certificate Verification service, which provides confirmation to wool users that the details on the IWTO Test Certificate or Test Report in their possession are correct. By entering the Test Number, Verification Code and email address in the appropriate boxes the wool user will receive a PDF copy of the certificate in return. This will enable a rapid comparison and verification that the documents they hold, and the results in the WTAE database, are the same. Visit our website for more information: www.wtaeurope. com. Alternatively, email us at info@wtaeurope.com.


Impartial Wool Testing Services. Guaranteed Certification for a Range of IWTO Test Methods.

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Approved samplers located throughout Europe IWTO licenced laboratory UKAS accreditation Test report services available Member of ILRT group of laboratories

WTAE Ltd, Cibyn Industrial Estate, Caernarfon, UK, LL55 2BD Tel: +44 (0)1286 678 097 • Email: info@wtaeurope.com

2680


nordic region

nordic region

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nordic region

by: Tone Tobiasson

Wool, Yarn & Beyond

T

he Nordic region, often wrongly named “Scandinavia”, lies so far north that most outsiders will assume we all have a strong affinity for wool as we huddle around the fireplace picture-perfecting “hygge” (“cozying up”). However, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Sweden display everything from itchy ignorance to whole-hearted woolliness. Scandinavia encompasses only Norway, Sweden and Denmark. The Nordic region includes Finland in the east and Iceland in the west, as well as the Faeroe Islands (technically part of Denmark) and Aaland (which is in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden). Only Norway and Iceland have well-functioning wool valuechains. Norway has two main actors – the farmers’ cooperative Nortura and the private company Fatland – and they divide the wool clip and lamb chops between them to the tune of 80/20. Iceland has a private company handling most of its wool clip. Sheep farmers in Sweden, Norway, and Finland have been more or less left to fend for themselves. Shepherding is not common in the Nordic region as flocks are too small; 60 is the average flock-size in Norway, 30 the average in Sweden, 75 in Finland.

Image by Devold

Iceland has its own breed of “leader sheep” that do the shepherding, and protect the flock from predators and bad weather. Animal welfare is high on the agenda internationally, and the sheep frolicking in the mountain, forest and fjord regions on their own, are seen as a positive in the Nordic region, even though wolverines, wolves, foxes, bears, eagles and lynx do a fair amount of damage each summer. Animal welfare rules, at least in Norway, dictate that the flock is seen to once a week during the summer season. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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nordic region

Norwegian sheep dot the country-side during the spring, summer and fall; grazing free without shepherds.

Norway Norwegian sheep dot the countryside during the spring, summer and fall; grazing free without shepherds. Image by Sune Eriksen/Norilia

and Constantinople used wool sails and the “varafell”, a fleecelike woven throw that kept sailors warm and semi-dry in the open ships.

Norwegians wear wool yearround. The country has the best-developed government subsidized collection-system and an infrastructure for functioning value-chains for wool – from sheep to shop. A few years ago, a fully intact woven wool tunic from around 400 AD was found at a melted glacier, which goes to show the rich heritage for woolen garments in even pre-Viking times. And Vikingexplorations to America, Russia

The rain-coat-like property of this ancient wool is due to the dual fleece of the Old Norse sheep breed, also called Viking sheep or Wild sheep – as they stay outside in all kinds of weather. The coarse, shiny cover wool lets the rain and seawater run off while the soft underwool is softer than the softest Merino. However, these sheep are not the main providers of wool in Norway – until recently their wool has troubled modern spinning-machines. Most of the

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Norwegian clip is from crossbred sheep (80%); broad wool and is exported through Curtis Wool Direct, for carpeting. Around 3500 tons of wool is collected and classified through 11 wool stations from north to south. The country is mainly covered by non-arable land so most grazing-areas are uncultivated and sheep are important to keeping the landscape in shape. However, as Marion Tviland, responsible for wool in Nortura’s subdivision Norilia, says: - ‘The government subsidy for wool makes it worthwhile for struggling farmers to breed mainly meat-sheep with


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grading, and animal welfare. As Norwegians are not big on carpet, and the long-standing weaving tradition of tapestries has more or less died out, finding good end-uses for the sturdy crossbred wool with high crimp, with a 33 micron average has not been easy. Blankets and throws have been one market that has expanded in popularity as Norwegian designers have been recruited to add flair, and as many Norwegian families own at least one cabin — there seems to be an insatiable hunger for this type of product. Some designers have also taken their signature designs and transformed these throws into coats and jackets for both women and men. Fashion brands include Oleana, Tom Wood and Elisabeth Stray Pedersen.

Image by Sune Eriksen/Norilia

good quality wool and make sure the wool is sheared and treated in the best way before it is graded.’ The fact that we also have a national grading system, which is unique for the Nordic countries, with 16 grades that decide the price makes it predictable for the sheep-farmers. This reduces the time they must wait for the wool to be sold and payment is made as the kilo-price is set once a year. The Sheep and Goat organization works closely with Norilia and Fatland concerning breeding, and they have recently inaugurated a project to educate farmers on better wool handling in conjunction with shearing,

Perhaps the most important of all end-products for Norwegian wool is the signature knitted Norwegian sweater which is either handknitted or can be machine-knitted by old and new woolen mills such as Devold, Dale of Norway, Bråtens, Norlender and Rauma. Almost all are woven by Røros Tweed, owner of Rauma Woolen Mill – a historic company based in the world heritage town of Røros. Rauma Woolen Mill is the secondlargest of three major Norwegian spinning mills, the other two being Sandnes Yarn and Hillesvåg Woolen Mill. There are also around four minimills that have popped up around the country, working closely and directly with farmers to ensure their wool is transformed into high quality yarns. In the small

municipality of Kåfjord (with a spinning wheel on the municipal coat of arms), is Europe’s northernmost carding mill. Kåfjord carding mill is a vibrant and growing enterprise, run by a new generation with new ideas. There is even a micro-mill on the outskirts of the capital of Oslo, to showcase this diversity. Norway is a high-cost country with a marked increase in interest in handknitting, with an even further jump in yarn-sales during the COVID-19 crisis. The buzz via social media, yarn-sales via the internet, and home-deliveries directly from yarn-shops, have been successful sales tools. Norwegian spinning mills primarily spin crossbred lambs’ wool, for its tenacity, 28 micron average and good crimp. The 132-year old Sandnes Yarn company operates a large proportion of the alpaca and merino wool market for handknitting (spinning yarns from 130 local Merino sheep in the valley of Gudbrandsdalen), while Hillesvåg has been experimenting with other Norwegian breeds that have not been favored by spinning mills for knitting yarns, such as wool from the Norwegian cousin of the Gotland sheep and even the Old Norse breed, both pigmented wool-types. The Heathered yarns with a special sheen have been a successful product-development on machines from the turn of the 19th century. Norway is also a large exporter of hand-knittingyarns to the Nordics, Europe, Russia and the USA. Popular knit-designers such as Arne & wool2yarnglobal 2020

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The Norwegian fashion brand Tom Wood have cooperated with Røros Tweed weaving mill to produce woolen coats from Norwegian lamb’s wool.

Image by RenateTorseth

Carlos, known to all hand-knitting connoisseurs, have boosted this trend.

for now most of the wool is shipped to Haworth Scouring Mill (owned by Nortura).

Hydro-electric power and abundant water for scouring explain why most woolen mills were established in Norway in the 1800s; more or less every valley or parish had one. But in contrast to other European countries, some have survived the massive move of the textile industry to the Far East. Sandnes Yarn has a large capacity scour for its own use as they lack a wool-press and Hillesvåg have small-scale scouring facilities, and the mini and micro mills scour themselves.

As well as hand-knitting yarns and throws as end-products, keeping the wool industry alive and thriving in Norway is the national costume (bunad). Bunads are also worn as formal wear at gala dinners, weddings, christenings and always worn on the national holiday of May 17th. Mainly made with wool woven fabrics, weaving mills such as Krivi Weaving Mill in Tingvoll and Gudbrandsdalens Woolen Mill in Lillehammer are state-of-the-art factories keeping this tradition alive. Today more of the Norwegian wool-clip is being used in these fabrics.

This may change, as plans have been developed to establish a scouring mill based on spill-water from other industries; however, 86 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

A renewed interest in Norwegian wool is in furniture and clothing

fabrics, where a heavier or even felted weave works well. In the 1990s cross-country ski-champion and heart-throb Vegard Ulvang was persuaded to front first wool-socks and later next-to-skin underwear for sports use because of his name (ull is the Norwegian word for wool). The result was phenomenal, as a new generation of parents dressing their kids for kindergarten, which is spent mainly outdoors in wet and cold, learned the wonders of wool. An industry mushroomed around the athleisure trend of actual undergarments becoming the staplepiece for after-ski and selfies from mountain-tops. This type of clothing, in the COVID-19-era, is far from suffering from the dip in clothingsales affecting the fashion


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Norway has large and small woolen spinning mills, and hand-knitting yarns are the main product.

of these have since closed down Ullkontoret (“The Wool Office”) is at the center of a new impetus for a revival of wool in textiles, and especially Swedish wool. Ullkontoret is a scouring mill, which started after buying all, scouring machinery from a mill that closed down outside Madrid in Spain in 2013. The parts were driven through Europe to Sweden, collecting fines at several checkpoints for overloading!

Image by Rauma

industry. Even the Minister of Culture, Mr. Abid Raja, mentioned this in a radio-interview in 2020: - ‘All you need to vacation in Norway is a sleeping bag and lots of wool!’ Another solid market not affected by COVID-19 is wool procurement by government for use in military and police uniforms. Contracts beyond Norway are also on the increase. Rita Johansen of Aclima, told wool2yarn ‘the interest in both Sweden and Denmark has increased for Merino-based next-to-skin products for this segment. After years of sticking with synthetics and cotton, the tide is changing. The fact that they stay warm even when wet, once they realize that and the healthconsequences, it’s easy to sell them on wool’.

Sweden We have all heard the saying, a stitch in time saves nine. In the case of Swedish wool, it was in the nick of time that someone tried to stitch together a functioning value-chain. Back in 2010, a study was published by the Textile College in Borås stating that ‘up until three years ago, without wool collection stations at the point of slaughter-house, 80% of the Swedish 1100-ton wool-clip was burned or thrown away as waste’. The privately owned Toarps Säteri company, Sweden’s largest organic sheep farmer and producer of throws with patterns from Viking times, had created 15 wool collection stations and exported most of this wool. While some

Ullkontoret is now the only large-scale scouring facility in Scandinavia, and in 2019 scoured 60 tons wool. ‘Our full capacity is 200 tons’, explains owner Hans Bulthuis, who has been scouring since 2015. Sweden has around 9000 sheep, mostly small-holdings with up to 50 sheep, mainly in Skåne, Western Götaland and Gotland. Sweden has a very different agricultural philosophy than Norway, where the whole aim is to dot the entire country with activity. Sweden prefers to keep people and activity in compact areas and leave the rest “wild”. Lambs are born year-round, to ensure fresh lamb chops at all times. Sweden also differs from Norwegians who embraces wool as a fiber of choice. Swedes are big fans of synthetics without the same impetus to revert back to wool, as Merino wool entered the next-to-skin era. This, however, is now changing, as wool2yarnglobal 2020

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has been the Aclima experience. Companies such as Fjällräven, FilippaK, Gudrun Sjödén, Tiger of Sweden, Acne and even H&M have embraced wool. All are part of a newly started Swedish Wool Initiative (except H&M). While Norwegian projects have been funded by the Norwegian Research Council, which is government funded, since 2010 the Swedish projects have eked out funding from local municipalities and enterprises. There is little to no governmental support. As Sweden lacks a functioning infrastructure, shearing-competence and a classification-system, “this is first priority”, says Elin Larsson in FilippaK who spear-headed last year’s successful experiment where the iconic fashion-brand, ending up selling out 140 numbered sweaters in 100% Swedish-scoured local wool that would have otherwise been destroyed. The Swedish Sheep Breeding Association hopes to create a cooperative organization with textile and fashion brands, to assist farmers. Hurdles include the lack of wool-presses, and the lack of production-machinery, as most industrial machines were sold to Baltic countries several years ago. Annkristin Hult, national developer for the National Swedish Handicraft Council, told wool2yarn, ‘we’ll just have to – at least for the time being – work with the Baltics and embrace that they are in our proximity’. Without a grading system it is 88 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

hard to identify the sheep with wool-producing potential. The wool is sorted and organized by breeds (and the quality or fineness doesn’t necessarily follow the breed). Finull (“fine wool”) is the softest wool. A project is working with Merino breeds to improve the micron-count – somewhere between 20 and 30. Gobelängull is lustrous wool, close to the Norwegian spæl (short tailed) sheep, used for tapestryweaving which has a long and colorful tradition in the Nordic region with leading artisans who have decorated public buildings for centuries – you will find one hanging in the UN building in New

York by Norwegian Else Poulsson. Ryaull is carpet-yarn, while Korsningsull is crossbred or broad wool. Grey Gotland is an interesting “black sheep” in the family, as it is naturally grey and therefore not an industry-favorite. However, as mentioned earlier, the interior trends are opening up a market for this type of wool, giving its name to a new project which aims to find uses for this lustrous wool that can give heathered or naturally pigmented wool. However, it is challenging to spin because of its shiny, slippery surface. It has been bred mainly for wool fleece-pelts, where spinnability has not been an issue.


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In Reykjavik, the traditional lopi sweater in Icelandic wool is in every tourist shop. The islensklopapeysais now legally protected as a product name.

town of Kil, where over 10,000 visitors converge to celebrate sheep and wool for three days.

Image by Tone Tobiasson

Gotland is the home of 70,000 sheep, of which 80% are Gotland sheep. The prices for Swedish wool vary from 1 to 50 SEK per kilo, some wool is as high as 100 SEK. The wool is scoured and the quality established before payment is made to the farmer – and this may explain some of the lack of engagement. ‘We are anxious because we need to sell the scoured wool to customers in order to pay the farmers and with the COVID-19 situation marketplaces for selling the wool have ceased business’, explains Mr Bulthuis. These marketplaces include the annual Fårfest (sheep festival) in the small

Current and past projects have tried to find the best use for the Swedish wool. Their approach has been a little different than the other countries, even though knitting-yarns, sweaters, throws and fabrics for national costumes have been part of both past offerings and current developments. Yoga-mats, horse covers, sitting-mats (a huge market for all the Nordic countries where hiking is big), jacket-insulation, sound-absorbing elements for public spaces, building insulation. The latest venture is wool pellets for soilenhancement that Ullkontoret is experimenting with for the wool that is full of vegetable matter and has been piling up. There is a patchwork of companies in the wool valuechain within the Swedish borders that haven’t given up and sold out. The National Swedish Handicraft Council did apply for a grant to start up a worsted mill, but the authorities deemed this not to be “innovative” enough as the technology is already known. Bureaucrats tend to think that anything that can’t be patented is not innovation! In spite of this, an independent wool station in the far north of Sweden has started up. There

is also a carding mill (Åddebo), five mini-mills and five more established spinning-mills that are, however, also fairly small in size. These are Wålstedts textilverkstad, Ostergötlands ullspinneri, Filtmakeriet, Gotlands Ullspinneri and Solkustens spinnverkstad. A larger mill, Kampes, spins imported fibers. 300 tons of wool is imported each year to Sweden.

Iceland If you travel to Iceland, you will see wool as soon as you land at the Keflavik airport. Pictures and samples of their famed Lopapeysa sweater are everywhere. They are worn by tourists rather than fashion conscious Reykjavikians. The very loosely knit sweater in the even more loosely spun lopi-yarn is sold absolutely everywhere, mainly in the natural wool hues of browns, off-white and black. The term íslensk lopapeysa is now legally protected as a product name. Within the Nordic region, Icelanders cure their mutton for the long haul, and have national dishes based on the tasty meat, in the same way as Norwegians. It was the Vikings, or, as the Icelanders call them — the “settlers” — who brought the Old Norse breed to Iceland, and today it is the only sheep breed there, wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Image by Theis Poulson

having adapted to the country’s harsh conditions. Just as most short-tailed spæl, they have a dual-coated wool. One other breed has recently gained status as a separate breed, based on physical, behavioral and molecular research: the Icelandic leader sheep. They arrived alongside the Old Norse sheep 1,100 years ago, and make up about 0.5% of the Icelandic flock with some 1,400 animals. But back to the leader sheep who over centuries have been selected for their ability to lead the flock, sense danger and even bad weather, such as unexpected blizzards. Most are wethers (castrated rams), stand taller than the rest of the flock and are horned, but there are also leaderewes. These Nordic countries also tend to have a lot of human female leaders – Heiða Guðný Ásgeirsdóttir, who left a promising career as a catwalk and fashion model to take over her parents’ sheep-farm, with a flock of 500, also participated in the World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships in New Zealand in 2017, and was the only female contestant! Istex is a privately owned spinning company with a long local history. It scours and spins pigmented wool, as opposed to most manufacturers that prefers wool as white as possible. Istex also over-dyes already pigmented wool and sells naturally pigmented wool. Wool is collected from farms with a pricing-system based on quality, and lower prices for pigmentation. As meat is the most 90 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

the dual-coated wool. The coarse and long guard hairs (called tog) creates havoc in the normal spinning processes, however, Istex has adjusted the distance between the rollers to reduce catching. Handknitting wool yarn is cheap in Iceland compared to other Nordic countries and “everyone” knits. Many take it on as a side-trade and sell to the hotels and touristshops – a long held tradition.

Sandermann is a small Danish designer brand; designer Stine Sandermann has sourced local wool and built her own value-chain in Denmark.

important product, the woolhandling quality varies. Istex has its own scouring plant located in Blönduós on the north side of the island. From there the wool is transported in bales to the spinning mill. The lanolin is washed out and disposed of into the sea. From the scouring plant about half the wool, mainly the lower grades, is exported directly to spinning mills in Europe, while the best grades go to the mill outside Reykjavik. Istex’s yarn mill is focused on handknitting. The company does produce some industrial yarns for wool throws woven in Lithuania, as there is no weaving mill in Iceland. They have fine-tuned the carding machine to tackle

Icelandic designers, like many designers around the world, have dreamed of their local wool becoming softer and more “merino-like”. The soft underwool, called Þel, could possibly meet this demand – however, Iceland does not have a dehairing machine. The start-up of a minimill in Iceland, Uppspuni, could change this for designers – as the slower process makes for softer yarns. Another spinning operation should be open by the time this article is published; Ullarvinnslan Gilhaga received its spinning machines in February 2020, right before the world closed down. It hopes to operate at full capacity when the spring shearing takes place. Varma and Farmer’s Market are two important wool-knit actors on the Icelandic scene using Icelandic and imported wool. Iceland has a knit-industry up and going, and Varma knits both their own label and for other actors. All the machines are flat-knit machines, so a small-scale operation with a whole-garment knitting-machine has been on the wish-list for


In Norway the semi knit-factory Graveniid and Rauma have made successful investments in this space, and Oleana also recently followed suit. Varma owns some other production units in Iceland, and the over-150-yearold company employs around 50 people. Farmer’s Market is a design brand and customer of Varma. For their own collections, Varma (with the tagline “the warmth of Iceland”) knits socks, hats, scarves and mittens, for the most part.

Image by Simon Skreddernes/Oleana

several of the designers we have been in contact with over the years.

A new line of clothes has been added to the collection under the brand name, Blik for Varma Design. This is a line of clothes for fashion but with “a hint of history taken from Icelandic nature and the way of life that existed in ancient Iceland”. Varma’s plan is to establish connections within the Chinese market, to start selling their products there as well as looking for a local producer. All of their products are currently manufactured in Iceland from pure, “mostly” Icelandic wool. The company exports to Denmark, Norway and Germany. Other knitting operations include Icewear, Kidka and Vikurpjon. Kidka offers factory tours and sells its blankets, sweaters, hats and other products all over Iceland from Icelandic wool and offer a “make your own woolen hat” workshop at the 40-year-old knitting factory. Icewear also started up in the 1970’s and also produces down-

The knitting-factory outside Bergen, Oleana, has a long history of local and hands-on production. Recently a new generation took over and are gearing up to become a fashion brand to reckon with.

jackets and a wide array of knitted products with “Nordic patterns”. They use both Icelandic wool and “wool-blends”. They also have a

large collection of throws and, like Kidka, these are knitted and popular with tourists. They also sell via Amazon.com wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Line Eskestad (far left), Mette Østmanog, Pia Busk with Uurnas handmade felted funeral urns.

Hotel Le Louis Versailles Château MGallery Denmark – Ege Carpets

Denmark

But as Danes are good at branding, and less focused on the raw materials and processing, they leave the processing to their Scandinavian counter-parts.

Denmark is a small country, with a long textile history. It has large woolbuying carpet and other interior textiles companies, and a tiny emerging artisan and fashion sector turning to local wool. It is easy, however, to forget that Denmark also includes Greenland and the Faeroe Islands – where the descendants from the old Norse breeds that were transported in Viking times still graze. There is even a musk ox wool small-scale industry. Most production is in spinning, weaving, knitting and felting. Danish brands are produced in the Baltics or elsewhere. And hardly any of the local wool – with the exception of Greenland’s and the Faeroe Islands’ wool – finds its way into regional quality products. Most of the wool shorn in Denmark, ended up as waste until recently. 92 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Image by Rauma

It was, however, the Danes who brought much of the wool-knitting industry to the Nordic region, as they adopted a cottage-industry with craftspeople and travelling salespeople who brought the hats, socks and other textile products to remote farms and crofts from the 1600s to the 1800s. The story involves kings and paupers, natural resources and traderoutes, and ultimately the industrialization of the wool industry. It was the Dane, Peter Jebsen from Schleswig-Holstein who started up the Arna factories in 1846 (now housing Oleana), and later Dale of Norway in Dalekvam – both production facilities in full operation outside Bergen today.


actor that has moved its spinning-operation to Lithuania, where the third generation Olsen’s have been working with Gotland wool and later Peruvian alpaca for yarns, as well as finished products such as throws, scarves and pillows.

Danish designer Stine Sandermann has been working closely with local sheepfarmers and Hjelholdt mini-mill on the island of Fyn to improve their wool for sale. The large wool companies in Denmark haven’t quite bought into her idea, even though the sheep graze right outside their headquarters as is the case with Ege Carpets in Herning. This wholly automated carpet manufacturer is the second-largest wool consumer in Denmark, and buys its wool from New Zealand and the UK. The largest is the carpet-wool spinner Danspi, with its headquarters close to Ege. However, their spinning-mills have moved to Lithuania and Estonia. Danspin sells its yarns to Danish carpet companies and internationally, and the wool is imported from New Zealand, UK and Norway. Silkeborg Woolen Mill is another large

The two spinning-mills that remain in Denmark, Henrichsens Uldspinneri and Læsø Garnspinderi), are both big buyers of New Zealand wool. The former spins for, among others, Danish Isager handknitting yarns, their popular Tvinni and Spinni. Neither of these are in Danish wool, even though local sheep-farmers have tried to convince Marianne Isager that she should try out the wool growing close to her headquarters. Henrichsens also spin the wool clip from Greenland.

Image by Rauma

Another textile company is Kvadrat, which produces high-performance design textiles, rugs, acoustic and window covering wool2yarnglobal 2020

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solutions for both commercial and residential interiors, some of these in wool mainly imported from New Zealand. They work closely with world-renowned designers, such as Raf Simons and Ronan. Norwegian artisan company, Flokk & Fjell recently launched sound absorbing, artistic murals in a felting technique using pigmented wool less suitable for other purposes. A new business, the Danish company Really has started using left-over wool textiles from Kvadrat in a new product-innovation – pressed hardware panels for interior furniture solutions, such as bookcases. Two felting successes are Glerups and Uurna. The former is a shoecompany started by Nanny Glerup in 1993, using wool from her own Gotland sheep in the popular slippers and shoes. Production has been moved to Romania. The latter company uses local Danish wool, for felted funeral urns, made by artisan felters in Odense, Denmark. These products were developed in 2016 with the biodegradability of wool in mind.  If Danes don’t properly appreciate their local wool, the Faeroe Islanders certainly do. An old proverb says that “ull er færøya gull” - Wool is Faeroe Gold. For over 100 years, knitted woolen garments were the main commodity exported and traded for necessities such as salt, sugar and coffee. Everyone, old and young, men and women, knitted. Today, the designer-duo Guðrun & Guðrun have brought fame to 94 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Faeroese knitting with the iconic sweater worn by TV-detective Sarah Lund. However, they haven’t used local wool. In contrast, interior designer Ragnhild Hjalmarsdóttir has, designing interior elements for the Michelinstar-studded restaurant Noma in Copenhagen. The Faeroe Islands derive from the old Norse word Færeyjar, meaning sheep island. The oldest code of law from 1298 deals mainly with sheep husbandry. The Faeroe sheep, descendants from the Old Norse short-tailed breed, were crossbred with imported sheep from Iceland and the Scottish Isles in the 17th century. There are a wide variety of colors: white, grey, light and dark red, chestnut brown and black, or mixtures of these. Some of the wool is spun in Turkey (Navia –

blend Faeroe wool with Shetland and Merino – and are behind the famed Navia Knit Book), some in Lithuania – and then there is Snældan. Snældan is a traditional woolen mill and knit factory. It was founded in 1949 and three generations still work together under the same roof by the fjord of Stendur. At the heart of their production is local wool and tradition, coupled with new developments. On these islands, junior high school students are taken into the wool sorting facility and taught the craft of sorting the wool according to color, which ensures that knowledge passes on to the next generation. Greenland has a large population of sheep. They also have a large musk ox population and yarn production from this unique and soft wool. 20 years ago this local resource, also known as qiviut, was burned as waste. The musk ox is not native to Greenland, where the meat was used but little was understood of the value of the wool, until Anita Høegh, a local woman, took things into her own hands. Høegh learned how to spin and separate the coarser guard hairs from the soft underwool from the pelts she bought from the hunters. Musk ox do not willingly lend themselves to being shorn. ‘It’s a pretty smelly process’, she explains. The result, however, is spun gold and the yarn commands a high price because of the many hands-on processes. Once the tourists have been told the story, they willingly pay the high price.


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Finland It has been all about wood rather than wool in the eastern-most of the Nordic countries. A bonanza in new technology for viscose-like fibers from the Finnish pine and birch trees has usurped all other focus on any other of the natural resources that could be utilized for yarns. A sudden interest in local wool as an alternative to the imported wool from Australia, New Zealand or South America has however put undue pressure on the local spinners who deliver handicraft yarns to Finnish knitters and crocheters. Add to that is the lack of infra-structure in a country where the population lives thinly spread throughout the “land of a thousand lakes”. Finland is the eight-largest country in Europe in terms of area, and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. An average sheep herd numbers 75. The Finnsheep or Finnish landrace, which is the national

breed, has exceptionally soft wool even though it is not kept for its fleece. About 80% of the country’s 155 000 sheep are members of this indigenous, old breed that has been traced 4000 years back in time and therefore has many valuable breeding traits. Of the around 572 tons estimated wool produced, the national Finnish Natural Resource Center believe that somewhere between 70-90% of all the wool is waste. They have tracked 70 000 kilos as being collected. About 18 000 kilos is scoured in the UK for the two mills: Pirtin Kehräämö and TitiTyy Oy (their yarn-label is Tukuwool, which they bought in 2016). Some has been exported for rug-production. In addition, Porin Villa ja Peite has started manufacturing pillow and blanket fillings from Finnish wool, scouring in Belgium. There are also smaller operators that dye the prespun yarns themselves. Aurinkokehrä, uses natural dyes for their worsted yarns and sell throughout yarn-shops in Europe

and Louhittaren Luola (Knitlob’s Lair) started out as a blog and also sells a fair amount of wool from the indigenous breed which they hand-dye. Finland’s largest spinning mill, Novita, which was established in 1928, only has a small assortment of Finnish wool for – as far as we could tell – one or two knit-recipes. Orneule is Finland’s largest tricot fabric-bythe-meter producer with Merino wool as their raw material that has a yearly production of half a million kilos. Knitwear companies include Hurlås in Säkylä, producing clothes in Merino wool and cotton. There are some knit-factories producing mainly next-to-skin clothing.In the same town Keino Ecological & Ethical Knitwear also uses Merino wool but most wool used in Finland is imported. Finnish authorities have not given a single euro to encourage the Finn’s role in the current Nordic wool revival. There is a call for reinstating national wool collection and building a scouring mill. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Canada - affordable solution ‘We are looking forward to demand returning to some form of normality in the near future and look forward to resuming trade with our traditional markets in China, Europe, USA and South America’, says Eric Bjergso, General Manager at Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Limited (CCWG). ’Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 has made trading very difficult. Although some provinces in Canada have been more affected than others we are getting back to a more workable normal’. ‘Our retail farm supplies business was considered an essential service so this has kept us quite busy. Our retail clothing business closed to foot traffic mid March but reopened in June.  We have seen significant growth in our ecommerce business, which has been positive for us, although most agricultural events in Canada have been cancelled for 2020’.  Most Canadian wool is blended with wools from other origins. It can also be used on its own for a variety of products that favour

micron. With the closure of Yocom McColl Wool Testing Lab in Denver, Colorado, all graded Canadian wool is now objectively measured by the New Zealand Wool Testing Authority.

Eric Bjergso

coarser wool types. It is known for its highly elastic and soft handle characteristics that are recognized by manufactures as an advantage, particularly for shape retention. 90% of Canadian wool is exported to the United States, China, India, Czech Republic, Egypt and Bulgaria. ‘Processors that create blends using Canadian wool see it as a quality option and a cost effective solution to maintaining production standards. Sheep are not mulesed in Canada’, he says. Most of the Canadian wool clip ranges from 29 – 34 micron with a smaller production of 22 – 26

‘We have been accepting wool at our collection depots and grading so that we have wool ready for sale when there is an opportunity to do so. Shortage of warehouse storage space will soon become an issue that we will have to address’.  CCWG grades and markets close to 1.5 million kilos of raw wool each year, in each of the three general grades of wool, (fine, medium and coarse). Wool volume handled by CCWG increased by almost 10% in 2018 compared to the previous year and remains steady in 2020. ‘It is difficult to predict when the market will start to recover. However our wool production in Canada remains consistent, mainly due to very good market prices for sheep and lamb meat that have kept sheep numbers stable’.

WWW.REALWOOLSHOP.CA WWW.PREMIER-CHOIX.CA

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untsman Textile Effects’ LANASOL® CE dyes, provide the industry with a sustainable alternative to afterchrome dyes for wool. LANASOL® CE dyes offer a consistent, safe and reliable dyeing process that can effectively replace chrome dyes for wool. This helps mills conform to ZDHC MRSL standards and meet the stringent requirements of global brands and retailers. The use of Chrome VI, including Dichromate, is banned in the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted 98 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Substances List (ZDHC MRSL). Wool processors working for brands and retailers that have adopted ZDHC MRSL must therefore act quickly to finalize their chrome replacement developments. Developed by Huntsman Textile Effects specifically to meet these challenges, LANASOL® CE is a state-of-the-art chrome-free dye range that allows mills to discontinue the use of afterchrome dyes. LANASOL® CE outperforms traditional after-chrome dyes

across the board – at every level of dyeing and processing. “LANASOL® CE dyes have always been recognized as a leading brand in the wool industry. Our innovative dyeing auxiliaries and successful dyeing systems with LANASOL® CE provide the highest technical performance, helping customers to protect the natural beauty of wool, achieve water, energy and time savings while rendering chrome dyes obsolete,” said Alessandro Larghi, Global Marketing Manager for Wool at Huntsman Textile Effects.


dyeing

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Consistent dye quality

ver the years a constant goal for most textile manufacturers has been to repeat the dyeing process by keeping the same batch result starting from the same bath recipe. Lawer has taken up this challenge by developing products capable of satisfying dyeing needs, becoming a worldwide leader in the production of automated color kitchens.

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Lawer has been a “reference point” in the global market since 1970. The company offers a range of products that ensures the repeatability of processes using both manual and robotized systems. ‘Safety is also guaranteed in compliance with the enforcement of the strictest European regulations. The Asian market, through many years of collaboration with Europeans,

has understood the standards required by the biggest fashion labels and recognized Lawer as a reliable partner for quality achievements’, says Mr. Massimo Graziano, Area Sales Manager from Lawer Head Office in Italy. ‘Our systems are in constant demand thanks to the high level of automation, safety, sustainability and innovation in technologies.’


dyeing

one batch to the next The dyeing process has always required a large quantity of water, high consumption of energy, and chemicals and Lawer has developed systems to reduce such waste, gaining the worldwide recognized Green Label. The single-pipe line employed in all systems guarantees contamination free, flexibility and reduction of water consumption thanks to customized and

dedicated pipe sections, from the DN10 to the DN26. The new generation of automated colour kitchens are making the processes safer and more environmentally sustainable, leading to a more responsible production cycle and remarkable reduction of costs. Lawer supplies the industry with products, solutions and services to increase the reliability, safety

and efficiency of dosing and dispensing operations for powders and liquids. Lawer takes a leading market position as a global products and solutions provider and it sets strong and high standards in all areas of ​​its business via a worldwide presence. For more information about these systems please contact Mr. Massimo Graziano sales@lawer.com www.lawer.com wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Buying & selling wool made easy online

uying and selling wool is being made easier with the online platform - www.woolbuy.net This 24 hour interactive website is simple to use and free to all.

www.woolbuy.net now has over 3700 registered ‘users and features over 375 listings of wool, tops, and yarn from all over the world’, says Victor Chesky, CEO International Trade Publications (ITP). Simply log in and see what you can buy, or log-in and list your wool for sale. A Chinese version is also available - www.woolbuy.net ‘This website facilitates direct links between buyers and sellers. We are not a party to any financial

Sell or buy wool, tops, or yarn online 24 hours a day

transactions between buyers and sellers’, says Victor Chesky. ‘When you make an enquiry or buy wool you communicate directly with the seller, there are no other parties involved’. ITP is an independent publishing house. ‘We do not buy or sell wool, so users of this site can be assured that there is no conflict of interest.’ ITP also publishes a monthly online newsletter, www.woolnews.net, and international trade magazines including wool2yarn china.com and wool2yarnglobal.com View us at www.woolbuy.net

Check this out at www.woolbuy.net

This website is FREE to buyers and sellers Buy and sell wool worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

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A wool story - from chance to passion

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irzay Company in Lima Peru has been exporting wool since 1993. Victor Chesky asked Alfonso about Tirzay Company and its history. ‘It was a chance meeting that became a successful business’, says Alfonso. ‘As a young 19 year old I wanted to explore the world. I started my journey from Lima to Europe to meet potential clients for our family export business. I 104 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

was still studying economics, and intending to put this new knowledge in commercial management to good use, and so I travelled to Europe in 1993 in search of business opportunities’. ‘I met an international wool agent and we became instant friends’, Alfonso continues. ‘I could not believe that an experienced businessman would be interested in working with someone so young. But that is how I found my

way into the world of wool’, he remarked. ‘It was the first time this wool buyer worked with a Peruvian company. He was satisfied and he continued purchasing orders and recommended me to other agents from different countries. And so Tirzay Company was on its way’. ‘The feel of greasy wool reminded me of my grandmother and her hand knitted sweaters made with care and love from this noble


Peru

fibre. For me this industry is more than just a business. I love the fibre, and am committed to providing clients with reliable product specifications and timely logistics’, he says. ‘Peru is synonymous with Alpaca, so you may be surprised to know that there are over 12 million sheep in Peru that produce more than 10 million kilos of wool per year. Much of this wool is of good quality Criollo. Other breeds correspond to Corriedale and Peru’s very own breed Junín, which is equal to Merino and better than Corriedale and has adapted very well to the high altitudes of the Andes where they pasture freely. Sheep are farmed by communal cooperatives and private farmers who use the Tally-Hi method of wool shearing’, Alfonso comments.

‘However, let’s face it, Peru is not perceived as a high-quality sheep wool producer, but I promised myself that if I started this I would do my best to bring the highest quality of wool from Peru to my clients. Therefore, Tirzay Company has developed a process to guarantee a high quality greasy wool from 24 to 26 microns with 58/62 hm length from Junín and Corriedale sheep that meets international client specification. This is achieved by experienced sorting by highly qualified and passionate personnel, using ancestral practices specializing in collecting and sorting wool. ‘We are still a small 17 person company, but as a small company we have advantages; we provide a simpler process and direct communication, much appreciated by our clients. We do

not take their trust for granted. Every delivery is tested by SGS in New Zealand to ensure quality and specifications are met’. ‘Past COVID-19 wool users around the world will be looking for alternative wool or additional wool supplies and Peruvian wool is a good place to start competitive prices, easy logistics, and our personal service will deliver good quality wool. ‘While it is true that we offer greasy wool, we consider that our main business is building strong and lasting relationships with our clients, as they are the reason we continue to operate’, Alfonso comments. ‘It may have all started by chance, but it was passion and childhood memories that created a vision for a successful export company, trusted by our clients beyond our shores’.

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JAPAN - a fusion of tradition and

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focus on Japan

innovation by Victor Chesky

1896 following a government import tax exemption for Australian wool. Japan’s main wool production was focused on orders for uniforms and blankets for the military and police.

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apan is the third largest economy after the USA and China. What differentiates it is a long history with wool and an appreciation by Japanese consumers for wool products. It was the first country to embrace wool for its excellent environmental credentials, and the importance of the traceability story that would grab consumer curiosity. In 1879 Japan opened the first government-operated woolen factory in Tokyo, effectively setting in motion the forerunner to it modern wool textile manufacturing industry. Private companies started operating from

The Japanese wool industry peaked in the early 1970s. In 1972, about 370,000 tonnes of wool was imported. At that time, Japan was one of the largest importers of wool worldwide. Most of the imported wool was used for the manufacture of textiles for export and knitted yarn to the USA. At that time the Japan Wool Industry Association had over 383 member companies, and only from the wool spinning sector. In addition there were a number of wool merchants and dye companies that were affiliated to other associations. The current membership of the Japan Wool Industry Association is 87 and 28 wool spinning companies. The membership includes trading companies that handle raw wool, wool spinners, major woolen fabric manufacturers, and dyeing and trading companies that specialize in woolen fabrics and knits. The Association is the peak body for the wool industry in Japan and is the country’s only member organization to the IWTO. It provides educational activities to convey the value of wool and is focused on supporting its members. It also works closely wool2yarnglobal 2020

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scoured wool. 62% of wool was imported from Australia, 13.2% from New Zealand, 12.8% China and 4.12% from the United Kingdom. Wool was also imported from Belgium, South Africa, and Uruguay. Approximately 70% was used for clothing, 15% for bedding, and 15% for carpet and other products. 2018 import statistics for wool yarn was 6,321 tons, and 3,432 tons of woven fabric.

Shinichi Ichii (centre) Managing Director of Japan Wool Industry Association with staff members from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

with government ministries and departments. Japan is to host IWTO Congress in Kyoto in May 2021. At the time of going to print it is still unclear whether this will proceed as planned due to the impact of COVID-19 and travel restrictions.

wool-related companies and contribute to Japanese society through the production of better products. We provide information to our members and assist them in trade negotiations and business development, as well as environmental safety, and research product development’.

Shinichi Ichii, Managing Director of Japan Wool Industry Association, is based in Osaka. He remarks that ‘we continue to promote and support Japanese

In 2018 Japan imported 5,968 tons of tops and 4,710 tons of scoured wool. In 2019 the figures were fairly consistent at 5,776 tons of tops and 4,047 tons of

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Today Japan is one of the largest producers of technical textiles. In a global market where cheap textiles have been dominant, Japan has fashioned a reputation for specialised technical and smart high quality textile products. Japan’s textile culture is a fusion of traditionally handdyed work and cutting-edge technologies that give Japanese textiles a unique sensibility of their own. Japanese textiles are highly regarded in European and American high-end fashion business circles. Japan’s climate includes heat and humidity, and moderately cold winters. Japanese textile innovations have accommodated these varying conditions with a diverse range of materials ranging from traditional textiles to synthetic fabrics. It continues to produce new technologies. Japanese consumers prefer natural fibres, including wool, and this is particularly evident in bedding products for domestic use, and this interest and demand is now growing in popularity in the sportswear and next-to-skin markets.


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Eiji Mori, Interior Textile Director at Nagawa Co in Nagoya Japan comments that ‘consumers in Japan are moving toward a more casual style of dress and are moving away from traditional suiting. Sustainability and microplastic pollution is receiving a lot of attention in Japan as well. So, the special properties of wool fit this interest group and therefore wool offers great potential’. Founded in 1954, Nagawa Company has been involved in wool and fine animal fibre trading and garment manufacture. It has a long history in trading with speciality and natural fibres. ‘At Nagawa we are keenly aware of environmental issues and the sustainable. Bio degradable characteristics of wool fibre are a key feature for our textiles products. Our expertise has come down through the generations. Mohair, Alpaca and British wools are a very important part of our raw material procurement, and of course so are Australian and New Zealand wools’, says Eiji Mori. These views are echoed by Kakutaro Ito of Chugai Kunushima Corporation. ‘In fibre procurement, we are increasingly interested in tracing the wool we buy all the way to the farm. We follow the production chain from farm, including feed, reproduction, shearing, and animal husbandry.’ ‘Innovation is also very important for us’, says Kakutaro Ito. ‘More than 80% of our production uses wool, so it is essential to our overall production. We have a strong belief in the value and

strength of wool as a production fibre. Our 2020/2021 Collection is mostly in bespoke suiting, as well as tweeds, coats, and high-fashion textiles, mostly fine Merino - Super 60-100. We pursue more efficient weaving and improvements in fabric texture. To improve accuracy of inspection, we have introduced a mechanical inspection system, and hope this will be a replacement to the human eye into the future’. ‘Our region has a long history

in textile production: silk in the Heian era; cotton in the Edo era; and wool after the 19th century. Our region developed collaborative systems with many processing mills, controlled by main contractor weaving mills. Each mill is highly specialized and well differentiated, resulting in very sophisticated production techniques and huge variations in textile design’, he comments. Today the global wool production chain is long and complicated. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Images by Nikke Japan

‘We appreciate the leading role that Australian Wool Innovation/ The Woolmark Company plays in promoting the benefits of wool fibre, in Japan and worldwide, and we endeavour to play our part. We would like to build a closer relationship with the wool growers that supply to us. This would improve our ability to convey a story from farm to store. As a garment manufacturer we feel that it is our responsibility to provide traceable information to retail,’ Kakutaro Ito remarks. The Woolmark Company has been promoting wool in Japan for many years and there are a large number of Woolmark licensees throughout the country. Marmot is the first brand in Japan to use 100% merino wool that is water and wind resistant in such products as long-sleeved tee shirts. Munsingwear and Lanvin Sport, well known golf-wear 110 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

brands in Japan, have promoted their wool apparel for trousers, skirts, jumpers, and jackets. Prior to COVID-19 AWI’s marketing arm, The Woolmark Company, hosted seminars to explain the attributes, benefits and versatility of wool to 664 Japanese fashion and textile students in the early stage of their careers, an important component of the AWI strategy. The Woolmark Company already undertakes a comprehensive program of educational seminars to tertiary students including Bunka Fashion Graduate University, Bunka Fashion College, ESMOD Japan and Mode Gakuen. But it now works with two further colleges: PIIF (Professional Institute of International Fashion) and UEDA College of Fashion. The Woolmark Company also carried out its Wool Appreciation Course with 233 PIFF students

in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, along with 431 students from Mode Gakuen. According to a Deloitte economic outlook report published in August 2020 given the incredible fiscal and monetary policy responses by Japanese government to the current crisis, Japanese consumers are capable of spending more. Disposable incomes for workers’ households jumped 13.4% from a year earlier in May; furlough schemes kept the unemployment rate below 3%; and central bank purchases have propped up the stock market. At the same time, interest rates and inflation remain low. No one knows for certain what consumer behaviour will be like post COVID-19, but Japan, with a population of over 126.7 million, still has real potential to be a large consumer of wool products, for apparel, bedding, carpet and other textile applications.


focus on Japan

Q &A with Tetsuya Motohiro

Due to COVID-19 I was not able to meet up with Tetsuya Motohiro in Japan as planned. However we did re-connect remotely, and as Motohiro Company celebrates its 100th anniversary it was an ideal time for a ‘catch-up’. Riichi Motohiro, founded Motohiro & Co as a silk trading company in Kyoto, Japan in 1921. Motohiro used to gather kibiso and bisu from silk mills all over Japan and deliver them to spinning silk mills in the Kyoto suburbs. Today the company has a wide operational network in Japan, Australia, and China.

Tetsuya Motohiro (left) and Yuta Motohiro at the Kyoto warehouse

Wool is a wonderful, sustain able resource and we use a great quantity of it. We reuse and reprocess every single by-product of the wool manufacturing process. Although our business structure is mainly to purchase fleece and make wool top, we also buy oddments, scour and carbonize them to market worldwide. For example, wool grease, a by-product of the scouring process, is sold for lanolin products, and wool noil, a result of combing, is good for woollen and felt use. Some by-products can be reused as organic fertilizer and thread waste and laps are recycled into woollen materials.

Tetsuya Motohiro, the third generation family member and current president, comments that ‘although we shifted from silk to wool, we have maintained our basic philosophy to value long-term customer relationships with honesty, sincerity and professionalism, and we have upheld these values for 100 years’. ‘We have expanded to become a trading company mainly specialising in wool, but also trading in other fibres including silk, cashmere, angora, alpaca, and linen’, says Tetsuya Motohiro. ‘We have every kind of fibre in stock in our Kyoto warehouse and deliver to our customers as needed. We have sales offices in Osaka and Sydney, and a trading company in Shanghai. Our sorting mill, wool top making mill, and carbonizing mill is in Jiangyin. We also sell hand knitting yarns to craft stores and to our global network that enables us to meet all the needs of our clients’. Which direction will Motohiro Company take in the next 100 years? We are navigating our own way - we call it Motohiro-ism. Traceability, animal welfare, 112 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

and environmental sustainability are of the utmost importance to us. In the past few years we have put a lot of effort into raising awareness about animal welfare and we have done this with particular focus on the use of non-mulesed wool.

interviewed by Victor Chesky

We do not think it is an exaggeration to say that MOTOHIRO is a very unique company. We make the fullest possible use of wool while maintaining respect for animal welfare and complying with all stringent environmental standards. We have staff in Australia and this enables us to personally inspect greasy wool and only purchase wool that fits into our company philosophy and that of our customers. Our wool is selected based on careful animal welfare and sustainability standards. In the past few


focus on Japan

years we have put a strong emphasis into sourcing non-mulesed wool. Our physical presence in Australia enables us to source from main wool growing areas and go as far as Tasmania and Kangaroo Island, and our customer base definitely appreciates this extra effort.

Autumn/Winter items due to a mild winter and domestic tax increases. Compounding this issue, the lockdown caused by COVID-19 has been a devastating blow. It is unclear how a post-pandemic new normal will affect the apparel sector, and in particular wool use.

Motohiro processes wooltop at its mill in China, a joint venture factory with G. Schneider Italy and Sunshine Group China. It was established with a view to ensuring a stable supply of quality wooltop. We pay a lot of attention to the quality of raw wool and choose the best and most appropriate way to process each bale. This wool top making mill and carbonizing mill only processes merino wool from Australian and New Zealand. The quality of raw materials can be easily affected by the change of weather, environment, and seasons, but we always ensure that we provide consistent quality to our customers. At Motohiro we also import wool from other countries but this is a “trading” only aspect of the business.

In Japan the main sales system for apparel sales has traditionally been a high-cost structure as typified by face-to-face selling at department stores and specialty stores. But the rise of lower cost chain retailers (SPA) created by the long time unique deflation phenomenon in Japan, has resulted in lower product prices. In addition, E-Commerce (EC) sites such as Mercari - one of Japanese biggest on-line flea market websites have increasingly been used as new sales platforms for apparel. This has created fierce competition within the apparel industry. And the interruption to Autumn/Winter sales season, as a consequence of COVID-19, has forced some companies into permanent closure or bankruptcy.

It is important for us to be involved in both trading and processing as it enables us to keep up with the latest developments in the current global marketplace. How is the textile industry in Japan facing the current challenges? The COVID-19 pandemic is not only having a great impact on the world economy, it is also having an impact on the Japanese economy including the apparel industry. Wool has always been a fibre in high demand because of the cold Japanese winters and the culture of suit wearing, however global warming and the trend away from formal attire has been causing a gradual decline in its demand. Even before COVID-19 the retail apparel sector in Japan had been struggling. In 2019 the industry was left with a vast stock of

We are navigating our own way we call it Motohiro-ism

Furthermore, the surplus of unsold garments creates an issue of disposal. Depending on the method of disposal this can create a negative effect on the environment. Other issues facing the apparel industry in Japan, and worldwide, is the casualisation of apparel itself. The culture of students wearing uniforms and workers wearing suits is deeply rooted in Japan and wool has always been widely used. But the acceleration of casualisation in fashion is being fast-tracked as people stay home due to COVID-19 and businesses take advantage of online communications rather than in - person meetings. In the past many suburban stores in Japan have played a huge part in sales of 100% wool suits. However, synthetic textiles are slowly choking the wool industry - suits are now made from polyester blends (T/W) wool2yarnglobal 2020

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and sweaters reduce from 100% wool to become acrylic/wool blends. And this is further compounding the issues of fashion casualisation and ongoing deflation.

some manufacturers to stop using wool. I think it is a good time to take a close look at the entire wool industry and talk about how it could be rebuilt for the benefit of all.

All of these factors are putting the entire production chain under extreme pressure. Maybe it is a good time to look at completely new manufacturing and sales methods. We do understand that wool production volume will not increase in the near future, and perhaps the old days have gone. But wool as a fibre of choice still has its place and we must continue to advocate for its advantages. We should therefore promote the functionality, sustainability, and wonderful natural characteristics that make wool the best fibre for knitted items, underwear, socks, sporting articles, bedding, and mattresses.

We think it is not such a bad idea to halve the wool production volume and the number of traders. It may hurt in the beginning, but it will help the wool industry to a better balance between supply and demand and in the long term promote fair business transactions at a reasonable price. It will also encourage producers, users, and consumers to build good relationships and create significant value and profit for all.

What do you believe is the best way forward for the industry? Even before COVID-19 the textile industry worldwide was facing a mismatch between supply and demand, resulting in a fluctuation in wool prices. In addition, wool prices are increasing due to the extra costs created by the increased trends of certification. On the one hand, the quantity of Australian wool offered has decreased because of a rise in production costs and natural disasters such as the drought. On the other hand, manufacturers continue to buy wool to keep their machines running, having invested considerably in their purchase and installation. This imbalance between continued production output during a period of low demand will continue to drive up the price of wool. The more expensive wool becomes, the less it is used and manufacturers and consumers move to other cheaper fibres. A further trigger to higher prices is created by traders that speculate rather than buy to fulfil real orders. This speculation will cause 114 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Moreover, it is hard to shake the feeling that something is wrong with recent wool promotion methods and tracing methods. If you run a truly honest and We think it is clean business, would you even need thirda good time to party certifications? But the world can be take a close look a dishonest place, putting honest players under pressure, and incurring sometimes at the entire wool industry crippling extra fees to prove honesty and and talk about integrity.

how it could be rebuilt for the benefit of all

Costly certification does not always result in a happy end user, who must pay more for a product, unaware as to the reason why a product is more costly than seems reasonable. Furthermore, certification does not necessarily guarantee quality. Traceability only makes certification meaningful if it comes with quality assurance. One of our biggest clients produces products made from 100% nonmulesed wool, but they do not promote non­-mulesed wool at their stores. They adopt non-mulesed wool because they think it is important for animal welfare, not because their customers want certification or labelling. Quality and honesty are what we should value the most. We strongly believe that the wool industry should change its attitude and way of thinking – integrity, honesty, and respect are the values that give meaning and essential value to our business.


Spirit of Innovation Founded in 1905 Miyuki Keori is one of the oldest textile companies in Nagoya Japan. For over a century the company has been creating the finest quality worsted fabrics for the luxury mens suit market. ‘Our company name represents the importance of wool fibre in our business. “Keori” means wool textile and “Miyuki” means best wishes or happiness. Miyuki Keori is almost synonymous with “No wool, no life!”’, says Masaharu Suzuki.

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iyuki Keori manufactures cloth for bespoke tailors and custom-made suiting. It also provides to the ready to wear clothing sector, working with top brand retailers in Japan. The company operates one textile factory and three sewing factories, all located in Japan. The textile factory includes speciality wool top and cloth dyeing. It has an annual production of 1,200,000 metres of wool fabric each year. Its dyeing facility can process 120,000kg of wooltop per year. ‘Additionally we have a close partnership with a spinning factory in Malaysia owned by Toyobo, our parent company. The factory specializes in spinning composite yarn, wool and synthetic fibre, which creates functional qualities

including stability, durability, and stretchability’, says Masaharu Suzuki. ‘As well as wool fibre we also use other luxury natural fibers such as mohair and cashmere to widen our range’. Miyuki established The Miyuki Champion Mohair Trophy in 1980. Every year the trophy is awarded to the grower of the most excellent Mohair fiber, stimulating the development of the Mohair industry. He comments that ‘while we have traditionally been strong in finest worsted cloth for bespoke tailors, we are adapting to the

new market environment. Since the emergence of the ready-towear market and the domination of bulk production by Asia, and China in particular, the key words to survive in these environments is “be innovative,” to introduce creative new products in-tune with customer needs. For example, we tap into Toyobo’s latest developments in the technology of finishing treatment, enabling us to continue producing innovative “high tech” Japanese cloth for today’s changing fashion demand. Our textile factory is extremely flexible in producing new functional fabrics with highly refined processing technology. This year we celebrate our 115th anniversary, our new logo represents our “spirit of innovation”. We will overcome COVID-19 and take on the challenges of the new era’. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Versatile range of yarns and fabrics

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s in many countries around the world, Japanese consumers have a strong awareness regarding global environmental impacts. Textile products manufactured with low environmental impact have been actively sought out

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by consumers in Japan for many years. The Japan Wool Textile Co (Nikke) has been a leading textile manufacturer to favour wool. ‘Wool is the most important fibre for the production of our

yarn and fabric and we see it as a gift from nature’, says Mr Yoshirou Kawamura, the Director and Managing Executive Officer Nikke. ‘For many years wool has been a fibre of choice in Japan for its breathability, keeping the wearer comfortable during all four


focus on Japan

seasons in Japan. And the history of Nikke is closely linked to the history of wool in Japan.’ Nikke was founded in 1896 as western-style clothing in Japan gained in popularity. Across its 120-year history Nikke has evolved into a specialist manufacturer of womens and mens wovens, as well as military and school uniforms. The company has production sites in Gifu, Innami, and Ichinomiya, with a fully integrated approach encompassing spinning, weaving, dyeing, and finishing. It operates 32,000 spindles and around 150 looms and produces around 3 million kg/year of yarn and 10 million metres/year of fabric,using Australian fleece wool, mainly 19.5μ-22μ for its school and business uniforms, and 16μ-18μ for its fashion textile. ‘There have been many changes in the fibre industry over the years; we truly believe that wool is

ideally positioned as an earth-friendly fibre for a variety of products’, Mr Yoshirou Kawamura says.

an advanced wrinkle-free material, the PLASMAFINE® line, incorporating numerous functionalities, and WELWARM®, a heat-generating wool.

To minimize impact on the environment Nikke has implemented a number of initiatives from raw material procurement to production, distribution, sales, and recycling.‘We believe responsible behaviour concerning the future of the global environment determines the value of our company’, he says.

‘Our latest innovation is Nikke Nagaragawa, a hybrid twisted filament yarn containing wool combined with a polyester filament, was developed over 20 years. The final structure to the yarn enhances the refined texture and feel of wool.

‘We also believe that new uses and product types are the future for wool. As a natural material, wool has “innovative” functions that surpass chemical fibres and it is extremely important to make full use of this advantage. Nikke is a Woolmark licensee company and our research and developmentis creating innovative uses in many products’.

‘Our reputation as a long-time producer of school uniform fabrics drives our latest innovation MIRAIZ®. It is particularly suited to luxury school uniforms with its light feel, ability to stretch, smooth texture, and attractive appearance, yet it is long lasting, and can be washed at home. ‘We continually review the latest trends in fabric design to service our high end fashion brand customers in Japan and worldwide’, he concludes.

‘We develop advanced and hybrid materials from wool, utilizing the technology that we have build over 120 years. We are focused on enhancing durability and functionality in our fabric. Our “Heritage Series” and modern contemporary “Wool Denim” and “Functional Wool Series” are made using the latest innovations in machinery and finishing technology’. Nikke has also developed a wide range of materials including MAF®; a high density merino wool textile, TraveLook®EX,

The Japan Wool Textile Co Ltd (Nikke) uses wool in the production of school uniforms wool2yarnglobal 2020

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and organic wool for decades and our spinning mill has been ACO certified for 20 years, and we do not use any chemical treatments in our production’, he says.

TOABO CORPORATION EFT Fibre

Japan is home to many textile producing regions. The Bishu region, whose centre is Ichinomiya City in Aichi Prefecture, has been home to a thriving woven textile industry since the 8th century (Nara Period). The Kiso River, with its clear flowing water is an ideal environment for producing textiles and is well suited to fabric dyeing.

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oabo Corporation has five main businesses including industrial materials, semiconductor, fine chemicals, real estate, and its textile production from knitting yarn, worsted and weaving yarn, knitting fabric, and woven fabric for suiting. Toabo Corporation, headquartered in Osaka, has been producing wool textiles for over 100 years and its manufacturing centre is situated in the Bishu region. 118 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

‘We continue to favour wool in our manufacturing process because of its sustainability and other great natural characteristics’, says Yoshi Mizumori, General Manager Development Division.   Toabo uses a very wide range of wool from ultra-fine to cross-bred types. It also blends with noble fibres such as Cashmere, Mohair, Silk, and synthetic fibres such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon. ‘We have been focused on eco-friendly

‘Building on more than 100 years of experience we continue to innovate using wool. We think innovation is very important for yarn, fabric, and garment manufacturing, as consumers become more aware on functionality and comfort. We have developed many new spinning methods to create fabrics that control body temperature and ensure comfort, durability, strength, stretch, and antibacterial and deodorising properties’, Yoshi Mizumori remarks. Recently Toabo has developed a new zero AOX wool washable treatment technology called EFT (Eco Friendly Treatment). It is the result of joint research with Sotoh, a wool textile dyeing and finishing company, and dyeing company Moriyasu Dye Works. EFT is a newly developed technology that uses interfacial polymerization to wool fibre. ‘Advantages of the EFT process include Woolmark standard TM-31 washability; maintenance of original natural wool characteristics (Hydrophobicity preserved); reduced yellowing of wool compared to other shrink proof treatments, including Kroy Hercosett; and Non AOX polluted discharged water. Experimental production has been carried out at a pilot plant in Ichinomiya Japan. A bulk production line is expected to be installed in the near future’, Yoshi Mizumori concludes.


focus on Japan

TOYOSHIMA&CO W oollen products have been made by Japanese artisans and textile makers throughout its long history in spinning, weaver and knitting. ‘We take great pride in promoting the values that wool offers, and we play our part as a trading company in supplying high quality wool products to our customer base’, says Shinsuke Sakurai of Toyoshima Spinning Company.

Toyoshima Co imports wooltop, carbonised wool, and worsted yarn. ‘We have over 150 years of experience in trading yarn and raw materials. We use Australian and Uruguayan wools and scour in many countries around the world including Taiwan and China. Our biggest import is yarn and we source this from India, followed by Thailand and China’, says Shinsuke Sakurai. ‘Each of our suppliers brings different benefits to each product they supply and we appreciate their excellent service’. During its 150 years Toyoshima has taken a lead in developing new products and exporting them to many countries worldwide. ‘COVID-19 has created a new market for wool as face mask wearing in public grows. Disposable non-woven mask use is declining in favour of face masks that are made from natural fibres, including wool. These masks move moisture away from the skin, to the outer surface of the fabric,

and dry sweat rapidly’, Shinsuke Sakurai comments. ‘Our company has developed face masks made from 16.5 mic merino wool and they are in demand by consumers in Japan and in Europe’. The company’s innovation has extended to a sustainable FOOD TEXTILE. Toyoshima uses these ingredients to make dye for coloured wool fabrics. These ingredients are extracted from vegetable waste that has been disposed of by food companies. ‘The problem of food waste is viewed as a global problem by Japan’, says Shinsuke Sakurai. Roughly 28 million tons of food is thrown out annually. Every year, the world produces around 1.3 billion tons of food waste. Approximately 30% of the food that is produced is thrown away, and some of this is still edible.

‘We believe that breathing new life into what would otherwise go to waste is a constructive contribution we can make. We think this has great potential for development to solve the problems we face in Japan in food waste and water pollution. ‘Further, environmental accreditation and traceability play an important role in the procurements of the fibre we use in our production. Consumers are becoming more curious about the origins the fibre used, its performance, and how it was made’, continues Shinsuke Sakurai. ‘As consumers in Japan and globally move away from traditional suiting and embrace casualwear in increasing numbers we are keen to promote the natural attributes of wool to this market sector’. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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focus on Japan

British Wool Q &A

with Fujiko Sonoda, Commercial Officer BW in Japan Victor Chesky, Editor wool2yarn global asked Fujiko about the main objective of British Wool office in Japan.

Fujiko Sonoda

B

ritish Wool has had an office in Japan for over 40 years. The office was originally located in Tokyo and moved to its current location in Yokohama City in 2013. ‘I have worked for British Wool in the role of Commercial Officer for 9 years. During this time I have built up many strong relationships with our licensees and people within the wool industry in Japan. Prior to this, I worked in the financial sector for about 25 years in Europe and Japan. I have always had a love of natural products and when the opportunity to work for British Wool presented itself I jumped at it!’, says Fujiko Sonoda. 120 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

‘Our global objective is to maximise the returns we deliver to our producers, the farmers, for their wool. In Japan our approach is to support and help promote our licensees British wool rich products. Our brand is strong in Japan and very well respected and all of our activities are designed to build on this enviable position’. Typically where is British wool used in the Japanese market? ‘Due to its versatility British wool goes into a number of products within the Japanese market. Over half of the British wool going into Japan would be used in futons with rest going into apparel, knitwear and carpets. We have many licensees covering the main product categories and our role is to provide them with professional support and marketing collateral where appropriate. Regarding activities and projects planned for 2020/2021 Fujiko told Victor Chesky that ‘as with many things this really depends on COVID-19! Many of this year’s shows and events we usually

HRH Prince Charles talks wool with Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, at the British Embassy in Tokyo


focus on Japan

attend with our licensees have been cancelled. However we hope they will be reinstated in 2021. Three of the major events we hope to attend in 2021 are a bedding products promotion event in Yokohama in autumn, Japantex (carpet and interior fabric event) in Tokyo, and the Tokyo Spinning Party Event in Yokohama in the summer.

Victor and Fujiko talked about the Campaign for Wool and British Wool’s role. ‘The Campaign for Wool is a multi-national, cross-industry coalition working together to raise the profile of wool as the natural sustainable fibre for fashion and interiors. As a founding member and key funding partner, British Wool works on many projects with the Campaign for Wool and we were

honoured to be involved with HRH Prince Charles’ visit to the British Embassy in Tokyo last October to help raise awareness and promote wool in the Japanese market’, Fujiko said. ‘We are proud to have such a long and illustrious history serving the Japanese market and we are always looking for new licensees and also new ideas to drive demand for British wool rich products’.

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Australia

Remaining flexible in the new normal ‘The start of 2020 saw a dramatic drop in demand for greasy wool by most major wool buying countries, including China. At the end of the Q2 only a small number of Chinese companies were buying Australian wool. The latter months of 2020 has seen some European, Indian, and Chinese buyers return to the auction room floors’, says Evan Croake of Techwool Trading. ‘But this year we have actually bought more wool than in any other previous year’.

H Rod Franklyn Managing Director

Evan Croake Export Trading Manager

ow the Covid-19 pandemic will change the landscape for Australian wool buying companies, only time will tell’, says Evan Croake. ‘Companies with a solid reputation and strong financial positions will weather this storm better than others. ‘Like other businesses, we are of course effected by the disruption and uncertainty but we are here for the long term and our experience and customer base will see us through’, he says. ‘At Techwool we are taking a long term view. We are in the process of becoming RWS registered and our Australian Trusted Trader (TT) status is a further benefit to our customers. TT reduces red tape at borders and speeds up the flow of our orders out of Australia. ‘Traceability also matters’, says Evan Croake. ‘Our strong direct buying ability ensures that we can deliver fully traceable wool whilst ticking the boxes for non-mulesed, ethically produced premium wool’.

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Techwool exports all Australian wool types from 14 - 38 microns. It buys direct from farms and at all auction centres in Australia, purchasing a significant percentage of the Australian wool clip each week. ‘We are flexible and move with fluctuations in the market’. Techwool can offer all Australian wool types and blends with a minimum of fuss. Even in tough conditions its trading team shipped in excess of 250,000 bales to various countries throughout the year. ‘Every lot we source, whether direct from farm or at auction is physically inspected by hand, graded and valued according to our clients’ orders. At the end of the day, we take pride in what we deliver and make it our business to match this to manufacturer requirement,’ he said. ‘We believe that as every client is different we must cater to these differences every time’.


Australia

Australian carbonised wool for better results wool. It is a one-stop-shop service with wool buyers in all Australian wool growing regions. ‘We can work directly with spinners to source greasy wool to their specification, carbonise it, and deliver it anywhere in the world’. The recent drought in Australia has affected wool production and wool quality. ‘It has affected the yield, fibre length, and tencel strength of wool. Many early stage wool processors that are not experienced enough, or have little knowledge of Australian wool, may struggle to process wool to its best advantage. So, it makes better commercial sense to carbonise wool in Australia, before it is shipped off shore’, he says. David Ritchie (left) and Myungjin (Jim) Kim, Managing Director

W

ool is the most versatile of natural fibers and it is also high on the list of fibres with the best environmental credentials, with properties unmatched by manmade fibres. Wool is adaptable to use in luxury fashion, high performance outerwear, high-end automobile interiors and interior textiles, and more. And this will not change in a changing COVID world. Wool will continue to be a fibre of choice. ‘Yarn and fabric manufacturers require environmental credentials and certifications for the wool they use’, says David Ritchie MD Victoria Wool Processors (VWP). ‘We offer a varied range of carbonised types to suit the 124 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

requirements of spinners and weavers; from lambs to full fleece merino crossbreds and downs wool, we can supply wool to suit any requirement. Although most Australian wool is exported in greasy form, buying 100% Australian carbonised wool can only be achieved by buying direct from an Australian early stage processor. ‘The wool we supply is not blended with wool from any other country. It is 100% Australian wool. We can also provide nonmulesing certificates when required.’ VWP is based in Victoria and is one of only a few companies in Australia that offer carbonised

‘The dust content in the wool from drought affected regions is considerable’, continues David Ritchie. ‘Processing wool in Australia will ensure that wool will be delivered to you clean and ready to use, and it will be 100% Australian wool. You will also receive it faster. As processing costs in Asia continue to climb, and with the lower value of the Australian dollar it does make more financial sense to process wool here in Australia’. ‘Our carbonised wool is competitively priced. Eliminating extra transportation costs and extra processing and environmental compliance costs associated with greasy wool means that importing our carbonised wool has distinct quality and cost advantages,’ concludes David Ritchie.


Australia

Australian company reaches main buyer status in just three years ‘Our relationships with wool processors work well because we focus on the individual, bespoke approach. We understand the processing needs of our customers worldwide, for worsted and woven manufacturers, and provide uniform deliveries to our customers, for consistent processing every time. We supply any type of Australian wool from 14.5 - 36 micron and are always keen to share information with our customers regarding the latest market conditions and wool types available throughout the season’, he says. Stuart Greenshields (left) and Josh Lamb

‘COVID-19 has forced many manufacturers to re-examine their supply chains as they move to be more targeted and competitive as we re-immerge into a new normal’, says Stuart Greenshields of Endeavour Wool Exports (EWE) from its Sydney office. ‘From our perspective, at Endeavour, we stand by our customers and will continue to support them just as they have supported us during these challenging times’. Most mills around the world are resuming their pre-COVID-19 operations, but business conditions remain challenging. Wool prices will continue to be volatile from auction to auction, depending on demand and the quality of wool offered. Understanding these sometimes 126 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

volatile trading conditions and being able to guide our customers through the ups and downs in the market is a very important part of our day-to-day business’. EWE was established three years ago by Josh Lamb, Stuart Greenshields, and Warrick Eddington and in this short time the company has become the second largest buyer and exporter of Australian wool. EWE bought 128,000 bales of wool last season, representing 9% of Australian wool. ‘We provide flexibility to our customers and can supply Merino fleece for suiting fabric, semi-worsted wool for active and knitwear and carbonised and scoured wool to the carding market’, says Josh Lamb.

Major export markets for EWE are China, Europe, and Japan. Issues around traceability, non-mulesing, and environmental credentials will continue to be important to processors in Europe and the USA. ‘Our buyers throughout Australia are well placed to source the most appropriate wool,’ he says. EWE employs nine people and buys wool at Sydney, Fremantle and Melbourne. EWE offers forward selling options to help clients reduce risks in price fluctuations and supply irregularities. ‘It is our goal to provide our customers the best quality wool for the best price, with personal service, and timely delivery. We welcome calls from companies that are interested in tapping into our buying framework in Australia’, Stuart Greenshields says.


New Zealand

Scoured wool option offers clear advantage

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he global COVID-19 virus has put pressure on wool consumption and demand. ‘Despite this, we have continued to invest in and streamline the business, especially in the most important area of energy efficiency’, Nigel Hales, of New Zealand Woolscouring Limited, states. ‘We are genuinely reducing our carbon footprint to meet our Government’s Carbon Zero 2030 strategy.’ ‘Our New Zealand clean, green image is more than just a perception, and even the COVID-19 pandemic that has so disrupted international trade 128 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

cannot change this immovable fact. Ask anyone what New Zealand is famous for, and growing wool will be at the top of this list.New Zealand wool is still the best strong wool for use in interior textiles for its crimp, colour, and natural attributes. Having it scoured in New Zealand, you can be sure to get the whitest and cleanest scoured wool on earth.’ New Zealand Woolscouring Ltd is a stand-alone commission wool scourer and therefore has no conflict of interest with any customers. It is the only scouring facility in New Zealand, with

plants in both the North Island and the South Island. ‘The closure of some scouring companies in China over the last couple of years, and the increasing scouring cost in China means that it makes better commercial sense to import New Zealand wool in scoured form, rather than greasy form’, says Nigel Hales. ‘We have the skills and machinery to provide a one-stop-shop service for buyers of New Zealand wool in China. Our scouring charges are as competitive as any in China or anywhere else in Asia. And although there is a small tax to


New Zealand

Scourline at Canterbury Woolscourers, Timaru

import scoured wool into China, by the time you add all other costs associated with importing greasy wool, it is still more cost effective to import wool in scoured form.’ New Zealand Woolscouring plants operate computer controlled greasy blending systems. These systems include multiple greasy wool openers which individually cope for each style and length of wool. ‘Individual blending orders are tailored for each customer and remain confidential, and of course the customer is guaranteed to

receive 100% NZ wool,’ says Nigel Hales. There is an increasing interest in wool for interior textiles as consumers make choices to buy products that are natural and environmentally sustainable. This is particularly apparent as the negative impacts of synthetic fibres are aired in the public media. ‘Our scouring plants in both the North Island and the South Island are the only ones of their kind

COO, Tony Cunningham, leads a tour group from Big Save Furniture 130 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

Woolgrease drum with Fernmark licence number

in the world, capable of washing every type of wool, from fine merino for apparel to strong wool for carpets. We can offer our customers the highest level of environmental certification and labelling. We can certify the wool that we scour with EU EcoFlower, GOTS, and RWS’. ‘As part of the process of washing wool, woolgrease is removed from the greasy wool fibre, and recovered for use in pharmaceuticals and lanolin production. It contains cholesterol and Vitamin D. As an upside to the lockdown experienced in many countries, woolgrease sales have skyrocketed, due to increased demand for NF33 Cholesterol, which has been licensed for use in COVID-19 vaccines in the US. Go, the humble sheep, and keep providing woolgrease. Did you know, that Donald Trump is taking Vitamin D supplements as part of his COVID 19 cocktail of medicines?’ says Nigel Hales www.nzwoolscouring.co.nz


New Zealand

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Andrew Legge with insulation ready for export

NZ wool insulates homes in USA and Canada

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ool has been keeping both sheep and humans warm for centuries. But now one American company is using sheep’s wool to give fiberglass and foam insulation a run for their money. Havelock Wool uses 100% natural wool sourced from New Zealand sheep to insulate homes and other buildings. The Havelock Wool team recently partnered with a Costa Mesa, California based builder to insulate a 17,000-squarefoot residence in the Corona del Mar neighbourhood of Newport Beach, California. The homeowners wanted a material

that could handle moisture, especially as the home sits near the ocean. “There was a real concern about moisture and mold,” says Andrew Legge, Managing Partner “Part of wool’s structure is a keratin which will not support the growth of mold.” Andrew Legge launched Havelock Wool six years ago after encountering builders using the renewable, sustainable, and recyclable wool fibre as a noise and thermal insulation product on a small scale. The 100% wool product can absorb moisture up to 35% of its net weight and will absorb and desorb against 65%


New Zealand

proper ventilation. “You’ve got a product that is going to work with the challenges that are inherent to the environment because it’s something that has evolved in nature over thousands of years to do just that,” says Legge. In addition, the amino acids in the wool naturally bond with and trap harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, and sulphur dioxide for cleaner air in homes. It is also flame resistant and self-extinguishing. Havelock Wool does not introduce any synthetic mixes, glues, or bonding agents to the product, but does add a small amount of non-toxic boric acid to make the wool insect repellent and further reduce flammability. relative humidity, which Legge cites as one of the standout properties of the material. The company produces two insulation products—a batt insulation, typically cut at 48 inches, and a loose fill insulation that can be blown into a wall. The two formats produce high R-values ranging from 7-21 for the batt depending on size, and 11-60 for the loose product based on thickness. Unlike standard insulation, the company says that wool can maintain its R-value for 75 years. “Condensation and moisture is a major problem in building these days,” Legge says, referring to increasingly enclosed and airtight building envelopes in highperformance homes, which can trap condensation and moisture vapour in wall systems without

Havelock Wool is more expensive than fibreglass and cellulose insulation, the cheapest materials in the industry. However it does cost less than closed-cell foam, one of the costliest and least healthy options on the market. And unlike other insulation products, the installation process does not require any protective clothing or added safety measures. “We are terrified about the amount of waste we generate, the finite resources we continue to use, the overstuffed landfills and oceans polluted beyond repair,” he says. “Wool as a building material, though a small piece, is a direct solution to each one of these increasingly serious problems. Unless sheep decide to stop producing wool, we’ll always have a renewable and sustainable product.”

NZWTA Ltd Wool Trade Diary

T

he 2020/21 edition of the NZWTA Ltd Wool Trade Diary is now available. Feedback from customers confirms that the diary is still widely used for connecting with the various sectors of the local industry. Details in the diary such as industry contacts, Wool testing statistics, and sale dates are all available on the NZWTA Website https://www.nzwta.co.nz/ The Trade Diary includes: • Dates and rostered volumes of national wool auctions; • A comprehensive list of NZWTA and wool industry contacts to assist local and international communications; and • Trends in testing statistics of New Zealand wool. A copy of the NZWTA diary can be obtained by emailing testing@nzwta.co.nz wool2yarnglobal 2020

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United Kingdom

Domotex August 2020

British Wool in China

D

espite the challenges posed by COVID-19 British Wool have continued their expansion into the Chinese market. Graham Clark, Director of Marketing, explains, “China remains one of the largest potential growth areas for our business. Along with the majority of businesses, clearly COVID-19 has disrupted our plans; however, before the pandemic hit we were Lovo product launch

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making really good progress working on a number of exciting new product projects and we look forward to continuing to do so as the market gets back to some sort of normality.” A new British Wool bedding collection was launched in the 2019/20 season with the leading on-line Chinese brand Lovo, Clark continued. “In the first season alone we sold a staggering 30,000 duvets. The Chinese consumer

really seemed to buy into the British style branding and the fact that wool has so many amazing benefits in the sleep arena. The product even managed to win an award at the Luolai Group (Lovo’s parent company) annual review. We look forward to working with Lovo to help grow this range and develop further new products in the future.” The British Wool licensee scheme is also starting to gain momentum


United Kingdom

and recently welcomed 3 leading brands from the carpet sector on board: Haima, Shanhua and Shengyuan. All passed the scheme that traces the origin of the wool back to the UK and were promoted on the British Wool stand at this year’s Domotex show. Clark commented “It is great to have such prestigious and well-known brands on board with the scheme, and we look forward to working with them all moving forward to help increase sales and demand for British wool in China and further afield.” The Chinese Office also welcomed a new member of staff, with Rui He joining as Marketing Co-ordinator. Sandy Mi, Sales & Marketing Manager in China, commented, “As part of our growth in China we are keen to establish a presence on relevant social media platforms and Rui’s experience in this area will allow us to do just that. As well as helping to grow the British Wool brand amongst consumers it will also act as an excellent platform to add value to our licensees, something we did with the Lovo project.” British Wool now has active platforms on WeChat, Weibo and Small Red Book with followers steadily increasing on a weekly basis. Clark concluded, “As the Chinese market continues to recover we want to ensure we are at the forefront of this recovery, working with likeminded brands to drive demand for British wool and ultimately giving better returns to our producers (farmers) for their wool.”

Aston Martin DBX SUV available with Australian wool in its interior

Aston Martin and the license to thrill

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uxury car manufacturer Aston Martin has entered the luxury SUV segment, with its award-winning DBX model. The DBX interior is available with Woolmark-certified fabric made from Australian wool.

such a high content of wool and has attained the Wool Rich Blend certification from The Woolmark Company. As well as being very environmentally sustainable it is also highly durable and naturally water repellent.”

DBX interior is fitted out with many natural material options including an 80% natural wool blend car seat covers, centre consoles, and door and instrument panels.

Aston Martin used the Woolmark logo in its marketing collateral for the DBX.

Aston Martin promotional information states “the material is made with carded yarns from fine Australian lambswool that are mixed with synthetic fibres to create a luxurious felt-like fabric. It is the first automotive fabric with

It is not the only luxury car brand to introduce wool in its interiors. BMW uses wool in its i3, Range Rover uses wool in its Evoque and Velar, and Toyota uses wool in its Century. Bentley uses wool in its Mulliner, as well as its State Limousine which is an official state car for the Queen. Source: AWI Beyond the Bale

BMW interior incorporates wool in its seating wool2yarnglobal 2020

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United Kingdom

Building consumer awareness

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he UK is the largest user of British wool, taking approximately 50% of the British wool clip and therefore is a key market for British Wool. Graham Clark, Director of Marketing explains “With our licensee scheme now well established in the UK, with over 50 brands on board, we have been working on increasing consumer awareness about British wool. Our digital strategy has really evolved over the past 2 years and our total social media following now exceeds 100K and this continues to grow. This gives us an excellent platform to help push our licensee’s brands and sales of British wool rich products. It also allows us to educate consumers on farming

matters in general in such areas as why sheep need to be shorn and how sheep support the UK countryside.” Clark continued, “Our website also plays a crucial role in targeting end users of British wool products and our consumer traffic to the site over the past 12 months has increased significantly. We have a number of exciting plans for new developments to the consumer side of the site in the coming months.” As part of their push to increase consumer awareness, British Wool have also started to increase their in-store collateral, Clark commented. “The residential carpet market in the UK is one of our most important and it was

British Wool Collection carpet display stand 136 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

crucial that the brand had more of a presence in the showroom environment. Our British Wool Collection stands give us just this. Assuming the initial trial across 10 stores is a success we will launch this to a wider number of retailers over the next 12 months and hopefully make some real impact. Our digital channels are also helping to support this initiative and push footfall to retailers. ” As well as reaching out to the consumer, British Wool are also working on a number of new product development projects in the UK. Haldi Kranich-Wood, Product Manager at British Wool explains, “We are working with leading UK universities and also a number of private companies on a wide range of what we would describe as blue-sky new products. These initiatives are looking for brand new uses of British wool in a number of innovative areas. As well as this, we are also working on a number of new products in the carpet sector. We are very excited about the product development projects and, although it is very early days and they will take some time to evolve, we are confident that over the long term they will increase the demand for British wool.” Clark concluded, “Despite extremely difficult trading conditions we have managed to make some good progress with our marketing strategy in the UK and the product development projects give us real hope for the future.”


STANDARD WOOL WHERE WE LEAD, OTHERS FOLLOW. WITH OVER 200 YEARS INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE, STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICING MORE THAN 30 COUNTRIES WORLD WIDE, IT’S NOT SURPRISING MORE AND MORE CUSTOMERS ARE TURNING TO US FOR ALL THEIR WOOL REQUIREMENTS. WWW.STANDARD-WOOL.CO.UK

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United Kingdom

Europa Wool operates out of West Yorkshire, the heart of the UK wool industry, and supplies over 1 million kgs of textile raw materials every year

YOU CAN BANK ON US ‘In times like this the last thing manufacturers need is the unnecessary risk in holding large stocks of fibre. It makes more sense to buy short-term when there is uncertainty in demand and volatility in wool prices’, comments Richard Morsley, Europa Wool Managing Director. ‘Manufacturers and processors do not need to hold huge stock; they can rely on companies like Europa Wool to be their stock bank’. ‘Many of our customers are buying smaller quantities, weekto-week, or when needed. So, our stock holding capability and instock range is a central advantage 138 | wool2yarnglobal 2020

to them’, Richard Morsley continues. ‘They can always rely on us for whatever fibre they require on a weekly or monthly basis. The wool is stored in our warehouse and these customers can draw on the wool as needed. Payment is only required when the stock is drawn. We provide an extremely competitive service and maintain quick delivery times’.

Richard Morsley

Europa Wool supplies fibre to manufacturers all over the world, including spinners of weaving, knitting, upholstery and carpet yarns, as well as felt-makers, technical non-woven and homeware manufacturers.


United Kingdom

The capacity to hold a huge variety of stock throughout the year is something only a few companies are able to do. Europa Wool can supply wools of many origins from 17.5 to 38 microns, and specialises in New Zealand, Australian, British, South African, South American and wools of various European origins. It also stocks a large variety of other speciality fibres including silk and camel hair. Europa Wool scours any grade of greasy wool from a minimum of 100kgs up to large runs of any weight. It is also a supplier of yarn from 50g skeins up to 5kg skeins using a measured length system. ‘We also provide a balling service,

balling hand knitting yarns in minimum ball weights of 50g. Our other processes include garneting, carding, precision cutting, random cutting and opening and pulling’.

Looking for something unique? Special request services are also available for customers that require something out of the norm. ‘We can create blends from all natural fibres and synthetic fibres and provide bespoke gill blend combed tops to create blends of many fibres. Starting from as little as 10kgs up to large runs we can dye loose stock or tops for all types of natural and synthetic fibres’. Europa Wool uses high tech colour matching

systems that can match any colour that is required for most fibres. The company also offers Kroy Hercosett (superwash) scoured wool and combed wool tops and combs most natural fibres. It also offers expert colour matching and can spin on woollen or worsted systems. It provides non-mulesed certification for Australian wool when needed. ‘Our customers appreciate the security of knowing we can deliver quickly, and if we don’t have a specific type and quantity in stock we will find it,’ points out Richard Morsley. Richard Morsley can be contacted for all fibre requirements at info@ europawools.com

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OL 2020

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These industry trade guides, published once each year (September), is circulated to 10,000 textile companies including importers of wool and speciality fibres, wool processors and topmakers, manufacturers of yarn, carpets and rugs, spinners and weavers, cloth and garment manufacturers including major brands and retail chains. Advertise in wool2yarn magazines and reach them all. The next issues of wool2yarn magazines will be published in September 2021.

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British Wool – beautiful, versatile, durable and timeless. Naturally.

From fashion to flooring, British Wool is more versatile than you may think. It’s also luxurious, hard-wearing, flame retardant and connects people to nature – beautifully. Create more natural products with British Wool. To find out more about the unique properties of British Wool visit our website britishwool.org.uk or email marketing@britishwool.org.uk


textile machinery

Worsted spinning yarn as you need it

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n recent years the range of application for worsted yarns has increased enormously. Beyond traditional applications, the versatile

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properties of wool are also increasingly used in functional clothing for sports and outdoor activities, seat covers, and more widely in interior textiles for

vehicles and aircraft. As such worsted wool yarns are well suited to products that require high thermal retention, good moisture absorption, low density and low


textile machinery

flammability, to name just a few special characteristics. Saurer Group is a market leader in worsted spinning machinery. It includes Saurer Spinning Solutions and Saurer Technologies. Saurer Spinning Solutions offers high quality, technologically advanced and customer-specific, automatic spinning solutions for processing staple fibre from bale to yarn. The worsted sector is very different from cotton or synthetic short staple fibres. Spinning chemical fibres simply involves running at high-speed to produce as much as possible as quickly as possible. The parameters of wool and speciality fibres is different in each fibre, therefore spinning machines must be adaptable. Worsted spinners, in particular, require consistent quality output. They also need the flexibility to be able to change production quickly to accommodate constantly changing fashion. The cost of raw fibre such as fine wools, cashmere, and vicuùa has increased, and any mistakes at the spinning stage could be costly. Spinning needs to be perfect every time. Saurer’s worsted spinning and winding machines are ideal partners for intelligent machine and data communication. New Energy Monitoring ensures that power consumption is monitored at all times, so that operators have maximum transparency for easy resource optimization. The latest RFID technology, various sensors for data collection/analysis, and self-optimising control loops are the basis for more intensive

integration of the processes, and high productivity and quality. The material flow is tracked all the way, capacity variations can be equalized, and bobbins and tubes go directly to the right processing aggregates. Online quality monitoring systems (SPID, Q-Package) with numerous functions on Autoconer winding machines ensure that the high quality standards demanded by the worsted yarn industry is met,

and supplements the optimisation and control systems on the ringspinning machine Z 451. The self-optimisation tool OptiSpeed is used in combination with individual spindle monitoring (ISM) making the spinning machines intelligent. ISM leads the operator to spindles where a manual intervention is needed. At the same time, the roving stop system ensures that no valuable raw materials are wasted wool2yarnglobal 2020

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textile machinery

while the operator attends to the spindle. OptiSpeed ensures automatic speed maximisation. The operator can set the limits for yarn breakage per 1000 Sph. With better roving quality, OptiSpeed increases the speed until the yarn break limit is reached or, conversely, slows down if there are more breaks. This means it optimises productivity according to roving quality. The system reacts quickly and automatically, which means fewer staff members are needed. Fit for more flexibility, the Z 451 produces ring and compact yarns as well as fancy, core and siro yarns.

can arise. The step less adjustable over delivery and the independent Impact FX vacuum unit supply enable its use in wool processing. However, it is not only its flexibility with regard to yarn counts and raw materials that distinguish the Saurer worsted spinning process. This is also true for its winding machine Autoconer. An individual software-controlled package build, PreciFX delivers package formats optimally and flexibly adapted to the requirements of the respective downstream processing, e.g. 3�-packages for twisting, dye packages with round edge design for uniform dyeing.

The unique self-cleaning compact system Impact FX is proficient in dealing with wool grease, textile lubricants, and finishing agents. The walk effect at the deflection point of the apron prevents trash particles and fibre fragments from becoming lodged. The linear air flow creates optimum aerodynamics, so that no accumulations of dirt or blockages

The Thermosplicer is a market benchmark in terms of appearance and strength, delivering yarn-like spliced joints. For rapid, effective lot changes, all spinning, winding and process parameters can be adapted at the push of a button. Spinnfinity ensures underwind-free doffing on the worsted spinning machine and Q-Package - (intelligent feed

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material changing strategies on the Autoconer) reduces the manual setup effort to a minimum. Senses is the new mill management system. It is the ideal completion to the machine park for profitably optimising the use of raw materials, time, personnel, energy and capital. Saurer is ideally equipped to fulfil any request from the worsted yarn industry. Before each machine is sold Saurer undertakes a detailed study of how the spinner will produce a particular yarn count from a particular micron. Saurer technicians also assess the type of processes that will follow, such as weaving, or knitting or twisting. All information is analysed and the right machine, fit for purpose, will be offered. Additional components could be added to the machine at the beginning or at later stages to make the production even more versatile.


textile machinery

Saurer Components for a perfect yarn

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ool is no longer only found in home textiles and everyday clothing. The renewable raw material is also becoming increasingly popular a much wider variety of applications. Saurer’s Competence Centre for Elastomer Components is investing a lot of time in research and development, particularly in compounds for Accotex spinning cots and aprons. Today there is already a wide range of cot qualities for long staple applications in the hardness range from 60 to 83 shore and suitable apron qualities available for all kinds of coarse to superfine yarns made of pure wool or wool blends. At the heart of the Ring spinning machine lies the weighting arm, which together with Accotex Cots is essential for evenly drafted yarn. The end result depends on the flawless combination of the small components inside the large machinery. The cots should provide the right grip, enabling sufficient draft. Weighting arms need to give uniform pressure at a constant level, from position to position, to ensure homogenous yarn from the whole mill. And the top roller needs to run evenly to ensure even results. All these small things ensure that your suit

Saurer Accotex NO-79201 new generation aprons designed to meet today’s increasing market demands

is flawless. CS1S spindles provide for quieter working environment.

Complete drafting systems for worsted ring spinning The quality of the top rollers used in the drafting system is of vital importance for the quality of the produced yarn. The smooth running of the top roller, with its direct contact to the roving, influences the drafting result and, as a consequence, the yarn quality achieved. Texparts top rollers LP 1000 series are used as rear and front top rollers as well as top apron rollers in drafting systems for worsted ring spinning. In terms of an optimized spinning process, Texparts top apron cradles with individual apron tensioning concept offer decisive advantages compared to other types. With the use of OH 2402 and OH 6022 the lowest possible stress on fibres during drafting and a gentle fibre guidance for the worsted ring spinning process will be achieved. PK 1660 weighting arms are mainly intended for 3-roller double-apron drafting systems on worsted ring spinning machines. They are suitable for spinning wool or man-made fibres or

blends of both types up to approximately 200 mm length quality yarn. A recessed roller is used as apron top roller. Thus the drafting system works according to the slip-draft method, having a single draft-field. Depending on the respective preparation method, twisted or french-type rovings can be processed on the drafting system. The 3-roller double apron drafting system works according to the slip-draft principle, with a recessed roller as the top apron roller. Depending on the type of preparation, twisted roving or french-type roving can be fed to the drafting system. The weighting pressures on the top rollers are set infinitely and centrally using a non-oiled compressed air supply system. The latter is installed on the ring spinning machine in form of a ring main to which the weighting arms are connected. The ring main is supplied with controlled air pressure via a pneumatic unit. The saddle load of the top rollers depends on the pressure in the ring main and on the size of the pressure plates of the weighting elements. The PK 6000 weighting arm permits a central partial load relieve when the compressed air system is turned off.

Texparts PK 1660, the mechanical weighting arm and Texparts PK 6000, the pneumatic weighting arm

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Turning an idea into a solution The international textile machinery industry depends on innovation. But what is innovation? Each of us may have our own definition of how we see innovation but in the end it comes down to turning a novel idea into a solution that adds value to a product and for a customer. Providing solutions for customers around the world is what the Beppe Ploner Group companies have been doing for over 50 years. An Italian based company, with its head office in Biella, encompasses Tecnomeccanica Biellese, Sant’Andrea Textile Machines, and Coppa. The Group supplies machinery for woolen and semi-worsted spinning plants; non-woven products; spinning lines; filtration and recycling systems, and more. The Group also works on individual designs for the specific customer requirements. ‘We provide manufacturers with the latest technology options to achieve their processing and spinning objectives’, says Mario Ploner. ‘It is a commercial necessity for them to operate in the most competitive level and still retain environmental compliance. This sensitivity to the environment has created new design challenges but today the end result is that our machinery produce better quality products. And we are proud to play our part toward this objective’. ‘We have seen the industry adapting and changing to meet market conditions. During this time we have been evolving as a company to provide innovative solutions to our customers’, Mario Ploner commented. ‘We base our designs on the available space that each client has and

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the specific requirements that their production needs. We are providing faster and better outcomes, both regarding new machinery, plants and for maintenance and spare parts supply. We also care about safety and we keep increasing new solutions to guarantee a better technology for our customer also for these aspects’. ‘Our Automatic Filtering system is the culmination of the accumulated experience in the field of suction of dust, waste and fabric clippings from different types of processing machines’, says Mario Ploner. ‘Using our experience we have developed a new automatic filtering and cleaning system with significant advantages in automation and efficiency’.


textile machinery

strip fibresfrom pressed bales and automatically drop the fibre on to the feed table of the opening machinery at the beginning of spinning lines. This system also provides a good first blending operation of the fibres. It is mainly composed of a metal bridge moving on rails, providing vertical movement to the plucker head. The different functions of taking, discharging and cleaning are controlled by a computerised digital panel with touch-screen. Photo electric sensor beams provide complete protection against accident, in line with European legislation relating to Health & Safety.

New de-dusting equipment and filtration system installed by Tecnomeccanica Bielleseat Lempriere Wool EOOD in Bulgaria

It consists of a monobloc unit optionally fitted in galvanised sheet iron panels containing a pre-filtering system with fibre separation and a drum filter to collect the particles. Because of the action of the unique automatic cleaning systems the efficiency of the unit is guaranteed. The clean air can either be recycled directly in the room or expelled externally.

appreciate this’, says Mario Ploner. Tecnomeccanica’s automatic Bale Plucker is used to mechanically

Tecnomeccanica has representatives in most countries around the world. ‘We provide excellent machinery service assistance and are able to provide spare parts when needed’. For more information contact www.tbsrl.it

‘The quality of any finished product made from natural fibers will be influenced by the many processes that it must go through. Early stage processing is no exception. It is important to get this right to ensure that further processing can achieve optimum quality. The main objective of our machinery is to achieve this, and today’s consumers recognize and wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Reaching customers in China

SRL

wool2yarn china is used by wool and textile companies around the world to advertise their products and services to the textile industry in China. ‘This Chinese language publication is circulated to over 5000 major importers of wool and speciality fibres, wool processing and topmaking mills, spinners and weavers, carpet and garment manufacturers, manufactures of yarn and fabric, rugs carpet and government agencies and ministries in China’, says Victor Chesky, Editor. ‘It is circulated in China by Nanjing Wool Market.’ wool2yarn china is also distributed to all delegates (500+) attending the annual Nanjing Wool market Conference, the major conference for the wool and early wool processing industry in China. This magazine is also distributed to textile enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Member of Beppe Ploner Group

‘wool2yarn china provides exporters from around the world the opportunity to reach buyers in China, communicating in Chinese, breaking down any language barrier,’ says Mr Chesky. ‘For companies seeking new customers, advertising in wool2yarn china will introduce their company to this targeted decision maker base in all sectors of the wool industry in China. For companies that have established customers in China, advertising in wool2yarn china will reinforce their position as a preferred supplier to these existing customers. ‘wool2yarn china is published in September each year and is used as a buyers’ guide by companies in China over the following 12 months.’ If your company is interested in advertising in the 2020 issue of wool2yarn china please contact us on victorch@bigpond.com or www.wool2yarnchina.com

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easy Evenness Tester

There are No Shortcuts to Quality

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omsic has been designing and manufacturing complete laboratory equipment for wool and cotton spinning mills, as well as quality monitoring systems for sliver and roving, and autoleveller systems for cards and drawframes, from Gorizia Italy for more than 60 years. ‘Quality starts at the lab and using the right testing equipment Ladi Tomsic

ensures that consistency and quality can be monitored and costly mistakes avoided’, says Ladi Tomsic, sales manager at Tomsic. ‘Our testing and monitoring equipment is specifically well known within the wool industry, although the same machine can work just as well with cotton. Our equipment has been running successfully in many topmaking and spinning plants in Europe and around the world. We provide best quality control technology for the entire topmaking and spinning process’. Ladi Tomsic continues ‘our easy Evenness Tester is designed for combing and re-combing for both wool and cotton. It is specifically designed for testing and analysing the quality of sliver, roving, and yarn. There are no maintenance costs and it is very

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easy to operate from a standard PC monitor using Windows 10. It takes just 3 clicks and from 1 - 20 minutes depending on the evenness, hairiness, and mass. Multi-diagram windows provide for direct test comparisons. For export purposes printouts are available as multi-language reports. Data retrieval is easy to use and personalised search options are available, in many languages.’ All Tomsic machines are made in Italy and offer flexibility, low maintenance, and are very competitively priced compared to other manufacturers of similar equipment. ‘Where others manufacture a range of testing equipment our equipment is textile industry specific. We are familiar with wool and our advanced technologies


textile machinery

TMS45-Count Analyser

reflect the quality control needed for this fibre. Our technology runs successfully in plants in more than 30 countries. Our local agents have a particular focus on spare parts and after sales service’, says Ladi Tomsic. ‘Our Tenso Tester 3 automatic strength tester tests and analyses the elongation and force properties of staple-fibre spun yarns and filament yarns. Test length is from 100mm - 500mm, with a pre-tension value from 0.00cN/Tex - 10.00 cN/Tex. It can test yarns of all materials and counts. It provides for multi language software operation with test runs in just 3 clicks. It requires only one window for graphical and numerical display and multi diagram windows for direct test comparisons’, says Ladi Tomsic. The TMS46-QM - digital system is for high accuracy sliver and roving quality monitoring. It is installed directly on to existing

Tenso Tester 3

and new production machines with online measurement. It can be adapted to a wide range of counts. ‘We provide 3 versions: for carding machines producing long fibres, for finishing machines also for long fibres, and for roving machines producing short and long fibres, all are suitable for wool, silk, jute, acrylic and more’, he says. The TMS45-Count Analyser measures yarn, roving, and sliver count. The main software technology is Microsoft compatible and provides for multi language use and report printing. At least 20 years of data, such as storage, is available and free retrieval of the stored data is also available via other software (for example: Excel). It is possible to change measuring units such as Nec, Nel, New, Nm, tex, Ktex, gr/yd, and Denier. Avg, and CV% graphs are displayed during the

test. The Software Data View shows Min., Avg., Max, CV% Q95% data and it is possible to visualize up to 3 measuring units at the same time. The Link-Job Technology is simple to use and saves time. Ladi Tomsic added that ‘delivering quality and consistency in tops and yarn production is not an easy task but using our laboratory testing equipment will achieve the best outcome every single time. We welcome enquiries from topmakers, spinners, and weavers who wish to talk to us about how our technology can help them’. Ladi Tomsic can be contacted at ladi@tomsic.it

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Weight and quality sliver control sensor at the output

New generation drawing frames ‘At the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, Sant’Andrea Novara is providing a breath of fresh air - its Elvo smart drawing frame monitors the quality of the entire production - a new generation machine able to collect data on production performance and organise in an Industry 4.0 way’. ‘All Italian know-how and innovation has always been part of our DNA’, says Marco Ploner, director at Sant Andrea. ‘Innovation is real and concrete, more than a novelty. Italian companies are revolutionising markets, turning the Made in Italy into a symbol of excellence all around the world.

Novara has been involved in technological research and the development of new products for the mechanical and textile sector. ‘Today, the Piedmontese brand is still a beacon of innovation meeting the new and shifting needs of the modern industry’.

‘Innovation meets the tangible needs of a precise target audience, improving worker performance and safety and focusing on research’, he says. For almost a century, Sant’Andrea

This is a very exciting period for the textile machinery industry. Companies in this sector - and Sant’Andrea Novara in particular - are taking a real technological leap, moving from mechanics to

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MECHATRONICS LEAD THE WAY

mechatronics. Such an important change not only revolutionises the conventional way of designing machines, and also prepares them to the interconnected world of Industry 4.0. With this scenario in mind Mario and Marco Ploner, directors of Sant’Andrea Textile Machines Srl, have radically re-invented Sant’Andrea Novara’s production, as well as technology, and in communication and design. The new machines are named for the rivers in the wool


textile machinery

district around Piedmont. ‘It was like putting an Italian seal of approval on our new production line, highlighting the strong relationship between the company and the surrounding landscape’, says Marco Ploner. The new drawing machine has been updated in both its hardware and software: the drawing system has been mechatronically redesigned, while the machine layout has been designed with intuitive and coordinated user interfaces to mimic the anthropometry and gestures of the machine operator. ELVO - A NEW GENERATION OF DRAWING MACHINES Sant’Andrea Novara presented the prototype of its new ELVO drawing machine (with brand new design and colour) during ITMA 2019, an important signal marking a new era. The company exhibited Elvo’s innovative core: the quality control system RiverX, a technological device that controls and manages the quality of the entire production during fibre processing. The introduction of this new technology is important to replace manual control and the delivery weight through spot checks. Elvo enables monitoring adjustment of the outgoing sliver during the whole process, ensuring that the entire production complies with the desired weight standard. A “controlling eye” on the whole processed batch, analyses data, saving it, and making it remotely available. Mechatronics makes machines “smart”, allowing them to improve auto-levelling performance as well

Mario Ploner (left) and Marco Ploner

as axis rotation, if necessary, to ensure that the desired weight is as uniform as possible throughout the whole processed batch. Sant’Andrea Novara has launches its first machine designed from an IoT (Internet of things) perspective, with a proprietary control panel (SanProMo: Sant’Andrea Production Monitor) able to create an ideal “dashboard” to manage the machine efficiency and to control quality. The “embedded” SanProMo software will help the operator/supervisor optimise production and keep fibre quality under control, even remotely. Maybe in the future it will be able to manage an entire line. ‘Elvo will allow us to provide our clients with a product that meets its value proposition as far as high quality and durability are concerned. We are even going to strengthen it by adding an IoT plus to measure the performance in terms of production, efficiency and quality’, says Silvio Givone, company sales manager.

AN EYE TO THE FUTURE Elvo is the first step on a path leading to the modernisation of the entire production in Sant’Andrea Novara. The company will soon present Cervo (the vertical finisher already announced at ITMA 2019) and Sesia (a new multi-head drawing frame). This is only the beginning of an exciting journey dedicated to innovation. ‘The underlying idea is to one day offer our clients the chance of managing the whole fibre processing line from an IoT perspective, in order to support them in the performance of their tasks. For our clients, Sant’Andrea Novara will not only be a supplier but also a reliable partner, which will help make processes easier, faster, and smarter by means of state-of-the-art technological tools’, says Mario Ploner. Throughout its history the company production has been underpinned by new ideas and constant innovation and the current management continues this focus into the future. wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Dr. Pietro Prosino

Best performance in spinning

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he COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the wool industry worldwide,’ says Dr Pietro Prosino, CEO PROSINO Borgosesia Rings from the company’s manufacturing base in Biella Italy. ‘Whether you are a wool grower, manufacturer or retailer the impact of this unprecedented situation has caused us all to revaluate our plans for the future’. ‘But when business returns to normal the fundamental values, such as quality output and efficiency in manufacturing will still be there. For spinners around the world running machinery at greater speed with no breakdowns and maintaining quality throughout the process will be as important as ever.

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‘I have no doubt that the industry will come out of this stronger and more resilient. The changes in consumer behaviour will affect the retail and manufacturing sectors for years to come but demand for quality, and the necessity to be more competitive at manufacturing, will continue to be important factors for the industry,’ he said. PROSINO supplies to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) companies and its rings are preferred by Zinser, Cognetex, and Gaudino for spinning any fibre, whether long or short staple. The company supplies a complete range of ring holders and ring-rails, as well as sintered metal rings for technical textiles including carpet, fiber glass, and synthetic fibers. Prosino uses

100Cr6 ball bearing steel for all its rings. It also supplies spinning rings to top end spinners such as Sudwolle-Safil, Zegna Baruffa, Reda, XinAo and many others. ‘Our business goal has always been to keep spinning frame performance at the highest level. Our steel canonical rings provide extra strength and speed and reduces yarn breakage and yarn hairiness, and provides a longer lasting life to customer machinery, a benefit in cost saving,’ says Pietro Prosino. Saurer Group, manufacturer of the Zinser brand, commented that buyers of their new machines request Prosino Rings because they are known for their quality and durability. This sentiment is


also shared by Xinao, one of the biggest worsted yarn manufacturers in China, who has switched to using only Prosino Rings in all its processing. ‘We must ensure that our yarn is of the highest quality and we depend on our machinery to work with less breakage throughout the spinning process’, says Zhou Xiaotian, Xinao General Manager. Longtime customer REDA, a world recognised manufacturer of luxury fabric, has relied on PROSINO rings for many years. ‘We have always opted for Prosino Rings because we need a stable and reliable supplier. Prosino has always demonstrated an ability to listen to the needs of yarn producers and develop high quality rings that meet their requirements’, says Francesco Botto Poala, REDA CEO. Pietro Prosino comments that ‘natural fibre such as wool, cashmere, and mohair will continue to be expensive fibres. Eliminating breakage and ensuring uninterrupted production runs is important to any spinner around the world. We have a long and established relationship with Michell Perù, the largest Alpaca textile group in Peru. Prosino has been supplying its Borgosesia Rings to this company since the 1980s. Josè Valdivieso, Director of Michell Perù, comments that ‘the quality of the rings and personalised service and attention we receive from Prosino is excellent. We must have reliable machinery to ensure that we are able to deliver our products on time and to best quality. Prosino Rings are an important part of our ability to achieve this outcome’. ‘The exceptional performance of our rings is achieved because of the latest innovation in manufacturing,’ continues Pietro Prosino. ‘Best performance in manufacturing is our goal, and we have been working on it for over 70 years. We offer a continuously evolving range of products. Our client base appreciate the reliability, flexibility and innovation that our rings provide’, says Dr Prosino. For more information Dr Prosino can be contact at pprosino@prosino.com

We chat:

Whatsapp nr: +39 335 8361291 www.prosino.com - info@prosino.com wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Giacomo Meucci Regional Sales Director Autefa Solutions

Cards for finer fibres

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OVID-19 caused a temporary slow-down of some AUTEFA machinery installations around the world. ‘But as sites have been able to start up, we are seeing a way forward and our major installation in China is back on track’, says Giacomo Meucci, Regional Sales Director Autefa Solutions from Biella Italy. ‘Today there is an increasing focus on the use of natural fibres in manufacturing leisure, sportswear, and next-to-skin clothing. This focus on finer

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micron wools corresponds with a demand on the spinning sector to manufacture yarn using finer fibre and to precise specifications. ‘Our machines deliver excellent quality outcomes in wool, alpaca, and cashmere. They can run at a precise speed, guaranteeing consistency and evenness in top and yarn production. Tops will be some 2-3mm longer the best yarn quality achievable’, says Giacomo Meucci. ‘In China and in Europe our machinery installations for

cashmere woollen spinning are the preferred option. Ningbo Consinee in Zhejiang province will operate the most automated and modern plant for processing cashmere, and Gobi, the biggest spinning mill in Mongolia, uses our AUTEFA cards in its production’, he says.

The OCTIR-Dragon Multitrave Worsted and Semi-worsted Cards guarantee high productivity without compromising the quality of the top. The result is fibre fineness from 14.5 - 40 microns and fiber length from


textile machinery

40 - 220mm. AUTEFA woollen carding sets feature feeding cylinders that reduce to 108mm, enabling better fibre control, producing a yarn with greater evenness and better CV and Uster values. These cards provide a more simplified opening of the card cover and increased throughput and blending action. A control panel with touchscreen allows easy management of all functions including fault messages. Side doors without rails on the floor create quick and easy access to card parts for cleaning and maintenance. OCTIR-Dragon Multitrave Woollen Carding Sets are available with a single or double tape condenser, as well as either a giant traversing

creel or a tandem creel. Based on the OCTIR system, the synchronization between the two cards is mechanical (breaker and finisher) because this is the best way to reach the perfect synchronization by the various carding set cylinders. ‘COVID-19 and the travels restrictions it has imposed has shown us how important and useful online and remote problem solving and communication can be,’ says Jutta Soell, head of marketing. ‘We have been using remotely controlled troubleshooting equipment for some time. Now, it is even more important than ever. ‘Our machines and lines are known as very robust and

reliable; however, customers with production lines older than 15-20 years, with no remote access, were unable to take advantage of our online troubleshooting services. Very early on in the pandemic and at the time of the first lockdown, we recognized the need for retrofits to those older production lines, to enable remote access and to upgrade these machines with the latest state- of- the- art- technology. Our supply chain has not been disrupted during COVID-19 and we continue to support users of our machines worldwide.’ For more information about AUTEFA cards and online servicing - www.autefa.com/ woolenworsted/

OCTIR. Woollen. Worsted. Semi worsted.

The best worsted, semi worsted, and woollen carding sets to process the finest fibers.

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New insert grip machine provides greater accuracy at their plant. ‘We can make combs to specific order for individual machines’, says Mario Ploner. ‘And we deliver promptly all around the world’. Coppa’s new automated insertation technique for combs in textile machinery has made a reliable, high quality product even better. ‘If combs are not correctly installed or are too old, they can affect the quality and speed of the entire topmaking process. To meet customer need all over the world, we have designed a new insert grip machine. When the insert is worn-out and it is necessary to change it, the replacement operation has previously been done manually; now it can be done mechanically. This machine provides greater accuracy than the manual method and eliminates damage that can be made to the comb during manual insertion. The new machine inserts combs with greater accuracy and provides a safer installation process for the operator’, says Mario Ploner.

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ombs are a very small component in the making tops, but are integral to the process. This is why the quality of combs is so important’, says Mario Ploner of Coppa, a member company of the Beppe Ploner Group. ‘We have been manufacturing high quality steel combs for over 50 years and are a preferred supplier for NSC, Sant’Andrea, OKK and Cognetex’. This Italian company has always been innovative, keeping pace with the technologies needed for todays’ production processes. ‘The experience and knowledge we have acquired over time, and our willingness to collaborate with leading textile machinery manufacturers, is beneficial to all. We guarantee that Coppa products provide longevity, durability, minimum maintenance, and simple needle replacement’, says Mario Ploner. Topmakers can order combs specific to the machinery

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fashion trends

Always in fashion

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he buzz word in fashion today is casual casual casual, and this all the more so as a result of COVID-enforced working from home. Many might be leaving their formal suits firmly in the wardrobe but there is always a place for gloves! The Queen may be one of a very few to wear gloves as a sartorial standard but cold weather will always provide an opportunity to wear gloves to keep our hands and fingers warm. So why not make them fun and fashionable? Britain used to have a huge glove industry and being a glover was a sought after skill and Dashing Tweeds is taking up the mantra. ‘We have used our reflective fabric for men using our Navy Raver design, and our Red Raver for our womenswear gloves. These both feature our reflective threads woven with fine Merino wool and the gloves are made of the most lusciously soft leather and lined with cashmere. ‘We have also turned two of the fabrics from our current autumn collection into really exquisite gloves. The Libertine design is matched to a rich purple leather and our sumptuous Verdant tweed to a rich green leather. We have all pairs in small, medium and large sizes.’ wool2yarnglobal 2020

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Why advertising works When business is good it pays to advertise. When business is bad you must advertise.

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ne thing is for sure, if buyers have never textile companies in over 60 countries worldwide. It heard about your company they cannot is circulated by direct mail to all buy your product. You simply major importers and exporters of wool cannot contact 20,000 people. and speciality fibre, wool carbonisers, Advertising in woo2yarn wool2yarn China topmakers, spinners, weavers and fabric, 中国羊毛与纱线 magazines can. Advertising promotes garments, and carpet manufacturers. your product to new markets and wool2yarn china is circulated to over reassures your existing customers that 5000 wool importers, wool processors buying from your company is the right (scouring and carbonising), topmaker, choice. spinners and weavers, and fabric and Magazine advertising is targeted and carpet manufacturers in China by China builds product awareness. To get your by Nanjing Wool Market. message across you must have a profile wool2yarn china is also distributed that your customers and potential to all delegates (500+) attending customers can see and easily access. the annual Nanjing Wool Market wool2yarn wool2yarn global and wool2yarn china Conference, the major international magazines are published once each conference for the wool and textile year and advertising in both of these industry in China. Attendees include publications will connect you to all leading Chinese companies from greasy major wool companies using wool and wool importers and processors to speciality fibres in their production. garment manufacturers. Speciality Fibres

2020-2021年羊毛购买商指南

Speciality Fibres

Global

wool2yarn global is an English language publication, circulated to 5000 wool and

For more information visit us at www.wool2yarnglobal.com

BUYERS GUIDE TO WOOL 2020-2021

Who Reads Us Yarn Manufacturers

Garment / Carpet Retail

7% Garment/Carpet Manufacturers

Government Agencies

11%

21% 16%

Fabric Manufacturers

4% 17%

24%

Exporters / Importers / Agents Wool & Top Processing

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E X C E L L E N C E

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W O O L

B U L G A R I A

T O P

Profile for Ely Torres

Wool2Yarn Global  

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