12 Sep 2011

Call to revive wool use in NZ

2:46 pm on 12 September 2011

Wool industry interests are are turning their attention to getting New Zealand carpet and clothing retailers hooked into the campaign for wool.

The latest step in the campaign to revive global interest in wool, the Wool Modern Exhibition, opened in London last week.

New Zealand products are featured in the exhibition which aims to break new ground in uses for wool by exhibiting work by leading fashion and interior designers.

But the Wool Exporters Council says promotional efforts are going to have to focus more attention on the domestic as well as international market.

Executive manager Nick Nicholson says the use of wool in this country, especially in carpets, has been steadily losing ground to synthetics.

He says solution-dyed nylons have a grip on the carpet market and the share of wool has dropped a long way.

Mr Nicholson says they need to revitalise the industry domestically, particularly in the carpet sector, which is the backbone of New Zealand's crossbred wool industry.

He says one retailer has reported that the wool component in its carpet sales had fallen from more 80% to less than 40%, and the same trend has been happening with women's clothing.

Mr Nicholson says wool industry will give high priority to signing up retailers as licensees in the Campaign for Wool.