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The Woolmark Company and IWTO join forces at Heimtextil

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Broader micron wools took centre stage at the world’s biggest interiors trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany recently, attracting thousands of interior designers, textile manufacturers and brands to the versatility of wool.

Bringing together Woolmark partners Jaspa Herington, Baur Vliesstoffe, Bönning + Sommer and DBCwool, the Wool Arena was co-hosted by the International Wool Textile Organisaion (IWTO) and showcased the latest innovations in wool bedding, carpets and furnishings.

“The Woolmark Company once again put on a great show which offers the wool industry a valuable meeting point at Heimtextil to discuss and engage with customers,” said IWTO Secretary General Elisabeth van Delden. “At the same time it is a great opportunity to educate fair visitors about the natural benefits and properties of wool.”

The demand for natural products such as wool in bedding continues to increase, with innovations such as sliver knits attracting consumers and prompting them to actively think about what they are sleeping on or under. New collections and product ranges for babies and children were seen at various bedding producers. Other trends include wool waddings for mattresses and wool balls for bedding which are in high demand from manufactures who value the ease of use and added resilience of the balls as a new type of filling for bedding products such as doonas and quilts.

“Underlays have been a stronger offering than normal, particularly with European customers,” said  Jaspa Herington National Sales & Marketing Manager Janine Bisset. “We have also produced a baby quilt, which we haven’t had before and we are expanding our quilt range to include a beautiful lightweight wool quilt, suitable for warmer months and climates.

“Customers love that the wool is from Australia. They keep asking if I’m from Austria because of the distance, but they know Australia and they know we offer a beautiful product.”

DBC Wool Sales & Marketing Director Dominique Blandiaux agrees that innovation is imperative to continue to attract new customers. She said this year saw an increase in visitors to their stand, with new countries showing an interest in wool bedding.

“In Europe, we’ve had a lot of interest in wool balls – balls made from washed wool,” said Ms Blandiaux. “This innovation is helping many people who have never used wool before. It’s very easy to process, even without special machines so it’s a good way to introduce wool into products.”

Wool industry members also reported that wool for acoustics is becoming increasingly important. Contemporary architecture’s widespread use of concrete, glass and steel may result in stunning looks, but these materials can spell disaster for acoustics. Wool carpets and wool felt panels are being integrated into the interior designs of offices and public spaces. In addition to the acoustical benefits, wool panels offer great colours and the ability to filter air pollution and odour.

“There’s some interesting things going on with rugs; some big heavy weaves sometimes mixed with other fibres,” explains Wool Room Managing Director Chris Tattersall. “Thick weaves and indeed some of the finer weaves allow for a very natural, coarser-type look, which adds texture to the appearance.”

Source: AWI

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