International Wool Textile Organization Wool Roadmap

General Overview

Wool is a natural fibre for the world we live in today. It is a fibre with a true ‘green’ lineage that is both sustainable and biodegradable - which are now highly valuable assets to the textile industry. This environmental advantage is increasingly a sought after requirement of fibre but wool has many other inherent benefits that have historically earned it a quality reputation from global manufacturers and consumers.

Performance is critical in textiles and wool’s multi-capable reputation in the finished product is built on a legacy that goes back over 10,000 years. Transcending generations of change shows the vast potential of wool to meet, adapt and fulfil complex product scenarios.

Wool offers practical attributes that far exceed man-made fibres and as it is grown, not made, its physical cell structure is complex allowing wool the natural ability to breathe. Uniquely it absorbs and releases humidity and provides a climate that is capable of adjusting to individual situations which ensures you are warm but never hot.

In addition it is the safe fibre - a high water and nitrogen content make it naturally flame retardant and it meets many international regulations without the need for chemical treatments. It absorbs unhealthy carbons in the atmosphere providing a better environment.

Wool is a globally traded commodity and its market diversity is vast and ever expanding. It is found in many sectors; apparel and fashion, activewear, flooring and interiors, aviation, architecture, manufacturing, medical use and protective apparel. These all use wool and with this dynamic versatility, it has proved itself to be the original ‘Smart’ fibre.

Research and development with wool continually pushes this potential further, opening doors to a future that will safeguard an industry, which is a major worldwide employer and bringing multiple benefits to people, products and the planet.

Despite all these positive attributes, consumers, industry and governments continue to be oblivious of the Health and Safety benefits wool can bring. As a result of subsequent low wool prices, less and less farmers are likely to grow wool in the future. With this in mind, the wool industry needs support to redress this threat to its existence.