The Importance of Wool to Australiaby Halcyon Dreams Australian Wool Quilts Online
If you live in Australia, you’ll probably know just how important the wool industry is to the country. After all, we are the world’s leading producer of wool, and its production is one of the largest and most important ways that we use the land.
It’s estimated that there are over 30,000 wool growing farms from the north of Queensland to the mid-north of Western Australia and Tasmania that together produce almost 345 million kilograms of wool.
We’re also the leading exporter of wool in the world and produce everything from garments made from fine merino wool to the traditional Australian wool underlay.
How is Wool Sold
Approximately 90% of our wool is sold by live auction. Prior to the auction starting, potential buyers can see the quality of the wool that they’re going to bid on by checking out a grab sample and assessing it for suitability for the purpose they intend to use it for.
The grab sample can weigh anything from 3 – 4 kilograms and is used to assess characteristics such as the diameter of the fibres, the staple length and strength, the yield, the colour and the content of vegetable matter.
For example, buyers would be looking for wool that’s less than 19.5 microns if they wanted to make fine apparel such as suits and knitted garments whereas this wouldn’t be necessary if the wool is going to be used to make a wool underlay.
Who Buys Australian Wool?
Most of our Australian Merino wool is bought by businesses in China, although the Italian and Indian markets are also major purchasers. The majority of the raw product is sold and exported as what we call ‘greasy’ wool which means that it newly shorn from the sheep and has to be processed before it can be used.
The buyers put the wool through processing and use it to make a wide variety of different products from garments to furnishings and textiles. Although some of these products may be exported back to Australia for local consumption, the majority are headed for the European markets.
Wool is On the Up
While there has been a drop in demand for our wool, it’s now on the up again. With global brands such as Adidas reinventing wool as a fabric for athletic garments and innovative companies offering everything from made-to-measure merino wool socks to merino wool products that feel like cashmere, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of wool as a fabric.
Add in the increase in the global price of wool, and it’s now firmly back in the limelight as a fibre that offers a wealth of benefits from warmth and durability to lightness and breathability. And did we mention that it’s sustainable, eco-friendly, bio-degradable and it feels really nice to wear too?
Created on Feb 21st 2019 06:26. Viewed 308 times.