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Market Research Report

Wool in the 21st Century: New Prospects for a Familiar Fibre

Published by just-style Product code 311941
Published Content info 58 Pages
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Wool in the 21st Century: New Prospects for a Familiar Fibre
Published: September 1, 2014 Content info: 58 Pages

This publication has been discontinued on January 8, 2020.


"Humanity has never been involved in a relationship with any other creature that was more pivotal to its development and ultimate success than the one it shares with sheep". From Sheep by Alan Butler (published by John Hunt, 2013)

Given that the production of wool textiles plays such an integral part in history it is surprising that it makes up such a low percentage of the global fibre market. That said, the majority of global wool production goes into apparel.

With the price being much more than cotton, wool is perhaps viewed more as a premium product, confined to niche markets. Another view is that in today's modern world of man-made synthetics and fast fashion, wool no longer has a place.

However, there are plenty of signs that wool is making a comeback as a 21st century fibre -  driven by improved aesthetics, performance aspects, and sustainability credentials.

This brand new title from just-style takes a look at this rather forgotten, yet unique textile fibre and examines the place of wool fibre in the textile value chain. It addresses its decline in popularity, the reasons for its current comeback, and assesses future prospects for the wool industry.

The report aims to demystify the tangled international supply chain for sheep's wool and specialised wool products such as cashmere, alpaca, and mohair, from the growers to the processors, spinners, and textile manufacturers in various regions of the globe.

It identifies new developments in breeding, processing, and spinning wool fibre, that are resulting in improved product; and discusses the consumer lifestyle changes, creative product development, and marketing efforts driving the fibre's future prospects.

The report looks at:

  • the international supply chain for sheep's wool and specialised wool products
  • new developments in breeding, processing and spinning wool fibre
  • eco-credentials
  • consumer lifestyle changes
  • creative product development
  • marketing efforts driving the fibre's future prospects
Table of Contents
Product Code: 218371

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Wool gathering

  • Global wool consumption
  • Wool and its properties
  • From farm to factory
  • Spinning: woollen vs. worsted
  • Siro-spinning
  • Superwashing
  • Spinning a tangled supply chain
  • A return to local spinning

Chapter 2: Wool in the luxury market

  • What's in a micron
  • Super S Values
  • Mah-vellous Merino
  • Just say "merino" please

Chapter 3: Wool's noble cousins

  • Covetable cashmere
  • Cashmere spinning
  • Maintaining cashmere quality
  • Other noble fibres
  • Mohair suits
  • Pet alpacas
  • Beasts of burden
  • Can't touch this

Chapter 4: The forgotten fibre

  • The rise of synthetics
  • Acrylic sweaters
  • The rise and fall of the polyester leisure suit
  • Misguided marketing
  • The reserve price scheme
  • PETA and the mulesing issue
  • Wool vs the puffer jacket
  • Wool and climate change

Chapter 5: Solving wool's identity crisis

  • Making wool "cool"
  • The "Merino" brand
  • The Campaign for Wool
  • Transparent supply
  • Breeding better sheep
  • A certain level of comfort
  • Wool's eco-credentials
  • Cleaning up wool's act
  • PETA round two
  • Development of a Global Wool Standard

Chapter 6: Wool in the 21st century

  • Base layer and beyond
  • Technical prowess
  • Men smarten up
  • What's old is new
  • Wool and new manufacturing paradigms
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Wool's future prospects

List of tables

  • Table 1: Forecasts for World Wool Production as of April, 2014
  • Table 2: Wool Fibre Diameter
  • Table 3: IWTO Designations of Superfine Wool

List of figures

  • Figure 1: 2012 Production Clean Raw Wool, in Tonnes
  • Figure 2: Apparel merino wool world production 24 micron and finer
  • Figure 3: Production of animal hair fibres, in tonnes
  • Figure 4: 2012 World production of Mohair totalled 5,000 tonnes
  • Figure 5: Wool's Percentage of Global Fibre Consumption
  • Figure 6: Price to Micron Ratio in A$ Cents
  • Figure 7: US Knit T-shirt imports
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