Womenâ€™s fashion wear, particularly Chinese woollen womenâ€™s jackets were the next big thing in China that would continue to drive demand for Australian Merino wool in the short term, said was part of discussion at the forum for wool classers and woolgrowers at Northam last Saturday.
Leading wool economist Chris Wilcox, executive director of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia and chairman of the Market Intelligence Committee of the International Wool Textile Industry said that womenâ€™s fashion coats are driving demand for wool, particularly from China and particularly for Merino cardings and broader wools, and also interior textiles â€“ they are using wools up to 36 micron for this. Knitwear is also doing very well.
The jackets are made from a double-faced woollen fabric, generally featured contrasting coloured lapels and lining, and are made from shorter staple-length broader micron wools.
There is an expectation of continued strong sales of wool for womenâ€™s clothing lines in the short term, particularly if thereâ€™s a colder than normal northern hemisphere winter this year.
Mr Wilcoxâ€™s comments were backed by Peter Scanlan Wools buyer Steve Noa who gave a buyerâ€™s perspective to the forum.
Mr Noa said that the biggest problem for the industry is that demand for a certain type of wool can pop up out of nowhere. Eighteen months ago, in China in winter and everybody was wearing puffy jackets. But now, this fantastic double-sided fabric has come along and they are having trouble filling orders.
Mr Noa is struggling to buy a couple of containers of 21 micron wool in WA. They are hoping itâ€™ll be a cold winter in China and theyâ€™ll continue buying.
According to both Mr Wilcox and Mr Noa, New Zealand had stolen a march on Australia in wool marketing by creating its popular Icebreaker range of menâ€™s and womenâ€™s winter sport and leisure knitwear blend using 18-18.5 micron NZ Merino wool.
Currently, the prestige of being seen in a quality wool product is part of the marketing story in China.
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