A delegation of Nanshan Corporation, Chinese wool textile firm are in Australia this week to work on joint ventures with Australian wool industry to bring new products to market. The Woolmark Company's general manager for product development and commercialisation Jimmy Jackson said that Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) was working with Nanshan to develop new wool textiles.
Mr Jackson said that particularly the last four or five years they are working very closely together, almost on a daily level. AWI have got the wool development centre over in Nanshan, s a small pilot plant with sample machines. They can try out any new ideas very quickly and very inexpensively.
Mr Jackson said that the speed to market was vital for the Nanshan Group. The business had diversified from its traditional men's suiting fabric into fashions for women and they are working on casual finishes.
The Nanshan pilot plant and woollen mills are at Yantai in Shandong province on China's east coast. General director Cao Yiru said that the group was innovating to broaden its market with unique textiles and designs.
Wool for women are, for their business, getting more and more fashion, more casual and more relaxed. This is why they started to meet the requirement of the market.
Nanshan Wool processing mill general manager, Wang Sheng said that it was his first visit to Tasmania to see the source of the wool. The purpose is to understand the upstream production, how they manage the farm and the history of the farm.
Then they will talk to their customers to let them know wool, to understand wool. And if it is possible they will set up some direct business links with the growers, if their production can meet the requirements.
The Australian wool processing business' annual output of 6,000 tonnes of 14 to 23 micron wool fabric and branded products makes it the third largest wool manufacturer in the world.
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