AWI seeks new markets for Australian wool

suppliedThe West Australian
Vietnamese textile manufacturers on a farm at Boorowa, NSW.
Camera IconVietnamese textile manufacturers on a farm at Boorowa, NSW. Credit: Countryman

Australian Wool Innovation has been working with Vietnamese textile manufacturers in a bid to reduce the Australian wool industry's reliance on China.

In a statement from AWI, the Out of Vietnam project has familiarised Vietnamese companies with making garments from wool as an option to more commonly used materials such as cotton, acrylic and polyester.

An AWI spokesman said the project was creating new business opportunities for the fibre, with 50 Vietnamese manufacturing companies participating.

AWI general manager, product development and commercialisation, Jimmy Jackson said the organisation's proposition to the Vietnamese companies was that it would teach them how to produce higher value products using wool.

"We will also introduce them to potential new customers who can pay a higher price," he said.

Mr Jackson said AWI technicians visited the factories in Vietnam to teach them about what yarns to buy, how to dye wool and finish fabrics or garments.

He said 20 Vietnamese textile manufactures had also visited Australia to see first-hand how wool was grown, tested and traded.

Saigon Wool and Trading Corporation chief executive Mde Vu Thanh Thuy said AWI had taught her company how to make and finish garments after knitting. As a result, she had started to export wool garments to Japan.

"I am hoping to gain a Woolmark licence and use more Australian wool," she said.

Vietnam wool manufacturer Canifa chief executive Mde Doan Thi Bich Ngoc, who heads a leading fashion apparel retailer, said: "We launched a range of wool sweaters last winter which sold very well."

Mr Jackson said once the companies were technically confident, AWI would arrange a delegation of Japanese retail buyers to meet its new manufacturing partners.

He said the project would eventually establish wool spinning plants in Vietnam, followed by raw wool scouring and top-making, enabling greasy wool to be sold and exported directly from Australia.

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