Fashion leader has designs on wool

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman

Wool is truly back in vogue, especially with the recent announcement that fashion leader Giorgio Armani is to use the fibre in his autumn/winter range.

Full credit goes to Woolmark in securing this first ever collaboration with the iconic designer.

Australian Wool Innovation chief executive Stuart McCullough said it was an important step in influencing northern hemisphere retailers and designers.

“We’re delighted,” Mr McCullough said. “It doesn’t get much bigger than this for us.”

He said Australian wool growers should take pride in their product when they see Armani’s designs in Vogue’s glossy magazine.

“Our strategic intent is to have the Woolmark logo identified at the very top end of the fashion industry,” Mr McCullough said.

ABARE’s 2011–12 outlook for wool, released last week, suggests the fibre’s good ride is set to continue.

The wool forecast for next year is good with a prediction that the Eastern Market Indicator will lift by 4.4 per cent to 1170c/kg while the Western Market Indicator will jump by 3.5 per cent to an average of 1147c/kg.

The difference in average prices is a reflection of a stronger lift in fine and superfine prices.

ABARE said apparel growth in the European Union and Japan was expected to moderate, predicting wool exports to decline by 2.2 per cent, despite a wool production increase of 1.7 per cent to 355mkg greasy.

“This increase will be due to higher sheep numbers and slightly higher fleece weights,” ABARE said.

Last week, the Australian wool market finished 0.4 per cent higher and remained at record levels.

The 2010–11 season has seen a significant change in the wool diameter profile of the Australian wool clip, according to the Landmark Wool Weekly report.

“The long-term production of superfine wool is reversing toward medium types,” Landmark said.

While superfine has declined by 16 per cent to take up a 17 per cent share of the total clip, the production of medium wool has lifted by 8 per cent, or 30 per cent of the clip.

Landmark attributes the broad wool increase mainly to the better season and higher lamb prices.

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