INNOVATIVE uses for broader micron wools took centre stage at the world’s biggest interiors trade fair Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Germany, recently.
The Wool Arena at the fair brought together Woolmark partners Jaspa Herington, Baur Vliesstoffe, Bönning + Sommer and DBCwool, and was co-hosted by the International Wool Textile Organisaion.
Wool Arena showcased the latest innovations in wool bedding, carpets and furnishings, attracting thousands of interior designers, textile manufacturers and brands.
IWTO secretary general Elisabeth van Delden said The Woolmark Company put on a great show, offering the wool industry a valuable meeting point at Heimtextil to discuss and engage with customers.
“At the same time, it is a great opportunity to educate fair visitors about the natural benefits and properties of wool.”
Woolmark said the demand for natural products such as wool in bedding continued to increase, with innovations such as sliver knits attracting consumers and prompting them to actively think about what they are sleeping on or under.
New collections and product ranges for babies and children were seen at various bedding producers. Other trends include wool waddings for mattresses and wool balls for bedding which are in high demand from manufactures who value the ease of use and added resilience of the balls as a new type of filling for bedding products such as doonas and quilts.
Jaspa Herington national sales and marketing manager Janine Bisset said underlays have been a stronger offering than normal, particularly with European customers.
“We have also produced a baby quilt, which we haven’t had before and we are expanding our quilt range to include a beautiful lightweight wool quilt, suitable for warmer months and climates.
“Customers love that the wool is from Australia,” she said.
“They keep asking if I’m from Austria because of the distance, but they know Australia and they know we offer a beautiful product.”
DBCwool sales and marketing director Dominique Blandiaux said innovation is imperative to continue to attract new customers.
She said there were more visitors to the DBCwool stand this year, with new countries showing an interest in wool bedding.
“In Europe, we’ve had a lot of interest in wool balls – balls made from washed wool.
“This innovation is helping many people who have never used wool before,” she said.
“It’s very easy to process, even without special machines, so it’s a good way to introduce wool into products.”
Wool industry members also reported that wool for acoustics is becoming increasingly important.
Contemporary architecture’s widespread use of concrete, glass and steel may result in stunning looks, but these materials can spell disaster for acoustics, Woolmark said. Wool carpets and wool felt panels are being integrated into the interior designs of offices and public spaces. Wool panels also offer great colours and the ability to filter air pollution and odour.
Wool Room managing director Chris Tattersall said there were some interesting things going on with rugs, with some big heavy weaves sometimes being mixed with other fibres.
“Thick weaves and indeed some of the finer weaves allow for a very natural, coarser-type look, which adds texture to the appearance.”
Source: Australian Wool Innovation.
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