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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
15 OFF-FARM March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE Graeme Kerr, the Managing Director of Wool Products Australia Pty Ltd -- which manufactures the Woolstar brand -- promoting wool bedding in the AWI Wool Arena at Heimtextil. Australian woolgrowers whose clip is of a broader micron and crossbreed wool will be pleased to hear that, according to Woolmark licensees that attended this year's influential Heimtextil trade show in Germany, wool in the interiors sector -- including bedding, carpets and furnishings -- continues to grow despite the challenging economic climate. Heimtextil is the biggest international trade show for home and contract textiles -- this year 66,000 visitors from 128 countries came to see the latest innovations on offer at this show. Under the banner 'Merino. Superior Performance', AWI once again co-hosted the Wool Arena -- a focal point for the industry to promote wool at Heimtextil. AWI, along with Woolmark licensee co-exhibitors, showcased the superior natural benefits of wool to visitors. Suppliers, buyers, designers and retailers along the wool pipeline could meet to discuss new, innovative products and technologies. As well as promoting wool's benefits, AWI also provided an insight into the forthcoming inaugural edition of 'The Wool Lab: Interiors'. AWI's Mothers and Babies program was also made a focus and once again raised a lot of interest. AWI will follow up on the more than 60 enquiries that it received from trade visitors. The Woolmark licensees who exhibited in the Wool Arena were Wool Products Australia, Jaspa Herington, H. Dawson, Baur Vliesstoffe, Bönning + Sommer, Cafissi and Lano Carpets -- all of whom showcased wool's natural benefits. H. Dawson Wool owner and CEO Jo Dawson said he had been receiving a lot of enquiries from new companies. "Our business in wool is good," Mr Dawson said. "We are facing a continuing increased interest in wool in the bedding area." Mr Dawson said volatility in the price of FAST FACTS l The woollen interiors sector remains strong despite the challenging global economic conditions, according to Woolmark licensees at the influential Heimtextil trade show. l AWI once again co-hosted the Wool Arena with Woolmark licensees at the trade show, with the theme 'Merino. Superior Performance'. l Woolmark licensees expressed confidence in AWI and the company's marketing of wool and the Woolmark brand. wool is hard for some customers to cope with, yet despite this, H. Dawson Wool had enjoyed a strong few years. "We're very pleased with the relationship we have with The Woolmark Company. We think it is absolutely essential to have a worldwide organisation supporting wool and the wool industry needs that -- it needs a voice. I'm pleased to see Woolmark Interiors is gaining steam again and continued investment in the long run will pay off for the woolgrower." Mr Dawson advised that coarse wool is better for bedding. "Woolgrowers that want to successfully supply wool into the world's wool bedding market need to grow clean, white, coarse, bulky wool of about 30-34 micron," he said. Graeme Kerr, the Managing Director of Wool Products Australia Pty Ltd -- which retails under the Woolstar brand -- said he was extremely happy with the services that he had received recently from AWI. "We've been able to develop a relationship over last couple of years which has been very helpful in developing our new baby range products," Mr Kerr said. "We are sourcing a lot of information which is helping us to develop our product on the wool aspect side of it, and also the marketing material. So we look forward to continuing this relationship with Woolmark and hopefully we can sell a lot more wool." Marketing Manager at Australian bedding company Jaspa Herington, Janine Bisset, said the company sells a lot of wool and the company understands the importance of working with AWI and the Woolmark brand. "There are so many great attributes (of wool) to be endorsed by a fine company like Woolmark," Ms Bisset said. "Consumers understand the importance of the Woolmark; its quality assurance and strong marketing." More information: Visit www.woolmark.com/ heimtextil2013 to view a video of comments from Woolmark licensees that attended Heimtextil. www.woolstar.com.au, www.jaspa.net.au www.hdawson.co.uk, www.baur-vliesstoffe.de www.boenning-sommer.de, www.cafissi.it www.lano.com Wool bedding: interest grows