Stocklists June 2017
Stocklists - Focal Point Wool
British Wool - Flying the Flag
An event that attracted leading wool industry people from all over the world came to the UK last month. The International Wool Textile Organisation’s Congress, an annual symposium that travels the world, held its 87th annual event in Harrogate - also the home of The National Flooring Show. This was first time the event had met in the UK for nearly twenty years, its last time being in Edinburgh.
Attracted to the textile heritage and glorious rural setting of Yorkshire, the Congress brought over 300 delegates to the spa town from countries as far flung as New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Uruguay all in the name of discussing what is frequently referred to as the ‘noble’ fibre.
Naturally, British Wool played an active part in the event - and created a stunning entrance for delegates with a Wool Lobby at The Old Swan Hotel featuring Alternative Flooring’s delightful Liberty partnership carpet which set the perfect backdrop for the obvious;y patriotic theme of red, white and blue!
Lorna Haigh, Creative Marketing Director of Alternative Flooring also spoke at the event and discussed the importance of inspiring consumers with good imagery and collaborations. Lorna impressed the importance of the skills and craft within the carpet business and how that empowered the wool industry’s product story.
Across the four days of the event - the qualities of wool were analysed in great detail - speakers came from all different sectors and their reports and research scrutinised the performance attributes of the fibre. These were delivered to an audience that focuses its attention on why wool is a good choice for clothing, fabrics, furnishing and flooring.
Indoor air quality was given a lot of attention during the interiors focused programme and the subject has been quietly rising as an added-value asset of wool. While the list of performance attributes of the fibre is extensive - the ability to breathe good quality internal air is increasingly important to consumers.
As Bangor University reported, one of the best ways to filter the air in a home is to use naturally grown wool products - carpet, rugs and flooring. The ability of wool fibre to absorb and change the composition of invisible contaminants in the atmosphere aids good health. This function has been well documented and is a hereditary asset from the fleece where the wool protects the sheep.
Beautiful British Wool Sheep Steal the Show
Sheep were the natural celebrities of Harrogate’s Wool Congress - British Wool brought the small flock of Dalesbred rams to show the international guests British Wool growing! The flock, from a farm situated just outside Harrogate, graced the magnificent lawns of The Old Swan Hotel as if it was their very own landscape and attracted much interest - they were the photo opportunity of the event!
British Wool is grown on farms across the UK - about 45,000 farms care for our national flock. This wool makes its way in to the textile industry and is frequently the ‘choice’ fibre for flooring. However, it is also now often used in products such as luxury mattresses. Most of the best mattress brands are now choosing British Wool - they discovered the way wool performs and have really taken to its natural story.
The Chairman of British Wool, Ian Buchanan, a sheep farmer from Ireland, attended the event and commented, “We have an incredibly varied wool clip in the UK and provide variety to the textile industry. Our flocks grow good really strong wool and it is perfect for quality carpets being naturally bulky and robust. British Wool is far superior to manmade fibres maintaining excellent appearance and of course comes with our fantastic rural heritage that consumers can really appreciate.”
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