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"Humanity has never been involved in a relationship with any other creature that was more pivotal to its development and ultimate success than the one it shares with sheep". From Sheep by Alan Butler (published by John Hunt, 2013)
Given that the production of wool textiles plays such an integral part in history it is surprising that it makes up such a low percentage of the global fibre market. That said, the majority of global wool production goes into apparel.
With the price being much more than cotton, wool is perhaps viewed more as a premium product, confined to niche markets. Another view is that in today's modern world of man-made synthetics and fast fashion, wool no longer has a place.
However, there are plenty of signs that wool is making a comeback as a 21st century fibre - driven by improved aesthetics, performance aspects, and sustainability credentials.

This brand new title from just-style takes a look at this rather forgotten, yet unique textile fibre and examines the place of wool fibre in the textile value chain. It addresses its decline in popularity, the reasons for its current comeback, and assesses future prospects for the wool industry.
The report aims to demystify the tangled international supply chain for sheep’s wool and specialised wool products such as cashmere, alpaca, and mohair, from the growers to the processors, spinners, and textile manufacturers in various regions of the globe.
It identifies new developments in breeding, processing, and spinning wool fibre, that are resulting in improved product; and discusses the consumer lifestyle changes, creative product development, and marketing efforts driving the fibre’s future prospects.

The report looks at:

- the international supply chain for sheep’s wool and specialised wool products
- new developments in breeding, processing and spinning wool fibre
- eco-credentials
- consumer lifestyle changes
- creative product development
- marketing efforts driving the fibre’s future prospects

Table Of Contents

Wool in the 21st Century: new prospects for a familiar fibre
Introduction

Chapter 1 Wool gathering
Global wool consumption
Wool and its properties
From farm to factory
Spinning: woollen vs. worsted
Siro-spinning
Superwashing
Spinning a tangled supply chain
A return to local spinning

Chapter 2 Wool in the luxury market
What's in a micron?
Super S Values
Mah-vellous Merino
Just say “merino” please

Chapter 3 Wool's noble cousins
Covetable cashmere
Cashmere spinning
Maintaining cashmere quality
Other noble fibres
Mohair suits
Pet alpacas
Beasts of burden
Can't touch this
Chapter 4 The forgotten fibre
The rise of synthetics
Acrylic sweaters
The rise and fall of the polyester leisure suit
Misguided marketing
The reserve price scheme
PETA and the mulesing issue
Wool vs the puffer jacket
Wool and climate change
Chapter 5: Solving wool's identity crisis
Making wool “cool”
The “Merino” brand
The Campaign for Wool
Transparent supply
Breeding better sheep
A certain level of comfort
Wool's eco-credentials
Cleaning up wool's act
PETA round two
Development of a Global Wool Standard
Chapter 6 Wool in the 21st century
Base layer and beyond
Technical prowess
Men smarten up
What's old is new
Wool and new manufacturing paradigms
Additive manufacturing
Wool's future prospects
List of tables
Table 1: Forecasts for World Wool Production as of April, 2014
Table 2: Wool Fibre Diameter
Table 3: IWTO Designations of Superfine Wool
List of figures
Figure 1: 2012 Production Clean Raw Wool, in Tonnes
Figure 2: Apparel merino wool world production 24 micron and finer
Figure 3: Production of animal hair fibres, in tonnes
Figure 4: 2012 World production of Mohair totalled 5,000 tonnes
Figure 5: Wool's Percentage of Global Fibre Consumption
Figure 6: Price to Micron Ratio in A$ Cents
Figure 7: US Knit T-shirt imports

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