April 25, 2008
April 25, 2008 -- The 77th International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO) Congress, held in Beijing, China, from April 13-16 has come to a close. More than 350 delegates from 27 countries discussed the positive attributes of wools under the theme Wool - The Environmentally Friendly Fiber.
At the congress, IWTO President G?nther Beier re-emphasized the importance of capitalizing on the ecological aspects of the wool fiber and its inherent properties as a textile fiber, which can bring wool back onto the retail floor prominently. In this respect, Beier congratulated Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)/The Woolmark Company for its very positive and innovative marketing approach, which went a long way towards getting wool back into its rightful place as the world's premium apparel and interior textile fiber.
Product innovations were shown to the delegates such as the shower suit that merely requires washing under a shower at 104 degree Fahrenheit and then left to dry overnight to be fit for wear the following morning.
A major technical issue was approved at the congress with the inclusion of a new definition for organic wool, which should support the industry to work united in this field. An international code of practice will be developed over the next few months in order to attempt to unify the definition world wide.
The American Sheep Industry Association is the official representative of the U.S. wool industry to the IWTO. Peter Orwick, ASI executive director, provided for congress attendees an update of the condition of the wool industry in the United States. The meeting provided a chance for the U.S. delegates to interact with participants from other parts of the world. Reprinted in part from IWTO.org