February 15, 2004
Wool Research Funded By Army Lab
ASI, in cooperation with private industry, has developed a woven fabric made up of an intimate blend of 50 percent aramid fiber and 50 percent wool fiber. The initial results of physical testing indicate the fabric is of interest and use to the U.S. Army. Due to the army?s unique dyeing requirements for camouflage print, ASI sought program funding to determine and establish suitable dye techniques and formulae for producing a camouflage print on this fabric.
The U.S. Army notified ASI on Dec. 29, 2003, that it has fully funded the proposed program. Representatives from the association will meet with the Army?s program managers on January 29 to begin working on this exciting development.
This is the first of several joint programs planned by ASI and U.S. Army researchers.
Wool Trade Increase Request Rejected
The Department of Commerce has determined that the 2004 limitation on the quantity of imports of worsted wool fabrics that may be imported under the tariff rate quotas established by the Trade and Development Act of 2000 (TDA 2000) as amended by the Trade Act of 2002 should not be modified.
In response to solicitations to modify the 2004 tariff-rate quota limitations, the department received only one request of increase for the maximum amount of 1,000,000 square meters. The department received comments from seven companies/trade associations in response to the request for an increase. One set of comments supported the increase while the other six opposed the request for modification.
Upon final review of all information, the Department of Commerce determined that the 2004 limitations on the quantity of imports of worsted wool fabrics that may be imported should not be modified.
Burlington Receives Army Contract
It was announced in mid-December through a U.S. Department of Defense press release that Burlington Apparel Fabrics has been awarded a $12,350,540 firm fixed price contract for polyester-wool serge cloth for the U.S. Army.
Work will be performed in North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania with an expected completion date of June 2005.
Western Australia Wool Sales Have Forgettable Year
According to Australian Broadcasting Corp., Western Australian wool producers would rather forget this year with the Western Regional Market indicator finishing on 747 cents a kilo clean at the close of sales.
This time last year, wool in the west was selling at around $AU1, 150 cents a kilo clean. A high Australian dollar, SARS and a lack of demand from China and Europe have all taken their toll.
According to Elders Wool Manager, however, it is not all bad news with the strength of the Japanese economy potentially increasing demand for wool in 2004.
Project to Identify Black Wool Gene
Scientists in Australia have embarked on a project to identify the gene that causes black sheep.
Dark fibers in the wool clip are costly for farmers, who often have to cull sheep and separate wool to avoid color contamination. White sheep can carry what is known as the recessive self-color black gene. When both the ram and the sheep carry the gene, they can produce lambs that are black or piebald.
?A genetic test could be only three or four years away,? stated researcher Belinda Norris.