Wool takes on syn­thet­ics in carpet war


One of Europe’s lead­ing carpet mak­ers is pre­par­ing to launch a cam­paign pro­mot­ing the virtues of New Zealand wool.

Dutch com­pany Best Wool Car­pets wants to fight back against the dom­i­nance of syn­thetic prod­ucts which dom­i­nate the global carpet mar­ket with a whop­ping 96 per cent share.

It aims to counter some of the false­hoods prop­a­gated by the syn­thetic in­dus­try, such as that wool carpet fades in UV light.

In New Zealand for talks with com­pa­nies such as NZ Merino, Best Wool Car­pets chief ex­ec­u­tive Yvar Monasch said the in­dus­try needed to sell the nat­u­ral story of wool bet­ter.

‘‘One of the things we find when we start talk­ing about the ben­e­fits of wool is that it is hard to stop. Re­silience, sus­tain­abil­ity, com­fort, you can go on.’’

Wool was more ex­pen­sive than syn­thet­ics but peo­ple were pre­pared to pay.

‘‘If you want to have a beau­ti­ful prod­uct you have to pay for it so we don’t cater for the low end of the mar­ket,’’ Monasch said.

‘‘Wool lasts longer, car­pets stay good look­ing for a long time, maybe 10 years, but a syn­thetic one loses its beauty af­ter two or three years.’’

Best Wool Car­pets has a 25 per cent mar­ket share of the fine wool carpet busi­ness in Europe, mak­ing what he de­scribes as fash­ion­able, tex­tured-style prod­ucts.

Most of the strong, cross­bred wool it uses comes from New Zealand, and the largest per­cent­age from farm­ers con­tracted with NZ Merino. At present there are 260 tonnes of New Zealand cross­bred wool in Best Wool’s for­ward con­tracts – about 2000 bales.

Monasch said he was not scared over cam­paigns by an­i­mal rights ac­tivists against wool, as Best Wool knows how its farm­ers op­er­ate.

The pro-wool cam­paign will be launched at the big­gest floor­ing show in Ger­many in Jan­uary.

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