Interview with Peter Ackroyd

Face2Face
Peter Ackroyd
Peter Ackroyd
President
International Wool Textile Organisation
International Wool Textile Organisation

Being a bit husky and flabby material, what is the secret of wool? Why it is getting significant place in fashion? What are those reasons for its comeback?

There has been a misconception over the years about wool being, ‘husky and flabby’. Worsted Merino wool suitings can have a handle and sheen that puts all other fibres to shame – that is my view but obviously I am biased. The reasons for its comeback in both tweedy and fine worsted forms is, in many ways, linked to a desire for natural fibres coupled with wool’s added advantage of being sustainable and renewable.

How do you see the impact of economic downtrend on wool market and which are those regions?

Wool suppliers are particularly concerned about the current downturn in Europe and the – dare I say – ‘correction’ in demand in China. In China, the consumption of luxury products made out of fine merino wool, which was at its peak last year, something which we never expected. Hence, the recent slowdown in the demand in China is a sort of a ‘correction’ in its consumption as compared to the unexpected demand in the previous year. To date, this does not seem to be impacting on order books of spinners and weavers following the recent Milano Unica, Premiere Vision and TexWorld trade fairs. The next few months will be very significant, as orders for the Northern Hemisphere Autumn/Winter Season 2013/2014 begin to be placed.

Wool is a sustainable fabric. Does this element add value to its further demand?

Wool has always been, as you say, a sustainable fibre. I believe, as consumers constantly ask questions about provenance and sustainability, ability to provide our customers with assurances on wool’s sustainability will encourage further demand for wool.

What are the reasons behind the fall in wool selling season?

Demand for wool peaked last year and I see some of the recorded falls in sales and price as being ‘blips’ on a steadily growing demand curve.
Published on: 25/10/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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