“About 85 per cent of Indian wool
is that of carpet grade, with 10 per cent being coarse grade and only five per cent apparel grade. The textile
and apparel industry imports bulk of its wool
Yet, as against China’s 80 per cent share, India
has merely five per cent share in Australia's Merino wool
exports. Going forward, however, we wish to imbibe the premium Merino wool
in India's handloom sector through such clusters,” said Arti Gudal, country manager, The Woolmark Company.
is expected to produce 300 million kg of wool
in 2017-18, which comes to about 90 per cent of the global wool
market. While most of the worsted suiting and knitwear industry in India
uses Australia’s premium Merino wool, The Woolmark Company
anticipates a scope for a bigger market here. Against a total demand of 148 million kg of wool
across the textile
value chain, India
produces only 48 million of domestic wool
and imports 17 million kg of wool, worth $165 million, said Aditi Rout, trade advisor wool, Ministry of Textiles.
In its efforts to explore a bigger market for the wool, The Woolmark Company
has already entered into a collaboration with the Tiruppur Exporters’ Association (TEA).
“The Rs 26,000-crore Tirupur apparel industry is heavily dependent on cotton. However, last year the industry association started a workshop on use of Merino wool
for knitwear. As on date, already seven companies here have begun manufacturing knitwear using wool,” said R M Shanmugham, TEA president, while refusing to divulge wool-based knitwear production details of the industry.
To further boost imports, The Woolmark Company
has also announced the second phase of its Grown in Australia, Made in India
initiative. The campaign will highlight the farm-to-fashion journey of Merino wool
- growing in Australia
before being transformed into unique fashion pieces in India.
The campaign aims to further connect brands, manufacturers and the Government of India
across the wool
supply chain; this year will also allow consumers to join the journey.
“The campaign will be a four-month-long project starting from September and ending in December. Through this initiative, we will bring to light the different stakeholders of our journey - the Kullu weavers of Himachal Pradesh, the wool
shawl and knitwear industry and our collaboration with commercial brands who have endorsed Merino wool
in India," Gudal said.