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Australian firm plans weaving clusters in Gujarat, Manipur

Plans to imbibe Australia's Merino wool in handloom clusters to raise imports

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

textile industry, wool, wool imports
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In a bid to raise imports of the premium Merino from Down Under, Australia's is planning to tap handloom in and The Woolmark Company, which represents 55,000 growers in Australia, hopes to raise imports of Merino in on the back of varied products.

“About 85 per cent of Indian is that of carpet grade, with 10 per cent being coarse grade and only five per cent apparel grade. The and apparel industry imports bulk of its from Yet, as against China’s 80 per cent share, has merely five per cent share in Australia's Merino exports. Going forward, however, we wish to imbibe the premium Merino in India's handloom sector through such clusters,” said Arti Gudal, country manager,

is expected to produce 300 million kg of in 2017-18, which comes to about 90 per cent of the global market. While most of the worsted suiting and knitwear industry in uses Australia’s premium Merino wool, anticipates a scope for a bigger market here. Against a total demand of 148 million kg of across the value chain, produces only 48 million of domestic 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, 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 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, has also announced the second phase of its Grown in Australia, Made in initiative. The campaign will highlight the farm-to-fashion journey of Merino - growing in before being transformed into unique fashion pieces in The campaign aims to further connect brands, manufacturers and the Government of across the 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 shawl and knitwear industry and our collaboration with commercial brands who have endorsed Merino in India," Gudal said.

First Published: Wed, July 05 2017. 23:52 IST