Why not wool for carpets, insulation and furnishings? I asked in today’s Paddock Talk column in the ODT.
It’s not online, but this is: retailers floored by lack of promotion.
Talk to the co-owners of a United States flooring retailer about wool and it becomes clear why crossbred wool has struggled to connect with carpet buyers.
Kaddy Carpenter Ward and her sister, Jane Rinaca, say until very recently there had been no promotional or advertising material to support the sales of woollen carpets in the United States – the world’s largest carpet market.
Compare that with nylon carpet, and Mrs Rinaca said that since manufacturers had solved issues such as weave and lustre, the product had been supported to the point where it was promoted as being sustainable because used carpets were being recycled.
That’s what we’re up against.
Wool isn’t going to sell when it’s up against such tough competition and consumers don’t understand its qualities – or even how it’s harvested:
Mrs Rinaca said many people in the US still believed sheep were killed to produce wool, a misconception they put to rest when they shore a sheep on a Hawkes Bay farm.
Wool ticks all the boxes for people seeking natural, renewable, sustainable products – it also passes the touch test:
“Nylon has been made to look like wool, but they will never make it feel like wool,” Mrs Carpenter Ward said.
With all that going for it wool ought to be selling itself but of course it won’t if people don’t know about it.