Woolmark brand backs quality wool products
When AWI acquired The Woolmark Company in 2007, AWI became the owner of the Woolmark brand. During the past five years, there has been an increase in the number of brand and retailer Woolmark licensees. By providing quality assurance to more customers, the Woolmark Licensing Program is helping to support and increase the demand for wool.
The Woolmark logo is the world’s best-known textile fibre quality brand. When attached to a product, such as on a sewn-in label or a swing ticket, the logo provides customers with guaranteed wool fibre content and an assurance of quality for the product.
Since the logo was created in 1964, more than five billion wool and wool care products have been Woolmark-certified. The logo’s use is administered through The Woolmark Company’s Woolmark Licensing Program.
The Woolmark Licensing Program covers clothing, fabrics and yarns, as well as bedding, carpets, accessories, sheepskin, furnishing fabrics and footwear. In addition, The Woolmark Company certifies products for apparel and home care such as wool detergents and cycles on washing machines, dryers and irons.
The majority of Woolmark licences that are currently in operation have been issued for clothing products – knitted apparel (48%) and woven apparel (21%) – followed by bedding (18%), yarns (11%) and woven fabric (10%). Only licensees, who have met strict performance and quality standards, can use the Woolmark logo on their products – see box below.
“The Woolmark brand certification is a trusted and reliable trademark that our customers recognise and support.”
- Haylie Sullivan, General Manager, Sportscraft
“Introducing Woolmark-certified wool blend fabric into our car line-up is an important step in our journey to redefine automotive luxury.”
- Cecilia Stark, Senior Design Manager, Volvo Cars
AWI CEO John Roberts says the Woolmark Licensing Program has been updated in recent years to give retailers and brands greater access to the program, ensuring the iconic Woolmark logo is seen by a greater number of global customers.
“The licensing program will continue its recent focus on building upon and strengthening the Woomark licence along the supply chain, by encouraging spinners, weavers, knitters and garment makers to pass on their Woolmark licence to retailers and brands, as a value add to the sale of their wool products,” John said.
There has been an increase in the number of brand and retailer Woolmark licensees during the past five years.
The Woolmark Licensing Program operates globally. Almost half (48%) of Woolmark licensees are based in Asia, and about a third (32%) in Europe.
John says AWI will support Woolmark licensees and the broader wool industry further in the future by improving wool supply chain transparency and data access, so as to capitalise on the market’s interest in traceability and provenance.
“Linked to AWI’s Traceability Program, we aim to incorporate a chain of custody tool into the Woolmark Licensing Program, thereby creating the ability for licensees to trace and validate the supply chain journey that the wool has travelled to reach a finished garment. This will help them maintain and increase market competitiveness,” John added.
More information: www.woolmark.com/certification
Woolmark quality standards
The three main logos in the Woolmark Licensing Program. They indicate that a product contains (left to right) 100% pure new wool, 50%-99.9% new wool, or 30%-49.9% new wool, in addition to meeting a range of performance measures.
To ensure quality standards are maintained, The Woolmark Company has a comprehensive set of specifications that products must meet or exceed to gain Woolmark certification. Independent laboratories, authorised by The Woolmark Company, rigorously test the wool products to ensure they meet the Woolmark specifications. These are the core test areas:
- Wool content – we assess the fibre content, to verify that the ingredients of the product are what they claim to be.
- Durability – we subject the product to extreme pressures – we push, pull and stretch it to its physical limits – to measure its strength.
- Laundry testing – we wash the product in hard, unforgiving machines to ensure no shrinkage and no loss of shape.
- Colourfastness to light – we expose the product to the harshest light – for up to 10 hours – to check its colours are lasting.
- Colourfastness to liquid – we test the product intensely against the very liquids it would normally meet over its lifetime.
A Quality Assurance program is also used to ensure that quality is maintained after the initial approval of a product and over time.
This article appeared in the December 2023 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged.