Where Can I Source Traceable Wool?
Many of IWTO’s members have developed traceability systems. Each system varies in scope, but all serve to help you offer transparency in your supply chain.
Download our list of IWTO Traceability Systems to find a solution that meets your needs.
Where Does My Wool Come From?
Approximately 80% of the fine Merino wool used for clothing textiles is sourced from Australia and sold through the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX).
Every wool bale offered on auction is tested to confirm the wool’s quality and characteristics. Testing is performed with a grab sample, a sample of the wool taken from the centre of the bale.
Wool is a natural fibre and each batch will vary largely in length, colour, fineness and content.
Wool Declarations/IWTO Test Certificates
Most wool is sold with an IWTO Test Certificate. In Australia, the IWTO test certificate will report how that wool has been declared through Australia’s National Wool Declaration (NWD) programme. South Africa has a similar system in place.
The NWD includes information provided by the woolgrower on various items, including the mulesing status of the sheep the wool came from. This information flows through the supply chain in a traceable manner, via the NWD and the test certificates.
Stipulating Origins – From the Start
For each yarn order, the comber will select wool that meets the requirements of the spinner and end client. The comber’s wool buyer will source wool accordingly. It is likely that the raw wool will be sourced from different farms and possibly even different countries, and blended in the spinning process to produce the order’s specifications.
If a buyer wishes to stipulate the wool’s origin, this must be confirmed with the comber and the spinner in advance, in order to track the many lots of wool in the particular blend. It can be done, most efficiently and cost-effectively when stipulated from the start of the process.