The International Wool Textile Organisation is set to host a round table event in Nuremberg, Germany on 1-2 December, focusing on the issues that are most pertinent to the largest market in the European Union – and the third largest wool market in the world.

Focus on Wool in Germany

Germany has a population of 84 million, making it the largest country by population within the European Union. It also has the highest GDP in Europe, making it a country with high levels of per-capita wealth and thus, purchasing power. Aside from Germany’s high performance and importance in a variety of industries and markets, it is one of the most important countries when it comes to distribution channels for international fashion brands.  While the country does not produce or process much wool, Germany is one of the top three wool consumer markets in the world, alongside Japan and the UK. It is also home to several of the world’s key trade fairs.

The wool textile manufacturing industry in Germany was painstakingly rebuilt in the latter part of the 20th Century, mainly around cities such as Aachen and Münchengladbach in the north of the country. Not all of the mills built or refurbished in the 1950s and 1960s managed to survive, however. By the early 2000s, many of them had closed. Those that survive, such as IWTO-member Südwolle Group, have thrived, supplying high-quality yarns to markets around the world, including China, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy and Vietnam.

Germany is also a center for textiles education. Three leading European schools for fashion design are based in Germany and Austria: Burg Giebichenstein Hochschule für Kunst und Design in Halle, the Fashion Design Institut (FDI) in Düsseldorf, and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. A significant amount of funding and other support goes into training industry professionals in Germany.

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Germany’s Sheep

In Germany sheep farming plays a subordinate role to other livestock but there are still about 10,000 sheep farms. Most are in Bavaria and Baden Württemberg and focus on milk and meat production. Wool production is not a large industry. Sheep are, however, deployed throughout the nation for natural landscaping: for coastal protection, on heathland, in solar parks and even vineyards.

IWTO Round Table Event

The December round table will focus on Germany as a market for wool, but also as an educational center and a contributor to global manufacture. Guest speakers will also cover issues such as EU textile legislation and global wool marketing indicators. Click here to find out more and register for the event.

Learn All You Need to Know About the International Wool Industry

For more information on the wool industry around the world, take a look at our fact sheets, statistics and guidelines.

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