Hello and happy Thursday, wool people!
After last week's American Wool-produced shearing video, my inbox was full to overflowing with pleas for more. I'm with you. The entertainment industry has yet to wake up to the extraordinary storytelling potential of wool, so it's our job to show them. As memberships in The Wool Channel grow, I'll ultimately be able to expand programming in this direction.
In the meantime, our best resource for high-production videos is the wool industry itself. As you saw last week, they've been doing a pretty good job. While the videos are primarily made to encourage manufacturers to purchase and develop wool products, they are still beautifully informative for the rest of us.
One of the deepest-pocketed industry groups is Woolmark, a nonprofit funded by compulsory taxes levied on Australia's 60,000 Merino woolgrowers. It exists to serve and support these growers, so the focus is heavily on Australian Merino. And yet the rest of the world's wool producers can't help but benefit from the extensive wool research, development, and promotion that Woolmark does.
Woolmark oversees the prestigious International Woolmark Prize, and it also is a major sponsor for Campaign for Wool. In R&D, it's driven everything from machine-washability to wool denim for jeans to a waterproof wool fabric for raincoats. It even owns the domain wool.com.
With a projected revenue of more than $31 million US this year, the Woolmark budget far surpasses most others—and a large percentage of that ($16.8 million in 2021) is dedicated to marketing wool. That's enough money to produce things like, drum roll please, this gorgeous three-minute video of the entire wool process, from sheep to finished item.
If you've ever struggled to understand how it all comes together, what's the difference between woolen and worsted, slubbing and sliver, or what really happens during combing, this will explain it all. Beautifully.