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Wool The King at Mystery Creek


Media Release

15 June 2011


Wool The King at Mystery Creek


The king of natural fibres - wool - is the king of Mystery Creek this week.


Primary Wool Cooperative is the sponsor of National Fieldays' Premier Feature; 'Breaking barriers to productivity'. The Primary Wool Cooperative Feature is a 150 square metre wool expo which is the centrepiece of NZ National Fieldays (Mystery Creek, Hamilton, June 15 to 18 2011). (www.primarywool.co.nz) It is the first time wool has featured so prominently, and with wool prices hitting their highest for years recently, the timing could not be better.


The New Zealand Wool Expo will feature:

* the king of country comedy Billy Black appearing on behalf of Primary Wool Cooperative. In appearances outside the Mystery Creek Pavilion Billy will show audiences some of the attributes of wool many kiwis have forgotten. "I'm going to put a blow torch on my wool shirt," says Billy. "You watch, it won't burn."

o Jonah, Billy's "West Coast Poodle" [i.e. in reality his pet pig who's fond of riding motorbikes] will feature too, sporting the latest look in (what else?) a wool knit coat.

o Primary Wool Cooperative's Chairman Bay de Lautour says that people around the world have forgotten about the benefits of wool. "It doesn't burn easily, and a wool carpet will char, and the charring will brush off. In contrast, synthetic carpets burn and melt."

* For the first time in New Zealand, one of Elders Primary Wool's Just ShornTM rugs (for sale exclusively in USA via International Design Guild stores) will be on display. These rugs are hand knotted by Nepalese craftsmen, and will be displayed on Wool Equities' stand within the feature. They are made from Romney New Zealand wool under the Just Shorn brand, designed especially for the US market.

* Elders Primary Wool will also be displaying its Just ShornTM brand, a new carpet brand being marketed through upmarket International Design Guild stores across the USA. The Just Shorn brand is a retail brand, developed to make an emotional connection with high end customers - when they visit the store or the website. www.justshorn.com. When a customer walks into an International Design Guild store in the USA, he or she will see images of New Zealand farms and farmers - real people, on real farms. "This is tremendously exciting for the American customer," says Stu Chapman, Chairman of Elders Primary Wool. "Our farmers have become 'stars' in US retail."

* AgResearch will be exhibiting an Annah Stretton outfit, made from fine merino fabric dyed using a revolutionary new process (which AgResearch has developed). The dyeing technique dyes pattern into the fabric, rather than printing it. This produces a look and feel better than standard printed fabric, and the pattern does not deteriorate over time.

* Victoria University, who will be showing a proprietary merino fibre they have researched and developed which uses nano particles of gold and silver embedded in the wool fibre protein matrix. Developed by Professor Jim Johnson, the particles produce beautiful colours in the wool. The fabric also becomes naturally insect proof (gold and silver are natural insecticides).

* The Development Group for Wairarapa and Auckland Romney will be advising on genetics and breeding for the best wool and sheep.

Over 30 exhibitors are involved all up including: Cavalier carpets; Campaign for Wool; Natural Wool Products; Briar Patch; Dreamwool; JS Brooksbank; Snowy Peak - and many more.


"Exhibitors in this wool expo are real battlers," says Mr de Lautour. "They are true kiwi innovators and entrepreneurs who have added value and broken the barriers to productivity. For years, while wool fell out of favour, they have dug in - knowing that wool's time would come again. That time is now. This expo is truly a salute to the king of fibres and to the role it has played, and will continue to play, in New Zealand."


Ends


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