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DENVER -Wool is the only fiber crafted for the purpose of meeting any purpose. With versatility matched only by the persity of the wearer, wool is the perfect fiber for any season, any occasion. With that in mind, the American Sheep Industry Association and its American Wool Council have launched a multi-faceted campaign to take wool’s incredible story straight to the consumer, including a new website at

A new American Wool logo was launched in 2016 to kick off renewed promotional efforts. The website will work in conjunction with a variety of social media sites to tell American wool’s narrative in a multi-media fashion that includes stories, photos and video.

“What we found is that consumers are not aware that wool is a high performance fiber,” said ASI Director of Wool Marketing Rita Kourlis Samuelson. “A lot of consumers don’t understand how modern-day wool differs from grandma’s scratchy, old sweater. We saw a need to educate the consumer about American wool, and the new website is the best way to reach an audience that is ready to embrace products made with natural fibers such as American wool.”

One fiber, four seasons. Moisture wicking and protecting. Always breathable. Thermal comfort. Consumers can learn about these high-performance traits of American wool on an in-depth basis in a way that’s never before been compiled into one convenient location. Get started at Wool 101, which covers tips for the care of wool products, the types of wool, the science of wool and animal care.

The types of wool section will get you up to date on each step in the process of creating wool garments. Learn about woolen and worsted garments and the difference between the two. Take a look at variety of wool fabrics, from 18.5 micron wool that would be used in base layers to 24.5 micron wool that is common in outerwear.

American wool provides natural protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, is anti-allergen, flame resistant and odor resistant. It is nature’s magic fiber, and will help those in search of such benefits find the perfect fit.

A shopping section will link consumers with companies offering American wool products ranging from clothing to blankets. Whether you’re in need of that perfect hiking sock, a winter coat or a blanket for use around the campfire, has you covered.

In addition to using the website as a resource, consumers will find more information on American wool by following along on social media. Check out the following companion pages to at:

ASI is an equal opportunity employer. It is the national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 88,000 sheep producers.

American Wool Council Unveils New American Wool Logo

American Wool Council Unveils New American Wool Logo

DENVER, Colo. – As American consumers embrace the natural magic of homegrown wool, the American Wool Council has adopted a new look that brings the industry’s image up to par with the products being created everyday with this innovative, sustainable fiber.

A division of the American Sheep Industry Association, the American Wool Council developed a new logo after months of consultation with the Sterling-Rice Group of Boulder, Colo. American wool is vigorous enough to support the U.S. military on the frontlines of battle, yet elegant enough to grace red carpets and magazine covers.

From the most comfortable socks imaginable to outdoor apparel capable of standing up to the toughest conditions, modern-day American wool is an all-natural product that can even be worn next to the skin. It was imperative to develop a logo that captured such strength and refinement in one recognizable mark.

“It’s vital for the wool industry that consumers recognize the value of American wool,” said ASI Director of Wool Marketing Rita Kourlis Samuelson. “When you look at wool and its values, you come back to a natural, premium product that performs at a high level in a variety of circumstances. It can be sophisticated and beautiful, but it can also be innovative and dynamic. American wool is known for its unparalleled loft and versatility. The benefits of wool simply can’t be matched by any other natural fiber.”

The American wool logo will be featured on product tags, as well as in advertising to the international wool trade community. The logo will also appear in promotions for wool consumers. The American Wool Council will offer two logos, one for products made in America and one for products made elsewhere using American wool. Soon to come is a new consumer-oriented website at

“The American spirit is alive in the fiber, fleece and fabric of natural American Wool,” states an international advertisement featuring the new logo. “This is where happy, healthy sheep are raised to thrive in vast, open ranchlands. It’s where bold shepherds and ranchers are genuine stewards of the earth – constantly seeking sustainable ways to ensure the future of this invaluable industry. This is America, where innovation is celebrated, tradition is respected and high performance reigns.”

ASI is an equal opportunity employer. It is the national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 85,000 sheep producers.

Which are the 10 countries that produce the most wool in the world?

Which are the 10 countries that produce the most wool in the world?

From the ASI newsletter: More than a million tons of wool is produced each year on a global scale. While wool is produced in more than a 100 countries all over the world, only 10 produce nearly all the output. The data for 2014 lists the top wool producing countries as follows.

10. India – 45,000 metric tons

9. Argentina 46,500 metric tonnes

8. Russia 54,651 metric tonnes

7. Sudan 56,000 metric tonnes

6. Morocco 56,000 metric tonnes

5. Iran 61,50 metric tonnes

4. The United Kingdom 68,000 metric tonnes

3. New Zealand 165,000 metric tonnes

2. Australia 360,520 metric tonnes

1. China 471,111 metric tonnes

How does the United States compare to those countries? According to the same Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations website, the United States produced 14,000 tonnes of wool in 2014.

Scraps for Hats: Destash for a good cause!

Scraps for Hats: Destash for a good cause!

Cleaning out your yarn stash? Bring all those unwanted scraps and leftover project skeins to Ozark Fiber Fling 2015 this coming November and donate them to Jennifer Rentschler’s Scraps for Hats project. Jennifer makes hats from yarn scraps and sells them online to help support various Hemophilia-related outreaches, particularly for women and children, including:

  • Women’s Hemophilia outreach retreats,
  • Camps for children with Hemophilia and other bleeding-related disorders,
  • Education and networking opportunities for women and children with bleeding disorders, and
  • Advocacy on behalf of individual patients.

Jennifer gladly accepts all yarn scraps regardless of length,
texture, or color – even the weirdest texture or shortest lengths can be made
into a flower or other fashion accessory.

What in the world is Hemophilia?

Hemophilia is a genetic disorder where the patient’s blood is unable to clot properly if at all, and along with Cancer and Leukemia, is one of the top three of the most expensive diseases to treat. Hemophilia may cause its patients to bleed to death when not properly treated. Other problems linked to Hemophilia include severe bruising, edema, permanent joint damage, or even crippling premature arthritis. Famous hemophiliacs include Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia (1904-1917), professional baseball pitcher Jesse Schrader, and actor Richard Burton (1925-1984).

To learn more about Hemophilia, platelet disorders, Von Willebrand Disease, and related conditions, contact one or more of the following:

  • Gateway Hemophilia Association, 14248 F PMC # 310 Manchester Road Suite, Baldwin, MO 63011, 314-482-5973,
  • Midwest Hemophilia Association, P.O. box 412866, Kansas City, KS 64141, 816-479-5900,
  • Hemophilia Federation of America, 820 First Street N.E. Suite 720, Washington, D.C. 20002
    phone 202-675-6984, toll free 1-800-230-9797,
  • National Hemophilia Foundation, 7 Penn Plaza, suite 1204, New York, NY 10001, 212-328-3700

What’s this about women and children with Hemophilia? Isn’t Hemophilia a male problem?

Because Hemophilia is traditionally perceived as a male problem, many female and/or pediatric Hemophiliacs receive less of the consideration or care necessary in treating this genetic disorder, which is where Scraps for Hats comes in. This project supports these two underserved demographics with bleeding-related genetic disorders: Hemophilia, platelet disorders, and Von Willebrand’s Disease, an offshoot of Hemophilia.

So where Ozark Fiber Fling fit in?

  1. The event planners of Ozark Fiber Fling want to raise awareness of Scraps for Hats as well as Hemophilia and its related disorders. Many women visit our event’s website – we thought this was a good way to reach as many people as possible to get the word out!
  2. Many women when taking a child (or themselves!) with one of these conditions to the hospital or doctor’s office take along a project to work on. Knitting, crocheting, embroidery, or even pocket looms help to pass the time and ease the worry woes. The event planners of Ozark Fiber Fling hope that maybe one or more of our teachers will get to teach a craft or skill this upcoming November which will make these visits a little more pleasant.

How else you can help:

  • Be informed! Learn more about Hemophilia and similar bleeding disorders. There are many online resources for this condition available as a starting point.
  • If you know someone who has signs of a bleeding disorder, encourage them to contact the nearest Hemophilia treatment center as soon as possible!
  • Donate to your local Hemophilia Chapter, the Hemophilia Federation of America, or the National Hemophilia Foundation.

Help Jennifer out!

So, bring those yarn scraps and orphan skeins of yarn to Ozark Fiber Fling 2015 this coming November or send them directly to Jennifer Rentschler, 9702 West 17th Street N, Wichita, KS 67212!

Wool Advances in Outdoor Retail Market

Wool Advances in Outdoor Retail Market

The growing interest in wool as a performance fiber has given new life to the hosiery segment and made base layer knitwear a must-have, the industry learned during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market held this month in Salt Lake City. Fine-micron merino knitwear, pioneered by the likes of Icebreaker and SmartWool for next-to-skin wear, is now featured in nearly every outdoor apparel brand, those attending the Market reported. “Merino wool has tons of momentum,” said David Parkes, director of Concept III, which represents ABMT, a provider of premium merino and technical knits from Australia and China. The company’s Merino Edge Cool utilizes a technique similar to decatising to create a silky, washable wool jersey that is ideal for underwear. Hosiery maker Farm to Feet introduced US-made merino socks with friction-free technology, using a PTFE nylon that reduces abrasion and the formation of blisters. The specialized yarns and technical knitwear found in today’s performance apparel for the outdoor market have come a long way from the polypropylene base layers and polyester fleece fabrics of the 1970s. Yarn spinners and knitters focused on comfort, performance, and durability in their latest offerings.
For summer 2015, merino is blended with other fibers, providing additional wicking and cooling performance. Knitters and fiber companies continue to develop new blends such as merino spun with dyeable CoolVisions, polypropylene at Global Merino and Zhejiang Xinao; durable Cordura nylon staple with wool at Chia Heir; and blends of alpaca with Tencel at Texollini. Introduced last season, Polartec Power Wool is a bi-componentknit concept which plaits merino wool on the inside with technical synthetic yarns on the outside. The fabrics are finding acceptance with brands such as Westcomb. The Summer Market 2014 was the largest OR ever staged, featuring 1,595 exhibitors and attracting over 27,000 visitors over four days.

German Yarn Producer to Open First U.S. Location

German Yarn Producer to Open First U.S. Location

A German-based producer of spun wool yarns is planning to open a distribution facility in Mount Airy, N.C., this month that will serve as the company’s first U.S. location.
Südwolle Group will open an 18,000-square-foot facility. Denine Woodrow, a Südwolle Group representative, said the facility will employ four workers and has the potential to grow from there.
It will serve as a central U.S. location to help Südwolle better serve its customers in the hosiery business and provide a quicker turnaround for shipping products along the East Coast and in the South and Midwest.
Südwolle, which has operations in Poland, Italy, Romania, Austria and China, did not receive incentives for the project.
“It’s a German company that sees that the United States is a really viable place to do business,” Woodrow said.
Reprinted from Triad Business Journal

Sheep News From Around the World

Sheep News From Around the World

We got this the other day  via the “ASI Weekly – News for Sheep Industry Leaders” and thought you, our readers and attendees, would enjoy the following excerpts:

India Jumps to No. 2 Exporter of Textiles in the World

India is the new No. 2 exporter of textiles in the world, surpassing nations like Germany, Italy and Bangladesh, but still falling behind China, which remains the world’s largest textile exporter.

The numbers are from the Apparel Export Promotion Council, the official body representative of India’s apparel exporters. The numbers indicate that China is, by a significant margin, the biggest textile exporter in the world, accounting for about $274 billion worth of the total $772 billion in exports around the world – that alone equals about 35.5 percent of the market share.

India, by comparison, only shipped out about $40 billion worth of textiles in 2013, enough to put it in second place but lagging behind China by $234 billion. India’s market share is just barely above 5 percent of the total international export scene. Still, the rise to No. 2 is nothing to be trifled, considering that India ranked No. 6 just one year ago, with about $33 billion in textile exports.

“India continues to show promise for U.S. wools,” stated Rita Kourlis Samuelson, director of wool marketing for the American Sheep Industry Association. “India is the second largest importer of U.S. wool behind China, buying approximately 2.4 million pounds of wool in 2012-2013 or 30.6 percent of total U.S. wool exports.”

Reprinted in part from The American Bazaar

World Cup Sheep

It was a “not-so-baaad” performance for Colombia’s wooly warriors. To celebrate the country’s return to the World Cup after a 16-year absence, artisans in the high Andean town of Nobsa put on what they billed as the first soccer match played by sheep. The final result was a 4-3 victory for Colombia over Brazil. See the video at

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