A Masterclass in Wool

Published: 19th October 2014

Peter Ackroyd MBE with HTS President Stephen Sheard.

Peter Ackroyd MBE with HTS President Stephen Sheard.

The Huddersfield Textile Society’s opening event of the season was held at the Textile Centre of Excellence on Leeds Road on Monday 13th of October, with a large gathering to hear the White Rose lecture in association with the Textile Institute, Yorkshire section.


His title was: Ingredient Branding in Global Retailing - The Modern Day Story of Wool. The guest speaker was Peter Ackroyd MBE, President of the The International Wool Textile Organisation - the world body representing growers, traders and manufacturers of wool. In addition, Peter heads up the Campaign for Wool whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

 The lecture gave a knowledgeable overview of wool and its uses in the global markets. Specifically, how local and international textile manufacturers can get their origins, their skills and their own Brand name onto garments and other products.

Many of the big retailers, such as M&S and John Lewis Partnership, and internet retailers like Boden, now want products with a ‘made in the UK’, ‘made in Scotland’ etc clothmakers label to give them a point of difference from cheaper textiles made in the Far East.

Wool as a fibre is particularly sustainable, can be recycled and has excellent green credentials, according to Mr Ackroyd, unlike man-made fibres that lie in landfill sites for generations and do not degrade.

The future, according to Mr Ackroyd, is very optimistic for wool with growth in many of the major markets. This is good news for members of the Huddersfield Textile Society, which represents 60 local companies employing over 3,000 people.