There has been a misconception over the years about wool being, husky and flabby.

- Peter Ackroyd , President , International Wool Textile Organisation

With Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Cindrella Thawani, Peter Ackroyd believes that demand of wool will grow with the increase of ethical consumption of fashion and life-style products.
Peter Ackroyd
International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) is the solitary international organisation that is the custodian of world wool trade and industry regulations since 1927. 

Its objective is to specify wool as the worlds sustainable and reachable finest fibre for use in application from high end fashion through to healthy and safe interiors.

Peter Ackroyd elected as the President of IWTO in May 2011. He is working as a Senior Advisor to Australian Wool Innovation (AWI/Woolmark).

Ackroyd specialises in world markets for woollen and worsted fabrics. Further, he was Director of the British Wool Textile Export Corporation, for 25 years.

Wool is getting in vogue as well as it has made a comeback in Britain's apparel market. How do you see its current apparel market world-wide?
Wool - particularly in tweed looks and formal suiting looks - is very much in vogue in the British premium fashion market. Worldwide fashion influences from London, this is having a global impact through key British brands such as Paul Smith, Burberry, and Vivienne Westwood.

The premium world apparel market is in good shape. The middle market, I believe, fully intends to trade up, and the lower end of the market said goodbye' to wool many decades ago. 
Consumption of sheep meat can become a threat to the wool industry? How do you take this concern?
The balance between raising sheep for meat or wool has been around for thousands of years. Recent wool price increases throughout the grower nations has most certainly favored farming for wool, and perhaps less for meat.
How do you foresee the wool market magnifying world-wide? Moreover, what are those challenges that it is facing, presently?
There is a growing use of wool in men's and women's casual wear - an area that we call Urban'. This is a subtle blend of sportswear and casual city wear. There is also a trend towards smarter dressing in men's wear across the world. The challenge is to introduce wool, both refers to worsted and woollen yarn.
Being a bit husky and flabby material, what is the secret of wool? Why it is getting significant place in fashion? What are those reasons for its comeback?
There has been a misconception over the years about wool being, husky and flabby'. Worsted Merino wool suitings can have a handle and sheen that puts all other fibres to shame - that is my view but obviously I am biased.

The reasons for its comeback in both tweedy and fine worsted forms is, in many ways, linked to a desire for natural fibres coupled with wool's added advantage of being sustainable and renewable. 
How do you see the impact of economic downtrend on wool market and which are those regions?
Wool suppliers are particularly concerned about the current downturn in Europe and the - dare I say - correction' in demand in China. In China, the consumption of luxury products made out of fine merino wool, which was at its peak last year, something which we never expected.

Hence, the recent slowdown in the demand in China is a sort of a correction' in its consumption as compared to the unexpected demand in the previous year. To date, this does not seem to be impacting on order books of spinners and weavers following the recent Milano Unica, Premiere Vision and TexWorld trade fairs. The next few months will be very significant, as orders for the Northern Hemisphere Autumn/Winter Season 2013/2014 begin to be placed.
Wool is a sustainable fabric. Does this element add value to its further demand?
Wool has always been, as you say, a sustainable fibre. I believe, as consumers constantly ask questions about provenance and sustainability, ability to provide our customers with assurances on wool's sustainability will encourage further demand for wool.
What are the reasons behind the fall in wool selling season?
Demand for wool peaked last year and I see some of the recorded falls in sales and price as being blips' on a steadily growing demand curve.
Now-a-days, wool is being creatively used. What are its dynamic myriad usage relevance?
Wool has a multiplicity of end uses. However, let us not forget our core business, which is fashion and interiors. Wool can be used for seat coverings and bulkheads on airplanes; it can be used for billiard table covers, tennis balls, fire-proof uniforms for fire fighters, nonflammable safety apparel for civil and military uses - the list is endless.
How do you envision the future of iconic fibre wool'?
I have absolute confidence in the future of wool and I believe that demand will grow with the increase of ethical consumption of fashion and life-style products.
Please enlighten us about the further moves and plans of IWTO
The IWTO plans to capitalize on the resurgent demand for sustainable products with proven provenance. We are conscious that claims about sustainability need to be substantiated. IWTO remains the custodian of the rules and regulations of the wool textile industry and we will be appointing an Environmental Credentials Manager to ensure the wool story is properly told to all in the textile pipeline.