NZ Merino secures $3M contract with Godfrey Hirst for luxury wool carpet
By Tina Morrison
July 6 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand Merino Co, which markets the nation's wool to customers on behalf of suppliers, has
secured a $3 million contract to supply a merino wool blend to manufacturer Godfrey Hirst for a luxury carpet range.
The Australian-based carpet maker's new range will use fibre from sheep with a Merino genetic base crossed with stronger
wool bloodlines. Production runs of the new carpet range will start in the coming shearing season following trials over
the past year, NZ Merino said in a statement.
Carpets are traditionally made using strong wool, which is coarse and more durable, while finer wool such as merino
tends to be used in clothing. The new carpet range, marketed as "The Merino Collection" under Godfrey Hirst's Feltex
brand combines the soft, luxurious qualities of merino wool with the resilience and durability of strong wool, giving a
use to a type of sheep once written off as not commercially viable, it said.
"We've worked hard to develop a better understanding of how innovation can open up new commercial opportunities beyond
what's considered the 'traditional' use of specific types of wool," said Mike Hargadon, NZ Merino general manager of
supply, logistics and innovation. "Traditional wool category lines are blurring and that's a good thing for
manufacturers and New Zealand wool growers, opening up new opportunities and markets."
Godfrey Hirst New Zealand general manager Tania Pauling said the company hoped the unique product would help stem the
decline in sales of wool carpet.
The fibre, sourced by NZ Merino, is scoured, spun into yarn and tufted into carpet in New Zealand and will be launched
in New Zealand this month before being introduced to international markets.