Through our extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, we highlight Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural fibre and premier ingredient in luxury apparel. The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands, providing assurance of the highest quality, and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product.
The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool on behalf of about 60,000 woolgrowers that help fund the company.
In 1964, the iconic Woolmark symbol was born. Its purpose: to act as an independent quality assurance of every wool product it adorns - more than 5 billion of them, so far, making the Woolmark brand the best-known textile quality brand and wool content label in the world. As the global authority on wool, The Woolmark Company works with textile and fashion industries at every level, developing better wool textiles and driving consumer demand. The Woolmark Company’s relations with the fashion world also make us well-placed to nurture fresh talent in fashion design.
During the 1930s a handful of the world’s top wool-producing countries decided it was in their best interest to promote their product on an international scale. Australia took charge and in 1936 woolgrowers voted to impose a 6 pence levy for each bale produced, with the funds to be directed to research and promotion. Then, on July 1 1937 the International Wool Publicity and Research Secretariat was formed – which was quickly renamed the International Wool Secretariat (IWS). Based in London the IWS had offices in every major wool-producing country by the mid-1950s.
A new competitor emerged during World War II, synthetics, and by the 1960s nylon, polyester and acrylic were fast becoming household names. To combat the rise of unnatural fibres IWS Australian general manager William Vines penned the idea of a unique label which would guarantee the fibre content and quality of wool.
By 1970 Australia had a record 180 million sheep and within a few years wool exports had passed the $1 billion mark for the first time since the Korean War boom. While Australia was seemingly enjoying riding on the sheep’s back, the Australian Wool Corporation was established in 1973 as a single marketing-oriented body to facilitate research, promotion and marketing operations.
The Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation (AWRAP) was established in December 1993. In 1994 the activities of AWRAP and the IWS were merged and were governed as one organisation under the control of AWRAP. The Woolmark Company (TWC) was established in 1997, as a result of the IWS undergoing a change of name. In 2001, AWRAP was converted into a Corporations Law company to become Australian Wool Services Ltd (AWS). AWS was the holding company for two subsidiaries, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd (AWI) and TWC.
In 2002, AWI separated from AWS to become a fully independent company. Both AWI and TWC retained their initial responsibilities – AWI investing in R&D projects, and TWC the promotion of Australian wool and the commercial development of the Woolmark and other associated brands. In 2007 AWI purchased TWC and the Woolmark brand from AWS. Since then, AWI has had responsibility for R&D, marketing and the provision of industry services. TWC continues to affirm the iconic Woolmark logo within households and companies on an international scale.