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Wool News_September 2019_PFASs In Synthetic Carpet
2 October 2019

Wool News: PFASs in synthetic carpets further boosts sustainability of wool

Awareness of the potential health and environmental hazards associated with some chemicals used in commercial interiors is growing, further reinforcing the arguments for designers, manufacturers, and consumers to shift towards natural raw materials, such as wool.

Synthetic carpets may typically include a group of chemicals called perfluorinated or polyfluorinated alkyl substances, more commonly known as PFASs. While these are valued for their stain-repellent qualities, they are also known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they may never fully degrade in the environment. In some literature PFASs have been negatively associated with potential health problems in people.

Since the 1940s these ‘forever chemicals’ have been used in a wide range of products including carpets and furniture, as well as camping gear and non-stick cookware. They are now found in the air and water around the globe, as well as in the bodies of nearly everyone on earth.

As consumers and manufacturers become better educated regarding the possible negative characteristics of PFASs, we are likely to see a move away from synthetic carpets, and back towards wool.


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Wool News: Maintaining minimum Vegetable Matter levels

02 October 2019

This pre-lamb shearing season, in both North and South Islands, vegetable matter (VM) contamination has noticeably increased. 

Several tests are performed on wool prior to sale. These use the core sample taken from each bale within a specific line or lot. They include measuring micron, yield, colour (except for merino), and VM, which is reported as a percentage of the weight of a greasy wool sample and is measured after the wool fibre has been dissolved, leaving any plant material. 

While a VM test between zero and 0.1 per cent is unlikely to attract any discount, as the percentage increases so do the discounts. This season many crossbred fleece lines, both full wool and second shear, have returned VM tests between 0.5 and 1.0 per cent, which negatively impacts pricing in an already difficult market. Fine wool clips, particularly from high country areas, traditionally carry higher VM readings due to the nature of the country grazed. However, because fine wool is generally processed via a worsted system, compared to the majority of crossbred types going through a woollen system, VM in fine wool can largely be removed during the carding, combing and gilling processes prior to spinning. 

However, removing as much VM as practically possible, in the wool shed, remains crucial. Good shed preparation ensures maximum market exposure.


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PGG Wrightson Livestock Update 4 October 2019

07 October 2019
Peter Moore joins Mark Leishman on the daily report to discuss how the livestock market is tracking this spring. In particular sheep and beef markets are performing strongly thanks to  continuing high demand from overseas markets, especially Asia, providing farmers with good prices for meat.

Farmer's Voice: Sir David Fagan

14 October 2019
Wiggy discovers there's a lot more to Sir David Fagan than shearing. He and son Jack are working on a three year project with the local regional authorities to retire 10% of their dairy farm into wetlands, native trees and shelter.

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