Operating since 1964 SGS’s Wool Testing Services (WTS) business in New Zealand, celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this year.

The first commercial test house in New Zealand, WTS has pioneered new technology for wool testing, such as optical fibre diameter measurement, Near Infrared spectrophotometery, measurement of Length After Carding, and individual sheep fleece measurement on-farm using a “laboratory in a suitcase”.

Unwashed wool from sheep contains about 40-60% non-wool materials (moisture/sweat/dirt etc). For millennia, traders have estimated the amount of clean wool (yield) when negotiating prices, together with other important physical qualities such as mean fibre diameter, length and clean colour.

In the late 1930s, extensive work was done in the United States and England, then later in Australia and New Zealand, to develop reliable objective measurement methods for raw and semi-processed wool. Test methods and sampling regulations were adopted by the International Wool Textiles Organisation (IWTO) from the 1960s onwards, to standardise sampling and testing globally. These methods greatly reduced risk in the trade, where traders were previously expected to estimate wool yields to within 1% of the processing outcomes.

SGS WTS now employs more than 50 staff in New Zealand, and working with affiliates tests wool samples from around the world, including Europe, South America and Asia. We are proud to have served the world wool trade for 50 years.

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For more information, please contact:

Jeremy Wear
Business Development Manager, Wool Testing SGS New Zealand Limited
46-48 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie 6022
P.O. Box 15062, Miramar
Wellington, 6243
New Zealand
t: +64 4 3878 565
f: +64 4 3878 651

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.