Research carried out by The Woolmark Company is driving an intensive development programme to create innovative textile products that will educate and excite a new, younger generation about wool's unique qualities.

Its findings showed that today's consumers seek product excitement from textiles and demand 'something different and special' for their money.

Retailers, meanwhile, increasingly want innovative and high quality wool products that deliver better value and products which customers will relate to and buy.

Malcolm Campbell, commercial director of The Woolmark Company, says: "These expectations represent major opportunities for the wool textile industry and retailers.

"Each new generation experiences different sensations, new trends, styles and innovation be it in music, food, technology, media or fashion. The challenge for the wool textile industry is to match the innovation in product development offered to consumers in almost every other aspect of their lifestyle choice today. New technologies and initiatives have to be adopted because simply doing things as they have always been done is no longer good enough."

Malcolm Campbell adds: "The Woolmark Company is undertaking a comprehensive product development and marketing programme with the world's leading retailers and manufacturers to create these new textile products."