In what's believed to be a world first, the leading sales company of New Zealand wool is obtaining a clean-air certificate on wool carpet to help stem the tide of synthetics.
Wool Partners International says the share held by woollen products in the New Zealand carpet market has fallen from 72% to 62% in just one year.
The company says it's time to capitalise on the little-acknowledged ability of wool to neutralise toxins given off by heating and resin-based wood products.
The labelling has been launched in the United States where houses are closed in during the winter and the air quality is quite poor.
It also fits with the growing interest in the US in so-called green building standards.
The chief executive of Wool Partners, Iain Abercrombie, says there's also been a great deal of interest in the clean-air labelling from Europe's carpet manufacturers.
He says the global market for New Zealand wool is $700 million a year.