A new brand designed to increase demand and prices for New Zealand carpet wools is being launched in the United States.
The 'Just Shorn' brand is part of a partnership established a year ago between Elders Primary Wool and a giant US-based carpet retailer, CCA Global Partners.
The launch is being held at an International Design Guild conference for luxury carpet retailers in Las Vegas.
It precedes the annual 'Surfaces' flooring convention, which draws sellers and manufacturers from around the world.
Elders New Zealand managing director Stu Chapman says 'Just Shorn' carpets and rugs won't start appearing in American stores until the middle of the year, but retailers at today's launch will get to see samples of the new range.
He says the IDG group is for what are called the cream of the crop, more affluent consumers.
Mr Chapman says prices for the new 'Just Shorn' range have yet to be negotiated with manufacturers, but consumers in the United States have indicated they're prepared to pay up to 20% more for sustainable products.
US Floor Covering Institute president Jim Gould, who's also been involved in development of the brand, says it's a good time to launch a new environmentally sustainable wool carpet line there.
He says there are signs that demand for carpets in the US may be starting to pick up following the recession.
Wool carpet, which makes up less than 2% of all floor coverings sold in the United States, will benefit from that.