Wool Carpet from Belgium: Balta Industries
Since humble beginnings as a rug making operation in 1964 – the same year the Woolmark logo was created – Balta Industries has grown into a conglomerate controlling 15 brands specialising in all manner of commercial and residential carpets and floor coverings. With offices worldwide, Balta exports 98 per cent of its production output to over 100 countries with the aim of being the world’s most reliable carpet manufacturer creating products with added value.
“I was introduced to the Woolmark by Herman Vercauteren who used to work for the IWS [International Wool Secretariat],” Balta marketing director Geert Vanden Bossche says. “I have very good memories of the wool training I had in the eighties.”
Over the years, the development of felted yarns has been among the greatest innovation to benefit Balta Industries’ business, although the improvement in man-made fibres has added to price pressures and relegated wool carpets to something of a niche product. But although apparel has become a bigger focus for The Woolmark Company than floor coverings in recent years, the impact in the marketplace is still obvious.
“The perception of quality with the consumer for wool carpets remains,” Vanden Bossche says. “People love the fact it is a natural and renewable product.”
Woolmaster is Balta Industries’ main brand and champions the natural benefits of wool, highlighting wool as a superior fibre for interior textiles.
The motto of The Campaign for Wool is: Live Naturally, Choose Wool. How do you feel this corresponds with Balta’s motto? In what way does it compare with your Woolmaster principle?
Live Naturally is also a hot topic at Woolmaster. We communicate mainly with: Wool – Natural, Renewable and Sustainable.
Why should consumers chose for a Woolmaster carpet?
Balta has been a wool specialist for many years now. Consumers the world over are falling in love with wool carpets due to the natural properties of the fibre, yet we must also continue to further educate the younger generation of consumers. As we know, wool is natural, renewable and biodegradable. Wool carpets have the ability to bounce back from the most rigorous wear and tear as well as withstand and even shed grime thanks to the innovation of the natural fibre. This means home interiors stay ‘as new’ for much longer than other fabrics. In addition to its superior warmth and comfort wool is one of the safest fibres to have in the home. The composition of wool has a naturally high resistance to flame and heat. It also breathes well, averts dampness and adverse temperatures and resists dirt and stains.
How do you feel the market for carpets will be developing?
Sales of wool has decreased the past few years. The advantages of wool are not known to young people and promotion of it is absolutely necessary. My opinion is that the Campaign for Wool is a welcome initiative to give attention to high-end wool carpets.