Woolen Industry (in India and World)

Woolen Industry (in India and World)

This article deals with the  Woolen Industry (in India and World) .’ This is part of our series on ‘Geography’, which is an important pillar of the GS-1 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.

Woolen Industry

Silk Industry (in India and World)

Major wool producers include 


  • Australia is the largest wool producer.
  • Australian Merino sheep are renowned for their fine wool quality.

New Zealand 

  • New Zealand is another prominent wool-producing nation.
  • New Zealand wool is valued for its softness.

South Africa

  • The country has a substantial sheep farming industry.
  • South African wool is recognized for its durability.


  • Argentina, particularly the interior and rain shadow areas of Patagonia, is a significant wool producer.

Location Factors for Woolen Industry

  • Climate: Temperate and semi-arid conditions are conducive to sheep farming and wool production.
  • Abundant Grazing Land: Vast expanses of grasslands and grazing areas are conducive for sheep farming activities.
  • Sheep Breeds: Specialized sheep breeds, like Merino sheep in Australia, have been developed over the years to produce high-quality wool efficiently.
  • Traditional Livelihood: Sheep farming has been a traditional livelihood in regions like Australia, New Zealand, Patagonia (Argentina), etc., and passed down through generations.

Decline of Woolen Industry in the Great Britain

During the Industrial Revolution, Yorkshire emerged as a significant hub for woollen textile production due to:

  • Abundant local supply of wool
  • Access to water from nearby streams
  • Availability of coal for powering machines

However, the Yorkshire woolen industry declined. It can be attributed to:

  • The commencement of large-scale sheep rearing in the South Hemisphere (SH) made it challenging for Yorkshire to compete in terms of pricing.
  • Introduction of cheaper synthetic fabrics, which the Yorkshire industry couldn’t compete with.

As a consequence, the industry in Yorkshire suffered, leading to its downfall. Yorkshire’s woolen industry still uses imported wool from the South Hemisphere, but it has lost its former glory.

Indian Woolen Industry

Factors influencing Woolen Industry in India

  • Nature of Raw Material: The location of raw material sources is not crucial as wool is non-perishable and lightweight.
  • Market Conditions: Winters in Northern India are extremely cold, fostering a high demand for woolen products. Approximately 75% of the woolen industry is concentrated in the northern states.

Important Note

  1. Apparels: Imported wool is preferred due to the coarseness of Indian wool, which can cause discomfort.
  2. Non-Apparels: Indian wool is utilized for making carpets and blankets.

Major centres in India

Near Raw Material

J&K Srinagar
Punjab Ludhiana, Dhariwal, Amritsar
Gujarat Jamnagar (raw material from Kathiawar)
Rajasthan Bikaner & Barmer

Near Market

J&K Srinagar
Punjab Ludhiana, Dhariwal, Amritsar
Kanpur 1870: Woollen textile setup to meet requirement of British Indian army
Mumbai & Chennai They mostly utilize imported wool for making apparels

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