Woolmark: the site of the Australian wool industry – the number 1 global producer (or, maybe they’re second – no one really seems to know if China has passed them). This is the consumer-focused site for them, but they also run wool.com, where you can find lots of granular statistics and market-based information, along with some nuggets like “Making More From Sheep”, and the “Wool and Sheepmeat Survey”.
Silk Association of Great Britain: as would befit silk (vs wool), this site is very consumer focused, and gives a good overview of the history, the methods for making, and the types of material.
The Leather Panel: the UN global forum for technical assistance programs in the leather industry. Lots of good information on everything from sourcing to processing to finished products.
Most countries have an entity dedicated to the national industry, the Brits and the French maintain useful information, others not so much.
Fashioning Felt: This was a very successful show at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC focused on . . . felt. Putting this here more as an inspirational source than an information source, though there’s plenty of information in there too.
(As with all sections, I add the disclaimer: This is neither comprehensive, nor objective – these are simply manufacturers that I know and like. If there is a reason, I will state it, otherwise you are free to try and figure it out on your own.
Beyond that, in the Naturals the spread is SO wide – just the wood-based producers alone – that I have gone to just those firms that I can recall in true “top of mind” fashion.)
Dashing Tweeds: if you like something different – traditional British tweeds with a contemporary British twist. –
Lanificio Paoletti: A traditional mill producing un-traditional textiles.
Vitale Barberis Canonico: How could I not love a company that has a library cataloguing 150 years of textiles?
Lama Concepts: Working with felt in novel ways.
Jim Thompson: an internationally-recognized silk producer in Thailand, founded by an American architect (with apologies for the whiff of Colonialism).
Horween: One of the oldest American tanneries, and one of the few suppliers of shell cordovan. They also make (American) football leather, because the founder played while he attended Harvard, before playing professionally and later coaching for his alma mater. And I thought that I had a strange career arc.
Moore and Giles: Another American tannery, but goes a bit more to the “flash” than Horween.
Cuoium: an equally-flashy Italian producer.
Daisho Leather: 100-year-old Japanese firm in the renowned Hyogo Prefecture. Favorite product: “No! No! Mosquito.”
Stead Suede: British firm specializing in – you guessed it – suede. Though they also have antelope . . .
Ecodomo: leather for the home. A wide range of leather tiles and other finishes for everything from countertops to doors.