WOOL PRICES UP -- AND UP: The price of Australian wool continues to rise. According to the latest figures from the Australian Wool Exchange, the average price of Australian wool rose about 3 cents (U.S.) in the week ended May 21 to hit $4.54 per kilo, despite a heavier offering of about 104,000 bales, up from the 98,000 bales offered the previous week.

Since Jan. 1, the average price of wool has risen 63 cents, from $3.91 per kilo.

Finer types of wool, however, remained in tight supply and attracted stronger demand, according to the exchange, which coordinates auctions at both Sydney and Melbourne. In the week ended May 21, 20-micron wool rose 10 cents to $6.65 per kilo, while 21-micron rose 12 cents to $5.71 per kilo.

AMES TAPS JONES: Robert H. Jones has been named president of Ames Textile Corp.'s Hamilton division, a commissioned dyeing and finishing operation for knit fabrics. It is a new post.

Ames, a Lowell, Mass., manufacturer and converter firm, purchased Hamilton Fabric and Apparel Co., Hamilton, Ala., in May 1993. Jones, who has been with Ames since 1992, was most recently the plant manager there. He reports to Jonathan A. Stevens, Ames's president.

KRISTI'S ACETATE PITCH: Acetate fiber producer Hoechst Celanese, which markets the product under the Celebrate Acetate trademark, has produced a video touting the fiber's virtues.

Entitled "The Inside Story: The Rebirth of a Fiber," it is an interview-type format, featuring Hoechst's Celebrate Acetate spokeswoman, 1992 Olympic gold medal ice-skater Kristi Yamaguchi. In the video, Yamaguchi asks various designers, including Carolina Herrera, Carole Little and Nicole Miller, why they use Celebrate Acetate and what they think of it.

About 90 mill and converter executives and apparel designers turned up at Hoechst's New York townhouse last Monday to preview the video, which will be distributed to retailers, consumer organizations, apparel manufacturers, mills and converters.

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