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Groin Gorbachev
Groin Gorbachev

Wool Buyers Tasmania UPDATED


As a perpetual prize, the Zegna trophy now sits inside a locked glass cabinet within the Tasmanian Wool Centre at Ross, though on 13 occasions during annual show judging day it has been placed in the hands of Jim McEwan, the most decorated of the midlands wool producers.




wool buyers tasmania


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The farmer from the Ross district in wild Tasmania was taken in first class comfort to see the Zegna company mills and the exclusive garments they produced; Jim, however, would have liked to meet more of the Italian wool classers and heard trade stories about their various trials with fleeces.


Meet Clare and Will Eddington from Richmond Park Estate, located on the banks of the Coal River near the historic town of Richmond. Clare and Will have developed a 10-year plan for the 1000-hectare property focused on environmental sustainability, wool, wine and family. They run a flock of 3000 Merino ewes, producing high quality, fine micron wool and are currently developing a farm to fashion label.


Luxury Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna recognised this reputation as far back as 1963 when it established the Zegna perpetual trophy for Tasmanian wool growers. The Zegna was awarded annually to the best superfine merino fleece until 2008. The trophy sits in a glass cabinet in the Tasmanian Wool Centre at Ross (opened in 1988 as a bicentennial project).


This winter, Country Road produced a limited-edition polo using superfine merino wool sourced exclusively from Beaufront Station and milled at the famed Tollegno mill in Italy. Its provenance is marked on bespoke swing tags. Von Bibra says it took three years for the idea to come to fruition.


At a function put on by Italian fabric manufacturer Vitale Barberis Canonico, Matt Jensen (the MJ in the brand name) asked wool grower Simon Cameron about doing a line of suiting just from Kingston wool. After three years brewing the idea, he agreed to make a contribution back to the farm at Kingston (based on sales) for the management of its unique natural values.


For his part, Jensen promoted the range, organised the launch and made material available online. Male models came to Kingston and posed in the middle of a mob of sheep that produced the wool: The Kingston Collection was born.


Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep and other mammals, especially goats, rabbits, and camelids.[1] The term may also refer to inorganic materials, such as mineral wool and glass wool, that have properties similar to animal wool.


Wool is produced by follicles which are small cells located in the skin. These follicles are located in the upper layer of the skin called the epidermis and push down into the second skin layer called the dermis as the wool fibers grow. Follicles can be classed as either primary or secondary follicles. Primary follicles produce three types of fiber: kemp, medullated fibers, and true wool fibers. Secondary follicles only produce true wool fibers. Medullated fibers share nearly identical characteristics to hair and are long but lack crimp and elasticity. Kemp fibers are very coarse and shed out.[2]


Wool's crimp refers to the strong natural wave present in each wool fibre as it in presented on the animal. Wool's crimp, and to a lesser degree scales, make it easier to spin the fleece by helping the individual fibers attach to each other, so they stay together. Because of the crimp, wool fabrics have greater bulk than other textiles, and they hold air, which causes the fabric to retain heat. Wool has a high specific thermal resistance, so it impedes heat transfer in general. This effect has benefited desert peoples, as Bedouins and Tuaregs use wool clothes for insulation.


Felting of wool occurs upon hammering or other mechanical agitation as the microscopic barbs on the surface of wool fibers hook together. Felting generally comes under two main areas, dry felting or wet felting. Wet felting occurs when water and a lubricant (especially an alkali such as soap) are applied to the wool which is then agitated until the fibers mix and bond together. Temperature shock while damp or wet accentuates the felting process. Some natural felting can occur on the animals back.


The amount of crimp corresponds to the fineness of the wool fibers. A fine wool like Merino may have up to 40 crimps per centimetre (100 crimps per inch), while coarser wool like karakul may have less than one (one or two crimps per inch). In contrast, hair has little if any scale and no crimp, and little ability to bind into yarn. On sheep, the hair part of the fleece is called kemp. The relative amounts of kemp to wool vary from breed to breed and make some fleeces more desirable for spinning, felting, or carding into batts for quilts or other insulating products, including the famous tweed cloth of Scotland.


The quality of fleeces is determined by a technique known as wool classing, whereby a qualified person, called a wool classer, groups wools of similar grading together to maximize the return for the farmer or sheep owner. In Australia, before being auctioned, all Merino fleece wool is objectively measured for average diameter (micron), yield (including the amount of vegetable matter), staple length, staple strength, and sometimes color and comfort factor.


Vegetable matter in commercial wool is often removed by chemical carbonization.[10]In less-processed wools, vegetable matter may be removed by hand and some of the lanolin left intact through the use of gentler detergents. This semigrease wool can be worked into yarn and knitted into particularly water-resistant mittens or sweaters, such as those of the Aran Island fishermen. Lanolin removed from wool is widely used in cosmetic products such as hand creams.


Raw wool has many impurities; vegetable matter, sand, dirt and yolk which is a mixture of suint (sweat), grease, urine stains and dung locks. The sheep's body yields many types of wool with differing strengths, thicknesses, length of staple and impurities. The raw wool (greasy) is processed into 'top'. 'Worsted top' requires strong straight and parallel fibres.


Any wool finer than 25 microns can be used for garments, while coarser grades are used for outerwear or rugs. The finer the wool, the softer it is, while coarser grades are more durable and less prone to pilling.


The finest Australian and New Zealand Merino wools are known as 1PP, which is the industry benchmark of excellence for Merino wool 16.9 microns and finer. This style represents the top level of fineness, character, color, and style as determined on the basis of a series of parameters in accordance with the original dictates of British wool as applied by the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Council. Only a few dozen of the millions of bales auctioned every year can be classified and marked 1PP.[15]


In the United States, three classifications of wool are named in the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939.[16] Wool is "the fiber from the fleece of the sheep or lamb or hair of the Angora or Cashmere goat (and may include the so-called specialty fibers from the hair of the camel, alpaca, llama, and vicuna) which has never been reclaimed from any woven or felted wool product".[16] "Virgin wool" and "new wool" are also used to refer to such never used wool. There are two categories of recycled wool (also called reclaimed or shoddy wool). "Reprocessed wool" identifies "wool which has been woven or felted into a wool product and subsequently reduced to a fibrous state without having been used by the ultimate consumer".[16] "Reused wool" refers to such wool that has been used by the ultimate consumer.[16]


In medieval times, as trade connections expanded, the Champagne fairs revolved around the production of wool cloth in small centers such as Provins. The network developed by the annual fairs meant the woolens of Provins might find their way to Naples, Sicily, Cyprus, Majorca, Spain, and even Constantinople.[21] The wool trade developed into serious business, a generator of capital.[22] In the 13th century, the wool trade became the economic engine of the Low Countries and central Italy. By the end of the 14th century, Italy predominated.[21] The Florentine wool guild, Arte della Lana, sent the imported English wool to the San Martino convent for processing. Italian wool from Abruzzo and Spanish merino wools were processed at Garbo workshops. Abruzzo wool had once been the most accessible for the Florentine guild, until improved relations with merchants in Iberia made merino wool more available. By the 16th century Italian wool exports to the Levant had declined, eventually replaced by silk production.[21][23]


The value of exports of English raw wool were rivaled only by the 15th-century sheepwalks of Castile and were a significant source of income to the English crown, which in 1275 had imposed an export tax on wool called the "Great Custom". The importance of wool to the English economy can be seen in the fact that since the 14th century, the presiding officer of the House of Lords has sat on the "Woolsack", a chair stuffed with wool.


Economies of scale were instituted in the Cistercian houses, which had accumulated great tracts of land during the 12th and early 13th centuries, when land prices were low and labor still scarce. Raw wool was baled and shipped from North Sea ports to the textile cities of Flanders, notably Ypres and Ghent, where it was dyed and worked up as cloth. At the time of the Black Death, English textile industries consumed about 10% of English wool production. The English textile trade grew during the 15th century, to the point where export of wool was discouraged. Over the centuries, various British laws controlled the wool trade or required the use of wool even in burials. The smuggling of wool out of the country, known as owling, was at one time punishable by the cutting off of a hand. After the Restoration, fine English woolens began to compete with silks in the international market, partly aided by the Navigation Acts; in 1699, the English crown forbade its American colonies to trade wool with anyone but England herself. 041b061a72


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