Friday, 21 October 2011

If today is Friday, this must be merino?!

One of the best parts of travelling is that we know when and where we begin, but we can never be sure where the voyage will take us.

This is very true of our voyage here, even though it is a virtual one! Another saying that applies here is, the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know, which is definitely my case in this adventure! So, we continue our voyage of fiber discovery with the knowledge that we are not on the highway, but rather the road less taken.

 These are the kitties for whom this blog was named. They seem to find the travelling exhausting!

Merino wool.

We have followed it's origins from Africa to Australia and have learned many things.

Merino is:

- the highest quality of sheep's wool
- it's quality is determined by how the sheep are bred, fed and cared for
- it's quality is also determined by how and where the fleece is processed, spun and dyed

Sheep with a "coat" to keep the fleece clean!

New information:
- Merino is extremely soft, but not very strong.
- It is best suited for next to skin garments like hats, scarfs, mittens
- Merino is often mixed with other fibers like coarse sheep's wool, alpaca, silk and cashmere (we will eventually get to these melanges!)

The American merino wool organisation

- Although wool production is not an important market in the United States, there are farmers who raise Merino sheep and produce wool, so we can encourage local wool producers and buy beautiful Merino wool. This is must certainly be true in most countries where sheep thrive.

French breed developped  from Spanish Merino by Louis XVI (i.e. Louis and Marie-Antoinette!)

Have a great weekend! Next week we will begin to discover other types of sheep's wool!


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