THE HISTORY OF MERINO WOOL
Merino is a breed of sheep originally from southern Portugal and Spain. The breed is the result of the evolution of the merina specimens that existed at the beginning of the 20th century in the south of Portugal where black animals predominated.
The production of wool motivated crossbreeding with improved breeds such as the precocious merino (a French breed developed from the Merino de (Rambouillet). Currently, the breed has its highest production in Australia and New Zealand.
The end of the Second World War heralded another fashion revolution called 'The New Look'. Launched by the House of Christian Dior, the style used excessive amounts of wool fabric in designs as a backlash against the rations and shortages of the war years.
In 1954, young designer Yves Saint Laurent won first and third prizes in the dress category of the International Wool Secretariat competition in Paris while a young Karl Lagerfeld won first prize in the coat category. Accepting their respective fashion design prizes, from a judging panel which included Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Balmain, fashion history was made.
Over the years, classic and much-loved looks have benefitted from Merino wool's qualities. From the little black dress, to the V-neck jumper, to fine tailored suits, Merino wool has timeless appeal. Today, fashion designers and woolgrowers across the world continue to work alongside the best textile manufacturers to produce quality Merino wool apparel and connect consumers with its natural benefits.