I’m a lover of wool. I love to spin it, dye it, knit it and wear it.
A trip to Central Otago during the shearing season, in search of a good fleece to spin into a knitting yarn, found us in the rocky hills surrounding the Maniototo Plain – and there we discovered sheep thriving in the arid conditions of the Maniototo and producing marvellous mid micron wool.
The Duncan family breed sheep to produce wool sought after by makers of high quality garments worldwide – soft, yet hard-wearing wool with a high “comfort factor” (not prickly to wear). They source genetically superior Merino rams from Australia to breed with Romney ewes selected for the softness and strength of their wool. The breeding programme was geared to the requirements of overseas markets, but yarns made with it could not be purchased in New Zealand. These sheep are called “New Zealand Halfbred”, and the wool is “Merino Cross”, a soft, yet very manageable fibre.
On that first visit, we acquired a single beautiful fleece, lots of new knowledge and a desire to find a way of making this wonderful wool more available to local buyers.
Happily, we discovered Wild Earth Yarns in Christchurch, a boutique business with the equipment for contract carding and spinning, and the ability to turn our beautiful fleeces into great yarns – and Mary started was able to indulge her love of dyeing. In 2013 Maniototo Wool arrived…..
– a 100% New Zealand product, of the finest quality
– grown, scoured, carded, spun and hand dyed – entirely in New Zealand.
– Order your Maniototo Wool Knitting Wool
Mary Furness Weir