Where the Wool Grows
Given the reception this little fellow got on our Facebook page not so long ago, we thought we’d give you a run down of the types of wool we buy and the breeds of sheep that produce it. At Abraham Moon, we source every inch of the fluffy white stuff from our network of reputable wool growers. We ensure these growers produce ethically, without stress to the animals or environment.
Merino Sheep (Lambswool)
Our predominant (and best renowned) quality is Merino Lambswool. The Merino sheep itself is not simply one breed, but many breeds under one family name. Together, the Merino family makes up one of the most common worldwide breeds, but don’t let the word ‘common’ be mistaken for meaning ‘average’.
Merino sheep produce the finest diameter wool, highly valued by the leading fashion houses for it’s high quality and soft handling. While the finest of the wool is normally reserved for luxury suiting fabrics, Medium category wool can also be used for apparel cloths and furnishing fabrics.
We buy the vast majority of our Merino Wool from South Africa, with a small percentage coming from the Merino sheep hot-spot of Australia.
You can find Merino prevalent across our three divisions; from fine Jacketing fabrics, through our Boutique and Moonlight Furnishing collections, and finally with our beautiful Bronte by Moon lambswool throws, cushions and scarves.
Shetland (New Zealand Crossbred)
The term ‘Shetland Quality’ is now widely applied to wool originating from New Zealand crossbreeds such as the Romney, Perendale and Coopworth amongst many others. Somewhat famous for being a country where sheep outnumber people by an estimated nine to one, we source both our Shetland quality and Pure New Wool from New Zealand.
Romney sheep were originally exported to the antipodes from England in the late 1800’s, with the latter two deriving from breeding experimentation in the 1960’s to create hardier sheep more suitable for the steep hills of the North and South Island.
The wool these sheep produce is thicker and heavier than the fine Lambswool of the Merino, with some of the thickest fibres from the Romney raised in certain areas even being suitable for carpeting.
We use Pure New Wool of medium category mainly for our Furnishing collections (except the aforementioned Boutique and Moonlight), as well as in our Apparel Heritage Collection, Coating fabrics, and the Bronte by Moon Shetland and Natural ranges.
British Down Sheep
Don’t adjust your screen settings; we’ve just picked out a picture of a British lamb. While the sheep are seemingly smaller as we go along, in real life we can confirm the adults are all of a similar size.
Our British wool can all be traced to the South West of the country, specifically flocks in Devon and Cornwall. Once again, there is no one particular breed that provides the largest bulk of the supply of British wool. ‘Down’ breeds such as the Dorset, Hampshire (pictured) and Suffolk typically produce the finest British fibres.
The comparatively heavy structure of the wool from these sheep can be attributed to a number of factors, such as diet and weather (i.e. their surrounding environment, controlled or otherwise).
British wool is famous for its use in Tweed fabrics, the heavy composition helping battle against the challenging weather farmers and outdoorsy-types could face on a day to day basis. We also recently launched a British Wool Collection of throws and cushions, our first accessories range incorporating British yarns into the design.