November 22, 2015
People often ask us about the difference between Merino and Shetland wool. These two terms refer to the breeds of sheep providing the wool.
Shetland sheep originated in the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland in the 8th century; ours is imported from New Zealand. The wool from a Shetland sheep comes from the undercoat and is very soft and fine, while also quite durable. The fibers range in thickness from 20 – 33 microns (a micron is one millionth of a meter), and the wool comes in eleven different natural colors, making it extremely versatile.
Merino sheep are most often raised in the mountains of Australia and New Zealand, although the breed dates back to the 12th century in Spain; our Merino wool is imported from South Africa. Merino wool is extremely fine, ranging from 18 – 24 microns, and it is very soft and flexible with natural elasticity. It does not have the scratchy quality that some wools have, making it very comfortable next to the skin. While lightweight, it provides a great deal of warmth.
Lambswool is the highest quality wool on the market. It is taken from a lamb’s first shearing, usually done when the lamb is approximately seven months old. It is the most hypoallergenic of all wools, and it is extremely resistant to dust mites. Because it is so fine and soft, lambswool requires minimal processing.
Regardless of which type of wool you purchase, you can rest assured that Bronte Moon’s products will deliver both the look and feel of luxury. The Abraham Moon & Sons mill has been synonymous with quality since 1837.
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