If you’ve ever wanted to cozy up under a blanket or bundle up in the cold you’ve probably opted for a wool throw or garment. Wool is one of the most popular and widely used fibers in the world and is known for its insulating properties.\n\nHave you ever thought about how your favorite merino wool throw was made? How about how wool itself is sourced?\n\nWhy Is Wool Used?\n\nHumans have been creating textiles with wool for thousands of years all over the world; in fact sheep were domesticated by humans as far back as 10,000 years ago! The fiber was used to create many of the same items it is used for today like garments, home textiles and winter accessories. \n\nWool is a widely used fiber because it is relatively easy to produce and extremely versatile. The texture of wool (called crimps) makes it easier to spin into yarn. Additionally the texture makes the fleece retain air and thus retain more heat than other textile materials. The more crimps in the wool the finer the fleece it creates - Merino Lambswoolwool has more crimps than the wool used for our Shetland throws, which is a bit more hefty and coarse.\n\nWool fleece is also very easy to dye making it a great material for clothing and home decor. \n\nWhere Does It Come From?\n\nWool is produced all over the world but the vast majority of wool comes from Australia with China, The United States and New Zealand rounding out the top 4. One of the biggest requirements for wool production is landmass for the sheep. The more temperate green open space for sheep to roam the more wool can be produced. For Australia, wool is a big industry that supplies the raw materials for brands all over the world.\n\nAll of the raw wool sourced by Bronte Moon comes from New Zealand and South Africa, a top 11 worldwide wool producer. Different regions often produce different kinds of wool! For example our soft Merino Lambswool is sourced from South Africa while our heavier Shetland Wool comes from New Zealand.\n\nHow Is It Gathered?\n\nThe gathering of wool is a fairly simple and straightforward process called shearing. Periodically sheep need to be shorn to keep their coats from getting too long and heavy. Generally this process is done once per year between spring and summer by hand by simply shaving the coat off of each animal. Think of it like a haircut but instead of the hairdresser or barber throwing away your cut hair they keep it!\n\nAfter the wool is shorn it is gathered and thoroughly cleaned and combed to make sure it is free from impurities and flaws. Once it is clean it is then sent off to mills all over the world for processing where it turns into beautiful throws and garments!