Nov 2015

We are very excited to have become a supplier to Bluey Merino who in 2014 purchased some of our 16.3u ewes wool (Bluey Merino is a company formed in 2012 by Andrew Ross to create a Merino Brand that Australians could call their own. The company aspires to produce Australia¿s softest active wear range for men & women so understanding Next-to-Skin comfort is a major focus of the brand).

They have recognised the importance of the unique softness and fibre characteristics of the Karori wool in order to ensure extreme softness for their new range of next-to-skin active wear merino garments.Bluey Merino tests all their finished garments with the latest available technology (i.e. the newley developed Comfort Meter) to ensure wearer comfort.

Bluey Merino is also sourcing wool for their garments from growers known for their ethical practices, and sustainable production methods. This year Bluey Merino has increased the quantity of wool purchased from us for their 2016 range of garments.

As the business grows, we envisage that our ram clients will also be able to become suppliers and benefit from the premiums paid.

Garments made from Karori wool are available on-line (16.3u range) from Bluey Merino

Click below to watch the Bluey Merino video which tells the story of Karori and how Bluey Merino is sourcing our wool for their unique garments.


In 2014 the NE Merino Field Day Committee hosted an “Ultimate Ram” Competition.Two rams were entered from each stud and tested for FD, Body Weight, Eye Muscle and Fat Depth and then visually classed by wool and carcase judges and the scores were analysed by a complex formula. We were very excited at the Field Days when a Karori ram was judged as the Ultimate Ram in the Fine/Med wool Unhoused section of the competition which was the largest section with 20 rams entered into this class.

Visit the New England Merino website


November 2011

During 2011, Karori was involved in a CRC research project which aimed to test the comfort of superfine wool using both a Comfort Meter, Wool Handle Meter and conducting wearer trials where 25 people were asked to score the comfort, softness and smoothness of various garments.
4 bales of wool were contributed in total from 3 woolgrowers in the Walcha/Uralla area.
2 bales were approximately 14.0 microns
2 bales were between 15.2-15.7 microns
Karori contributed the 15.7u bale which was the backs from their 2010 hogget clip.
The wools were processed in Italy and the results showed that all the wools in the trial performed better than high quality cashmere and top-of-the-range cotton for both comfort, softness and smoothness.
The Karori wool, even though it had the highest Fibre Diameter in the trial, had the best softness and the best smoothness of all the wools in the trial.
Even though there has been no test for softness before, we have always believed that the softness in the raw wool will translate to softness in the garments for the consumer. As a result of this research, this appears to be the case. We hope that these results will translate into better prices for these wools in the future.
Sheep CRC Chief Executive Officer Professor James Rowe said that: “It is the first time that ultrafine wool knitwear has been shown, using objective testing, to be superior to other natural fibres in terms of functional qualities valued by consumers.”

August 2008

Charlie & Fiona Massy  from Severn Park used some semen from Karori ram K279 (020279) and got an amazing result. Several of their top priced rams at their Ram Sale in December 2007 came from K279. Also, at their Stud Ewe Dispersal Sale on the 6th June 2008 a ewe from K279 achieved the second highest price ever paid in the worldfor a merino ewe- $3900 as well as the third highest price- $3600 . Charlie Massy made the comment in his ewes sale catalogue that K279 was an “Impact Sire expressing new protein with unique fibre traits” (Unfortunately K279 (son of K3138) died during his first joining but we have sons and grandsons as stud sires at Karori who are breeding extremely well). We have sent wool samples to the wool CRC to see if they can identify what is creating the unique softness in the Karori wools. In a paper written in 1959 by Professor John Speakman from the Department of Textile Industries at Leeds University in England, he said that”the assessment of ‘quality’ in wool is made by the visual and tactile judgement of experts, rather than scientific means” It is unfortunate that the wool industry has been obsessed for the last 55 years with replacing the visual and tactile judgement of quality by assuming that quality is determined by the average fibre diameter and other objectively measured traits. This objective measurement only path assumes that “the nature of the substance of the fibre is unimportant or that all wools are composed of the same substance. As regards this second assumption, the complexity of the wool fibre makes it improbable that the substance of all types of wool is the same and much evidence has been accumulated to show that there are not only variations in substance but that such variations are of great commercial importance” (Professor Speakman) There are many people now involved in the wool industry who neither understand the importance of “quality” nor have any expertise in visual and tactile assessment.