Wool and Stud Details

Karori is totally committed to breeding exceptionally high quality wools with a unique softness that can be processed into outstanding fashion garments for the consumer as well as providing exceptional genetics for our clients.


  • To cut an average of 4.5kgs per adult ewe of 16.5 micron wool or finer by the year 2022
  • To breed a uniquely soft handling wool that will process better than cashmere and that can be turned into unique garments for the consumer
  • To maintain the highest standard of wool quality for both the breeder and the wool processor. This includes producing wool which exhibits excellent staple length, a deep well defined crimp, pronounced white lustre and soft handle so that we produce wool which will create:
    • Superior processing performance
    • Deluxe fabric handle
    • Luxurious comfortable clothing
  • To breed highly fertile sheep that have a good consitution so they will work well in a variety of environmental conditions.
  • To breed parasite resistant sheep.
  • To provide the best environmentally clean fibre for the processor by using no or minimal external chemicals on the sheep.
To provide highly profitable genetics for our clients.
  • Average adult micron over last 5 years: 16.2u
  • Average hogget micron over last 5 years: 14.9u

Target Markets

We have chosen to maintain a long-term average micron of 16.5u or finer for the following reasons:

  • The adult wool is well suited to worsted cloths, cool wool fabrics, underwear as well as being suitable to blend with Lycra, Cotton and other synthetics to be worn next to the skin.
  • The hoggets wool can be blended with Cashmere and Silk or processed into unique pure wool garments.


Wool Clip

  • Karori wools consistently have:
  • Higher strength than the average of all additionally measured wools sold in Newcastle.
  • More brightness and less colour than the average Newcastle wool clip.
  • Twice as much wool in the spinners types as the average Newcastle clip.
  Wool Sales
In November 2007 we achieved the following prices for 3 bales of ultra fine wool:
  • 14.0u   (82mm, 47 Nktx, 80% Yld)        23,500 cents/kg
  • 14.5u   (80mm, 39Nktx 80.1% Yld)       12,600 cents/kg
  • 14.9u   (75mm, 53Nktx, 81.4% Yld)       6070 cents/kg

Quality Control

Karori has its own quality assurance program for:

  • Sheep breeding
  • Paddock and sheep management
  • Yard Management
  • Shearing shed management and clip preparation
  • Post shed management


Katrina Blomfield has a quality assurance accreditation certificate and is both a qualified sheep classer and and professional woolclasser.


Since 1995 we have been selecting sheep carrying wools with:

  • Genetically fine primary and secondary follicles with a high ratio of Secondary to Primary follicles
  • High fibre alignment
  • High follicle density
  • Small fibre bundles
  • Good fibre length
  • Rich white nourishment
  • Soft silky wools
  • Deeply crimping wools
  • Wools with 0.0% fibres > 30u
  • Wools with low CVs, low Standard Deviations and low Curvatures
2006 drop hogget rams

Sheep classing


  • Every sheep is classed annually in sheep is classed annually in a classing box, body weighed and selected for:
  • Good bone structure and constitution
  • Loose skin, soft and free of wrinkle
  • High fertility
  • Clean open faces with no pigmentation
  • High quality bellies
  • Resistance to fly strike and fleece rot
  • Resistance to worms
At the same time sheep are selected for corrective joining according to whether they are classified as FRAME sheep or WOOL sheep.

Frame Sheep

Frame sheep typically weigh approximately 5 kgs above the average sheep in any age group, are sound in both constitution and structure as well as being robust and fertile. Frame sheep should exhibit at least 3 of the following 5 characteristics:

  1. Softness
  2. Bold deep crimp
  3. Lustre
  4. Fibre bundles
  5. Rich white nourishment


Wool Sheep

Wool sheep are sound for frame, constitution and bone structure and should exhibit at least 4 out of the above 5 characteristics.


Karori undergoes a joining program which involves joining Wool rams to Frame ewes and Frame rams to Wool ewes. The aim of this corrective joining program is to eventually have all our sheep excellent in both body and wool and excelling in all of the following 5 characteristics:

  1. Softness
  2. Bold deep crimp
  3. Lustre
  4. Fibre bundles
  5. Rich white nourishment
We have approximately 15-20 single sire joined groups each year as well as several syndicate joinings. All progeny are assessed and monitored.

Selection Methods



  • Both objective and visual assessment are used for both sheep and wool to help us select top quality sires and dams including:
  • Our total ewe flock of 2500 is drawn on for replacement stud ewes.
  • All hogget rams and ewes are side-sampled and fleece weighed during shearing in September.
  • Classing notes are made at shearing on length, handle, colour and style. Bellies are also graded. This information is used together with Fibre Diameter Data (including CV% , SD of FDand Curvature) and fleece weight.
  • All ewes and rams are weighed and classed in December/January for constitution, bone structure, feet, pigmentation, wool quality and resistance to fleece rot.
  • Faecal Egg Counts (FECs) are taken of all stud ram and ewe lambs and sent to VHR Laboratory in Armidale who are an accredited laboratory with MLA and the Merino Validation Project.
  • Progeny testing of sires
  • Progeny testing of dams.
  • All sheep are classed every year
  • Sheep are reared and assessed under normal pasture conditions and stocking rates and are not supplementary fed unless drought feeding is required.

Genetics & Sires Used

  • Shalimar/Mirani sires from 1930's to 1986
  • Various Lorelmo sires and semen from 1990-2002
  • Since 1995 Karori has mainly used its own sires in the stud but we have  infused some genetics from other studs over the last 10 years using semen from Nerstane, Lorelmo and Miramoona Studs in Walcha, Rockbank Stud in Victoria in 2019 and 
    Calcookara Stud in South Australia in 2020.

Processing Trials

Karori has been involved in several processing trials over the last 10 years. The latest processing trial was conducted during 2011 in collaboration with the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for wool as part of a research project 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. The results of this trial showed that the ultrafine wools in the trial all processed better that 100% high quality cashmere and top-of -the range cotton for all these characteristics. The Karori wool processed extremely well and it was the softest and smoothest of all the wools in the trial even though it had the highest Fibre Diameter of all the wools in the trial (See our "Latest News" heading for more details)
A processing trial was also conducted a few years ago in collaboration with Dr. Tony Madeley from the University of Tasmania and the Toabo woollen mill in Japan. This processing trial involved using a batch of low crimp frequency/low curvature wools. The batch averaged 18.0 microns with a curvature of 75degrees/mm and a staple length of 92mm.

Some results from the trial include:

  1. The top produced was considered to have the lowest curvature of 18micron wool that has been processed commercially.
  2. The wools in the trial produced a far longer Hauteur in the top than normal.
  3. Extraordinary spinning performance and exceptionally silky soft handle resulted during textile processing.
  4. Reduced curvature significantly benefits the woolgrower and textile processor in terms of increased productivity.

(diagram of typical "Karori" fleece in the processing trial)

In a previous trial conducted by Dr. Madeley, he was able to demonstrate that:

  • Elite low curvature tops produce I>Elite low curvature tops produce 300% less noil in recombing
  • The spinning performance of each top dyed lot was superior to standard undyed tops
  • Elite low curvature 18 micron fibre produces a more even roving and yarn

Elite low curvature 18 micron fibre gave a 300% commercially significant better performance in terms of ends down in spinning than that of traditional 18 micron high curvature fibre of the same Hauteur.