One of the most prized treasures in the world of natural yarns. Let's explore the fascinating history of this fiber and the noble Merino sheep.
The history of Merino wool has its roots in ancient times. The authors do not agree on the exact origin of the Merino sheep, but many maintain that it is a breed originating from Morocco and which has undergone a mutation.
The origins of merino wool
When we talk about Merino sheep, we are not actually referring to the breed, but to a set of sheep types which are united by this very precious type of wool, very fine (generally 20 microns or even lower).
When one speaks of Merino sheep, one does not actually one does not refer to the breed, but to a set of types sheep that are united by this highly prized type of wool, very fine (usually of 20 microns or even lower).
Did you know that... those who attempted to export merino sheep out of the country faced the death penalty!
The distribution of merino wool
At a certain point, it was the Spanish sovereigns themselves who put an end to this relationship of extreme jealousy and conservation, starting to donate merino sheep to other European rulers.
It is no coincidence that, during the discovery of the Americas, many animals were exported to the New World: Merino sheep thus spread to South America, then also to South Africa and New Zealand, up to the present day, where Australia holds over the 50% of farms.
New Zealand holds the record for the highest number of Merino sheep in relation to the population. Just think that there are 20 sheep for every inhabitant!
The story of Chris the sheep
It can happen that a sheep gets lost in the pastures. It is said that a merino sheep named Chris wandered away from his flock for many years,
In 2015, Chris was spotted in Australia, near Canberra. Well, the funny thing is that it was so covered in wool that its shearing produced over 40 kg of wool!
This is a real record. A sheep must be sheared at least once a year and on average can produce around 10 kg of wool.
Chris the sheep died of old age, in 2019, at 10 years old. In addition to her historic record, she also became the protagonist of a children's fairy tale.