Merino has been acknowledged as the world’s best textile wool for centuries and is synonymous with Australia’s wool industry – even though the sheep actually originates from Portugal. Englishman John Macarthur is credited with founding the local wool industry in the early 1800s by securing a number of prized Merino sheep from royal Spanish flocks via a sneaky deal with the Dutch Cape Colony. From there the ‘living off the sheep’s back’ story of Australia grew and Macarthur went on to be memorialized in the nation’s history, including everyday honours put to postage stamps and currency.

The deal with Merino is its fineness, with the ‘Fine’ gradings at 25 microns, ‘Superfine’ at 18 microns and ‘Ultrafine’ at just 15 microns – all the product of Australian Merino sheep. End of story. Except to point out that the lower the fibre thickness and longer the staple, the softer the feel and the more efficient the thermal capability, which is why the world loves this high-end material for next-to-skin garments.

Achieving the finest grades of Merino wool does not come easily, and Wilderness Wear sources its highest grade Merino wool from specific growers in Tasmania who have been selectively breeding sheep for this purpose for generations. It is great that the provenance is clear and that a product range of this quality level can be truly referred to as completely Australian.

So, in deciding upon a Wilderness Wear garment or item made from Merino wool, a wearer will feel pleased from knowing its origin, feel great after sensing its touch, and be impressed through experiencing its performance.