The finest wool in the world

2 December 2015

Ever wondered just how fine Australian Merino wool could be? An Australian couple has broken the record for the world’s finest wool as part of Loro Piana’s annual Record Bale competition.

IWTO President and Global Strategic Advisor for The Woolmark Company Peter Ackroyd, Loro Piana CEO Mattheu Brisset, Pamela and Rob Sandlant, ‘Pyrenees Park’ Australia (Award recipients), Loro Piana deputy chair Pier Luigi and Emma Bell, Marketing & Communications New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, on behalf of Merino New Zealand attend the Loro Piana Record Bale Award 2015 at Claridges Hotel in London.
PHOTO: Stuart C Wilson, Getty Images

Australian woolgrowers Pamela and Robert Sandlant of ‘Pyrenees Park’ in Victoria, Australia, have broken the world record for the finest bale of wool ever produced. In winning the annual Loro Piana Record Bale competition, the couple produced a bale of Merino wool of 10.3 microns, beating the previous record of 10.6 microns.

Premium clothing company Loro Piana is now the proud owner of the most luxurious Merino wool in the world, which will be crafted into 40 bespoke suits available in a carefully curated selection of Loro Piana boutiques and world-leading bespoke tailors. Numbered and marked by an exclusive label, the wool fabrics created with the Record Bale are absolutely unique.

Held annually for the past 18 years, Loro Piana’s Record Bale competition engages Australian and New Zealand wool producers who are, without a doubt, the cream of the crop within this significant industry. Gaining entry into the competition is no easy feat, with the fleece in each bale needing to comply with specific weight, length and strength standards to be allowed into the competition.

The Woolmark Company has partnered with Loro Piana since 2011 in the award event, as a way to celebrate the commitment of Australian woolgrowers. Thanks to their passion and to the constant improvement of breeding techniques, Australian Merino wool has achieved an extremely high standard of fineness and quality.

PHOTO: Stuart C Wilson, Getty Images

Loro Piana hosted an exclusive gala event at Merchant Taylors’ Hall in London as well as a breakfast with key media representatives to honour the commitment and professionalism of Australian woolgrowers, who constantly work to improve Merino wool. Loro Piana Deputy Chairman Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Loro Piana CEO Matthieu Brisset and IWTO President and The Woolmark Company Global Strategic Advisor Peter Ackroyd attended the event.

“This award celebrates the professionalism, the skills and the passion so typical of these farms and all the parties involved,” says Pier Luigi. “Thanks to constant mutual efforts, the wool industry can benefit from higher quality standards and fineness, which was unconceivable over 15 years ago. It is especially rewarding to see that the world record has been broken this year again.”

At the media breakfast event in London, focus naturally shifted from fibre specification to fashion trends and forecasts.

“International Vogue Editor Suzy Menkes asked a very pointed question about the non-availability of fine Merino wool in the womenswear collections of Loro Piana and other influential brands,” explains Mr Ackroyd.

“Pier Luigi Loro Piana noted that fabric was available for women and that a trend had begun for smarter women's suits. Suzy Menkes added ‘There are more and more professional women seeking smart tailored clothes that are totally suitable for the office and in the evening’.”