Merino wool is very soft with a closely spaced crimp. You can spin a fine woollen yarn using the long draw or a worsted yarn using a short draw. Merino is ideal for super fine knitting, crochet and lacework.
Ashford Merino sliver is a 100% New Zealand product with wool from pasture-fed sheep from our high country sheep stations. The folks at Ashford know many of the farmers - some of whom have farmed the land for generations. They take great pride in the quality of their wool and the high standard of animal husbandry. The sheep are well cared for and are not mulesed.
After the sheep are shorn, on the farm, the wool is carefully skirted and checked. Only wool that is sound, clean with good fibER length, bulk and color is selected. It is sent to a boutique New Zealand mill to be dyed, carded and combed.
It is scoured (washed) using an environmentally-friendly, biodegradable detergent . The wool is then dried and dyed. The dyes comply with the strict EU regulations and garments made from the sliver can be certified under the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This standard is the most widely known standard for certification of ecologically-safe clothing. (Detailed information can be found at www.oekotex.com). The fiber is then gently opened and conditioned. Carding machines align the fibers and remove any foreign matter. It is then gilled and combed.