Farm to Yarn
Shearing a yarn on our soft and squishy journey
Nestled amongst the windswept tussocks at an elevation of 1800 metres above sea level you will find Otematata Station’s ten thousand strong Merino Wether flock.
There are only a handful of farmers in the south that still keep a large merino wether flock and we love that Pip’s family’s farms interaction with these animals is kept to a minimum. Throughout the year these handsome old fellas roam the isolated and sprawling tops of Otematata Station grazing between golden tussocks and drinking fresh mountain water from creeks and springs.
The merino wether wool was not solely chosen because of it's incredibly soft, traceable and sustainable fibres, but also because of the low stress life these animals live. The stations interaction with the wethers is kept to two occasions throughout the year.
Once in the Autumn for the Muster when the Musterer's bring the merinos down out of the snow line to the front of the station for crutching time, where they also have their health checked; before being mustered to lower land which they call their winter country.
The second time is for shearing in the Spring when a specialist shearing gang is contracted to remove the merino wether's wool in preparation of the warmer months when they return to their summer country near the Hawkdun range.
Not only is the wool removed to provide you with this gorgeous fibre, but by removing the weight of the fleece from the sheep, it is able to move more feely, it is able to seek shelter and food with their wool removed from around their eyes, and it gives the farmer a chance to see if the animal is healthy under the camouflage of their fleece.
From the moment Pip saw this mob get shorn, to the wool classer Rose, who looked at each fleece and selected it for its properties such as strength and micron (17.7 to be exact); Pip has followed this super fine wools journey all the way to the Timaru Wool Scourers where she personally saw it get washed and prepared to be spun.
After specialist care and spinning under the guidance of Wild Earth Yarns in Christchurch, the 8ply (DK/Double Knit) and 4ply (Fingering) goodness you are now holding made one more introduction. It found it’s place in Bex’s dye pots in Porirua, Wellington.
With the use of natural dyes sources from nature, and traditional practices, Bex has strived to bring you these gorgeous colours that represent prominent colours on the source of this luxurious, sustainable and fully traceable merino yarn.