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Beyond the Bale : June 2016
22 OFF FARM The world record for the finest Merino wool fleece ever produced has been broken by two Australian entrants in this year’s Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards. The awards comprise two categories for superfine Merino ewe or wether skirted fleeces. The Vellus Aureum Trophy is for fleeces with a minimum weight of 750 grs and tested as 13.9 micron or finer. The Wool Trophy is for fleeces of 18.5 micron or finer. Both competitions are open to Australia and New Zealand woolgrowers, with Australian woolgrowers this year taking out the top three spots in both categories. David and Susan Rowbottom (St Helens, Victoria) won both the 1st and 3rd places of the Vellus Aureum Trophy, while Bradley Sandlant (Lexton, Vic) was awarded the 2nd place. The 1st place of the Wool Trophy went to Ed and Jill Hundy (Pyramul, Mudgee, NSW), the 2nd to Allan and Carolyn Phillips (Deddington, Tasmania), and the 3rd to Andrew and Penny Hundy (Mudgee, NSW). The woolgrowers were presented with the awards by the Chairman of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, Paolo Zegna, during a gala dinner in Sydney hosted by the Zegna Group in the presence of the company’s top clients, representatives of the international press and the major institutions associated with the world of wool. “It has to be noted that this year both the 1st and 2nd ranked fleeces in the Vellus Aureum Trophy, with respectively 9.9 and 9.8 micron, overtook the previous world record of fineness,” said Count Zegna. “Our congratulations go to the winners and to each of the entrants. Supporting, understanding and promoting the commitment, skills and processes of growing superfine Merino is a must for us: we would like all our Zegna consumers to be aware and to highly appreciate that.” The fleeces entered in the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards are judged according to a series of criteria including style, strength and evenness, as well as fineness. All the fleeces entered in the competition are purchased by the Zegna Group, with the best fleeces transformed into the top line fabrics of the Ermenegildo Zegna collections. The Ermenegildo Zegna Group is one of the world’s leading luxury menswear brands, founded in 1910 in Trivero, in the Biella Alps of Italy. The company became the first Woolmark licensee in 1964. Today, the company is one of the single largest buyers of Australian Merino wool. There are 523 Zegna stores (303 company- owned) in more than 100 countries around the world. The total Group revenues in 2015 reached €1.26 billion (AU$1.88 billion). BREAKING THE 10 MICRON BARRIER Australian growers of superfine wool continue to advance the fineness and excellence of their fibre, as exemplified at this year’s Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards. The Zegna Group is one of the largest buyers of Australian Merino wool. The fleece of Bradley Sandlant of ‘Pyrenees Park’ in Central Victoria has a world record fineness of 9.8 micron. He is pictured here with his wife Melissa, Paola Zegna and AWI Chairman Wal Merriman. PHOTO: Tim Kindler MEDIA TOUR TO ARMIDALE To complement the hosting of this year’s Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards in Sydney and to help place Australian Merino wool under the global spotlight, the Zegna Group with support from AWI organised a visit for international and Australian journalists to the Zegna-owned wool-growing property ‘Achill’ at Armidale in NSW. The visit underlined the role of Australian wool within the fashion and textile industries while showcasing values like quality, innovation, provenance and traceability. The journalists saw first-hand where the fibre originates, the intricacies of growing the fibre, and wool classing demonstrations. This provided them with an understanding and appreciation for the world’s finest wool, which they are now relaying to their readership of consumers in key markets across the world. Counting sheep at Achill. PHOTO: Kara Rosenlund
In the Shops - September 2016