This is a search term someone put in to find this Blog. It sums up to me the level of misunderstanding about wool we producers have to contend with.
The term “Merino” refers to wool produced by Merino sheep – that’s all. It is not a guarantee of a certain quality. Within that name there is an incredibly wide range of types and qualities. In New Zealand and Australia the sheep produce wool ranging from 11 microns in diameter through to 24 plus. The word “merino” on its own means very little. If what you want, in addition to the name, is a guarantee of FINENESS then you must ask detailed questions of the retailer selling that Merino to you.
Bowmont is a variety of Merino sheep developed by The Macaulay Institute. Pure bred Bowmonts like mine that have been selected for fibre quality are quite capable of producing wool in the range 14-20microns. This is where my flock sits. We test every lamb born, at the right time and then also do tests later to see how quality stands up over years. Not all Bowmont sheep are tested and not all are pure bred. If wool is bought from someone who neither tests nor keeps careful breeding records and keeps other varieties of sheep then you can be buying absolutely any quality – just as you are if you buy any other Merino wool or sheep without understanding the background.
So, apologies for the lesson in wool but education in these areas is vital if you who are buying are to really understanding what you are getting for your hard earned cash!!