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  1. #1
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    MerinoŚMakers in Australia and New Zealand

    Enamoured with merino clothing from some of the ‘big names,’ I was curious about makers here in Australia and in New Zealand … and found a treasure trove of wonderful small and mid-sized manufacturers. A couple of them trace their roots back through generations of family ownership or connection, growing from wool producers that have diversified. All of them are passionate about what they do. Their websites proudly share company histories, stories of how they obtain, process and manufacture wool, their journeys to produce locally and bring fine merino garments to customers. Although I’ve not yet completed my quest to try items from each of the makers listed here, I’ve made good progress, and have been extremely happy with every purchase so far. My love affair with merino has deepened!

    When looking at prices, remember that currency exchange rates might make a purchase cost effective! For instance, currently 1 AUD = 0.75 USD and 1 NZD = 0.70 USD.

    Hedrena; Australian Made Merino Wool Clothing - HEDRENA. Well-tailored street clothing—a full range for women, some items for men—plus undergarments and new exercise wear. They’ve spent more than 20 years experimenting with their knitting machines to create what they think is a superior merino fabric. I have two of their tops in 170 gsm 100% merino; the fabric is fine but not at all sheer, with a smooth hand and polished face. ‘Knit tops’ rather than ‘t-shirts,’ I’m comfortable wearing these in both very casual and dressier contexts. I also have a skirt in the 230 gsm double-knit fabric, and it’s a dream—soft, stretchy, flattering.

    Merino Country; Australian Merino Underwear, Thermals & Clothing | Merino Country. A big range of underwear called ‘wundies’ complements a good selection of building-block streetwear, thermals and active wear for men, women and kids. They produce several styles of bra plus wool mastectomy inserts. Merino Country is another company that produces its own knit fabrics. My husband and I each are very happy with our 175 gsm 100% merino briefs. The fabric is substantial, comfortable and has a nice lustre. A turtleneck top for my husband is on the horizon.

    Merino in Motion; Australian Merino Dance & Active Wear by MerinoInMotion on Etsy. A few key pieces for men and women in merino with a touch of spandex designed for dance, pilates and the like. This company is very new and its etsy shop seems to offer a larger selection of products than its website. After consulting with the shop owner on fit, I bought a pair of the 200 gsm 97% merino/3% Spandex leggings in a men’s size to wear as ‘pants leggings’. I’ve just worn them for several days in a row while visiting a wintry-cold Melbourne, and they were perfect.

    Smitten Merino; Smitten Merino - Buy super fine merino wool clothing, thermals, outdoor, sportswear, dresses, and more from Tasmania, Australia. Fun fashion pieces, suited to layering and mixing, with a smattering of activewear. Women could build a wardrobe from Smitten; men and kids could supplement theirs. I have two Smitten garments, a sleeveless top and a dress; both are a beautiful, soft fine rib knit with nice stretch and lovely drape, and a joy to wear. (Originally recommended by someone on this forum.)

    Tooralie Australia; Merino Wool Clothing - Knitwear, Denim & Shirts l Toorallie. I think that Tooralie’s pure merino garments are made in Australia. I’ve seen—and touched—a couple of Tooralie’s jumpers and jackets in a shop, and they are lovely. The company also makes denim and woven shirts from merino blended with cotton, and merino-blend tights; these fabrics are made offshore.

    Untouched World; http://www.untouchedworld.com. Stylish clothing, much of it made from merino or luxury merino blends, and largely made in New Zealand. Proudly brands itself ‘the first fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability’.

    Wilderness Wear; https://wildernesswear.com.au. Innovative performance gear for men and women with an emphasis on outdoor sports, with crossover use in casual wear, plus a large range of everyday and outdoor socks for adults and kids. They make base and mid layers in different weights of pure merino, ‘Compression Merino’ garments with an inside layer of merino, and a new blend called MerinoFusion. Base layers have flat seams and raglan sleeves. Thanks to a spectacular clearance section, I’ve clad my husband, his 21-year old son and myself in a number of their 170 gsm and 195 gsm pure merino base layers. We all find them warm and supremely comfortable.

    The Wool Company; http://www.thewoolcompany.co.nz. Markets its own label and also a range of products from other New Zealand brands for men, women, children and babies. These include two labels of the Weft Knitting Company, Bay Road and Noble Wilde. I do have a base layer shirt made by Weft under yet another label, Merinos; it is a soft jersey knit that has become very soft and comfortable after the first few washings.

    Woolerina; https://www.woolerina.com.au. Special hand-screened pieces created in collaboration with Sydney Signature Prints highlight some of Woolerina’s streetwear for women. Products also include clothing and accessories for men, children and babies, and baby blankets. Their tagline ‘soft Australian merino’ perfectly describes my 180 gsm 100% merino interlock scoop neck top, which is a cosy, stretchy mini rib.

    A couple of notes: Do look at the sizing charts, as Australian and New Zealand sizing differs from US. Also note return and exchange policies, which often are more restrictive than in the US. My list is weighted toward the Aussie companies because I found more of them with online retail sales. Please feel free to add more!
    Last edited by Kaz; 07-27-2016 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Merino in Motion is about to start offering some colours as well as basic black.

  2. #2
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    Make me wish I lived down under. These sound fabulous.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Make me wish I lived down under. These sound fabulous.
    Hi @BWeaves. Ah yes, I feel very lucky to live in Oz, but I also have made most of my purchases online. International shipping from any of these makers should be quite viable (and some offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount). Indeed, I think that at the current exchange rates, anyone purchasing with US dollars would barely feel the cost of international shipping!

  4. #4
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    That is such a great list, thanks for compiling it.

  5. #5
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    Another one to add to the list - Wild South Wild South Clothing Online Store
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

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