Merino Queen was created out of a love of fashion and the inability to find the right knitwear pieces for my wardrobe.
Originally established in 2010, the business was regrettably put on hold in 2012, due to the complex nature of producing fully fashioned knitwear and the associated difficulty in finding a manufacturer who was prepared to produce such product in the small quantities I required at a competitive price point.
Today, I have partnered up with a small but experienced New Zealand manufacturer keen to work with me to grow my business.
With a little more experience under my belt I have decided to build the business from the ground up and will commence with my best selling product; the Cashmere-Merino blend Travel Wrap.
In the meantime enjoy one of our beautiful wraps, a truly versatile garment that will add a touch of class to every outfit!
At Merino Queen it was our desire was to provide a premium quality product at an affordable price. With this in mind we selected the finest quality 100% natural 2 ply yarn that combined the qualities of our two favourite fibres; cashmere for its warmth and softness, and merino for the durability its long and strong fibres add.
100% Cashmere, while the ultimate in luxury, tends to produce a rather delicate item that generally requires hand washing and is prone to pilling. Merino by contrast is a longer and stronger fibre that requires less care when washing and wearing.
The combination of the two fibres into a 30% cashmere/70% merino blend results in a more durable item that requires less maintenance but still retains the luxurious warmth and softness of cashmere, at an affordable price.
More about the fibres..
Merino wool, from Merino sheep, is softer and more refined than regular wool and is a superb material for clothing, given its moisture wicking properties and resistence to odors. It is a great insulator from heat or cold and lightweight and breathable. Merino wool garments tend to retain their shape without wrinkling, they are great for travel and appropriate for varied climates.
Cashmere comes from goats. Specifically, it is produced from fibers that make up the soft, downy undercoat of Kashmir goats that originally inhabited areas in China, Mongolia, India, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Collecting these particular fibers is a laborious task that must be done by hand during spring molting season, resulting in a relatively small yield. The difficulty involved with collecting cashmere wool explains why it is relatively rare and considered a luxury item.
Cashmere vs. Merino?
Warmer: Cashmere can be seven to eight times warmer than merino wool.
Softer: Cashmere has a higher loft, which makes it softer.
More Durable: Merino wool is sturdier and resists pilling more effectively.
Easier to Care for: Merino generally requires less care in washing.
Dressier: Cashmere is a more luxurious fabric with an elegant drape.
THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Our Italian Mill
Not all yarn is created equal. To that end we source our yarn from a mill in Italy prized as a manufacturer of fine wollen yarns used in high-end knitwear. All of their cashmere is directly sourced from Inner Mongolia, home of the world’s finest cashmere. Other wool types, such as merino are sourced from the best selections available in the Australian market. Our mill has been certified for their quality, ethical and environmental practice.
A note about merino supply: Merino wool makes up only 3% of New Zealand’s total wool production, the other 97% is non-merino wool, the majority of which is used in carpet production. Of the merino produced much is committed to contracts with large companies and the remainder is sent overseas (to Italy or China) to be blended, dyed and spun before being returned as yarn for manufacture. Nowadays there are no commercial manufacturers of fine woollen or blended yarns in New Zealand that I am aware of.
Made in New Zealand
All of our products are designed and manufactured right here in New Zealand. We are proud to support the New Zealander economy by employing the services of New Zealand manufacturers, website designers, transportation & shipping agencies, packaging and labelling companies, models and photographers, graphic designers & more.