Extracting value from a national pest

Blending merino wool and possum fibres was first developed in 1992 by a New Zealand knitter. Merino possum knitwear was developed as a by-product of the possum control program, making the merino possum blend an environmentally sound choice.

Why is possum fur special?

Hollow core – Possum fibre has a hollow core. The significance of this is that the hollow core traps a tunnel of air that provides extra-ordinary warmth – up to 55 percent more than 100 percent wool garment. The only other animal with a hollow core fibre is the polar bear.

The hollow core also creates a fibre lighter than most other natural fibre. In practice by blending 40 percent possum fibre into the yarn you can reduce the overall weight of a garment by more than 20 percent.

High quality – Merino possum yarn is highly resistant to pilling.

Therapeutic benefits – There is scientific evidence that an enzyme in the possum fibre helps combat skin conditions like athlete’s foot and eczema.

Moisture vapour transmission – Both possum and merino fibres have a complex as the cuticle. Merino possum fabric will absorb and expel moisture vapour form the external environment or the body microclimate in changing conditions.

High fashion

Over the past 15 years, possum fur and merino wool mixes have become established as a luxury product among the wider array of fibre available around the world. Possum fur blended yarns are lightweight, low-pilling, breathable, and anti-odour.

High-end fashion designers are asking for more from their suppliers. Products need to meet high standards in regards to quality and sustainability. Possum fur is globally recognized as sustainable, environmentally friendly and ethically sound.

Manufacturers and retailers

Most of New Zealand’s possum fur/merino blended yarn is specially spun at Woolyarns. A range of fine products are manufactured in New Zealand, with 85% exported through tourist retail outlets.

Zealana has created a handknitting yarn combining cashmere, merino and brushtail possum fibers. Zealana knitting yarn is an ultra soft, durable, pill-resistant yarn that is light and warm. Zealana has a range of luxury knitting wool yarns ranging from lace weight and double knitting yarn through to chunky weight yarns and can be purchased from a variety of stores around the world.

Product ranges

An impressive range of possum merino products are now available, the following sites can be visited to get you started…

NZ Nature

Koru knitwear