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Long recognised as one of the world’s most successful producers of wool and woollen products, New Zealand, a country of approximately 5 million people is home to over 25 million sheep.
New Zealand wool was originally a by-product of the sheep meat industry and strong New Zealand wools were prevalent in woollen carpets manufactured world-wide.
The advent of synthetic substitutes led to a period when New Zealand wool was less in demand and the sheep population dropped from a peak of 65 million late last century.
Recently two major developments have seen a resurge in demand for New Zealand wools. The flocks have diversified and New Zealand now has a growing percentage of sheep producing fine wools suitable for clothing and high quality knitwear. There is also a move back to natural products and strong New Zealand wools are again in demand for natural woollen floor coverings.
The McDermott family have been actively involved in the wool industry since 1951 when Dianne’s father-in-law established a successful wool exporting company that operated until 2007 when it was sold to a local public company.
In the period of operation the family participated in many aspects of the wool trade including the introduction of the iconic Shepherd Wools range of Knitting wool, patterns and accessories in 1962. No longer owned by the family, Shepherd Wools are still available in Australia and New Zealand.
Dianne’s venture offering a range of knitting wools including exclusive 100% New Zealand wool brands and New Zealand made handknits serves to extend the family’s proud involvement in the New Zealand Wool industry.