Provenance you can feel
The best wool comes from the best Merino sheep. This is why Toorallie sources its wool directly from the famous ''Pooginook Merino Stud" on the Riverina plains in New South Wales. Renowned for its warm climate, rich grasses and plentiful water supply, the Riverina provides perfect conditions for Merino sheep to thrive.
Toorallie garments are underpinned by generations of craft skills that commence with the selection of elite wools. To ensure Toorallie garments are the best quality we need to know the provenance of our wool, so each season we travel to the Riverina to hand select each fleece in the woolshed at Pooginook.
We know the provenance of the wool we select so that you can wear it with confidence.
The Pooginook Stud flock has been carefully managed and selected by only three generations since 1912. David Taylor, the current stud master has made the most important and significant impact on both the sheep and the wool quality.
Pooginook today is owned by Paraway Pastoral Company, (PPC) an agricultural investment company managed by Macquarie Bank. PPC insist on only “best practice animal welfare” and the highest ethical standards for sheep breeding and sheep husbandry.
- Pooginook flock was founded 104 years ago in 1912
- Pooginook is located 75 kilometres north of Jerilderie and 85 kilometres south of Griffith in New South Wales
- The property is 19,400 hectares, runs 6000 stud ewes and sells 1500 rams annually
the wool fibre
There is a widespread misconception that all wool of the same average fibre diameter, is the same. Why this is not correct deserves some explanation.
The primitive sheep had short, fine “down-like” fibres close to the skin. These are known as secondary fibres. The primary fibres are much longer, stronger and hair-like. These primitive sheep shedded their wool, and many centuries ago people collected this wool from the hedge rows to hand-spin into yarn for making cloth. The “prickle” often complained about with wool comes from these primary fibres that in poor quality wools are much stronger (higher fibre diameter) and therefore harsh against sensitive skin.
Careful breeding selection over the last 150 years in Australia has created much greater uniformity between the primary fibres and the secondary fibres. This has resulted in it being impossible with the naked eye to distinguish between the primary and secondary fibres but with many average wools these stronger primary fibres are still present.
The elite Pooginook wools used by Toorallie, have primary fibres and secondary fibres that are both fine and soft. These elite wools also have other characteristics that provide improved processing performance and importantly, wearer satisfaction. Key benefits are softness, sheen, drape in the fabric, and importantly for knitwear, reduced pilling.
The selection of these elite wools used in Toorallie knitwear is really a craft skill. Our Chairman Peter Small was trained by Jim Watts to identify and select these wools. Peter personally supervises the selection of the wool for the Toorallie worsted knitwear range as the sheep are shorn in the woolshed at Pooginook.
Welcome and enjoy the quality of Toorallie.