April 6, 2007
April 6, 2007 - A group of Australian wool growers who produce ultra-fine fleece by playing opera to their sheep have beaten their own world record. The world's finest bale of wool averaged what Australian brokers say is an astonishing 11.6 microns, beating the previous record of 11.8 microns set in 2005.
One micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter, and the record bale is half the thickness of average wool.
The Highlander group's sheep, bred from a 150-year-old Merino bloodline, are kept in a shed at Tumbarumba, in the Snowy Mountains district of eastern Australia, where they are fed a special diet of premium grains and hay and shorn once a year.
Northern Italian fashion house Loro Piana, which has been producing luxury goods for six generations, purchased the ultra-fine wool for fine quality suits. The record bale sold for an undisclosed price but fetched more than the previous record of A$2,500 a kilogram (US$930 per lb.). Reprinted in part from Reuters