Possum Merino is a blend of possum fur and superfine New Zealand Merino wool with a texture similar to cashmere. It is luxuriously soft, incredibly lightweight, exceptionally warm and easy to wear. Because the Brushtail Possum is considered a very destructive pest in New Zealand Possum Merino is a practical market solution to New Zealand’s environmental challenge. The blending of possum fur and Merino wool was 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.
What are the best features of Possum Merino Wool?
- Possum fur fibre has a hollow core
The only other animal with a hollow core fibre is the polar bear. Possum fibre traps a tunnel of air which provides higher levels of warmth, up to 30% more than a 100% wool product. Research has shown that it is 55% warmer than Merino and 35% warmer than cashmere. Possum fur is the third warmest in the world, after the polar bear and arctic fox. This hollow core means it is far lighter than most other natural fibres, which is why possum merino blends are so popular. By mixing possum fibre into a yarn the overall weight of the finished product is reduced by more than 20%. This possum merino blend is also very resistant to pilling.
- Wearing possum fibre is therapy for your skin
Not only is possum fur incredibly soft, is also has therapeutic benefits. Research shows an enzyme in the fibres can help prevent skin conditions like eczema. And because it is a 100% natural product there are no chemicals coming into contact with your skin, unlike when you wear man-made products.
- Possum fur is a breathable, dry fabric
Possum fibres have an intricate structure comprised of a water-retaining interior and a water-repelling exterior. This means sweat takes longer to form, keeping you dryer and more comfortable than many other products.
- Possum fur dyes very well
The unique natural properties of possum fibre holds dye very well, which means there is a wide colour variety available for clothing and home-wear.
- Possum fur is considered ethically sound
New Zealand possum fur complies with the International Fur Trade Federation Agreement on International Human Trapping Standards and is considered ethical and sustainable. As a non-native species, possums are not farmed in New Zealand, they live in the wild with no predators and so the population keeps increasing. Possums cause a great deal of damage to the environment, eating trees and endemic bird’s eggs and hatchlings, and so possum numbers are controlled to protect the wildlife and their fur is a by-product of this.