New Zealand Wool History

Wool became important to our economy in the nineteenth century, with the development of sheep farming and the rise of big estates.
Today, there are around 20,000 farms in New Zealand, with about 25 million sheep spread across them. Most of these sheep need their wool removed regularly.

There was a time when all sheep were shorn by hand, but today shears are mostly mechanised. Shearing has since got faster, but hasn’t meant shearers have to be any less skilled. For a few of them, hand shears still have advantages, for example they don’t shear the sheep completely naked. Instead, the animals are still left with a very fine coating of wool, which is helpful in cold climates. This is called pre-lamb shearing where the best wool is obtained.

Wool fibre is unique. It can be worn all year round. Cool in summer – very warm in winter.

Traditionally wool was sold by auction, but there has been a steady decline in the production of wool sold in this way. Many farmers now choose to sell wool to private buyers and end users. Farmers are keen to develop relationships with processors so they receive information from end users and adjust their wool specifications to market requirements.

All our wool sold in New Zealand is tested at NZWTA OR SGS, which provides objective measurements of commercially important characteristics. The characteristics include yield, condition (moisture content), fibre diameter, colour, length, strength and bulk.

New Zealand is the largest producer and exporter of crossbred wool and is second only to Australia in the production and export of all wool.


New Zealand Wool Sellers

We supply free market information no obligations. We can buy your wool, weigh wool on site and pay for it before leaving the farm.

If wool is sold on behalf we have a facility that displays the sample of your wool and the wool is put up for sale for the exporter to value and bid on. All major exporters bid on your wool once a week.

This form of selling is very popular with our merino clients and corriedale and halfbred wools. This service has grown considerably since merino wool has been offered in Melbourne. This is an excellent alternative. We also operate a binning facility that is used for part bales and door sales.