Wool Excellence Award winner: Victorian producer Garry Meek

The phone call declaring the superfine wool grown on Garry Meek’s farm in western Victoria to be the best in the world came out of the blue.

Spinning out: Garry Meek in the woolshed on his property Elanora in western Victoria. Picture: David Geraghty

Spinning out: Garry Meek in the woolshed on his property Elanora in western Victoria. Picture: David Geraghty

All Mr Meek had done was to shear his flock of 3000 merino sheep last winter in his humble corrugated-iron shearing shed and sell the resulting 65 bales to the highest bidders, The Australian reports.

But the wool was found to be so good — and the suit fabric so fine when the wool was spun at one of the world’s most celebrated Italian weaving companies, Vitale Barberis Canonico — that the Meek family has been anointed 2016 winners of the global Wool Excellence Award.

Classing and pressing lambs’ wool into bales on his farm near Streatham, Mr Meek said he found it unbelievable his wool was now being used to produce $10,000 Armani and Zegna suits. “Vitale Barberis Canonico has bought some of our fleece wool off-and-on for many years because the style of our wool suits what they are looking for,” said Mr Meek, the third generation of superfine woolgrowers in his ­family.

“I select my sheep for a dense type of wool, which is bright and white and has a well-defined crimp, which bounces back after you compress it; it’s that high compression factor that Barberis really likes because it gives you a fabric that never crinkles or creases.”

Breeding fine-wool merinos is a family tradition; Elanora has been a specialist wool-growing property since it was first selected by Mr Meek’s grandfather in 1911.

Read more at The Australian

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