World's finest wool goes on the block
Mar 9, 2010, 5:00 GMT
Sydney - Wool so fine it is barely visible to the naked eye is to be sold at auction in Melbourne next week, news reports said Tuesday.
The single 100-kilogram bale of 11.4-micron merino wool was expected to draw fierce bidding from Indian and Italian textile companies and end up in business suits costing thousands of dollars apiece.
Auctioneer Ted Wilson said the previous record for a bale of superfine wool was 11.6 microns and it sold to an Indian company for 259,000 Australian dollars (234,000 US dollars) in 2008.
'Being such a specialized, unique fibre, there are very few companies in the world that can process wool this fine,' Wilson told Australia's AAP news agency.
Producers of superfine wool - like growers of oversized vegetables - are usually secretive about how they cosset their flocks of sheep and get them to grow supersoft fleeces.
Sixth-generation Queensland sheep farmers Rich and Bim Goodrich disclosed in 2004 that their sheep lived in air-conditioned luxury and never set a hoof on grass.
They said they played them music to soothe away the stress they reckoned thickens wool fibres.
'We don't play any hard rock,' Rich Goodrich said. 'We've been going for a bit of Norah Jones lately.'