Why is Possum fur so sought after?
Nothing on this earth conveys luxury quite as much as the softness and pure weightless bliss of possum fibre.
Everything about possum fibre conjures opulence; the handle of the yarn, its lightness of touch, the remarkable warmth that possum fur delivers.
A clear and highly valued attribute of possum is that it is luxuriously light and seductively soft.
The secret of possum fibre is in its unique structure
The hollow structure of possum fibre gives it its high-performing, lightweight insulation properties. This unique atomic construction makes possum fur different than other wools and fabrics, giving it special properties not found in anything else.
Keeping you warm when you need it
The hollow construction of possum fibre allows it to trap additional air. As air is a bad conductor of heat, the more air trapped within a fibre and the fibre structure, the more warmth will be retained for the wearer.
In independent tests, possum fibres were found to be 55% warmer than merino and 35% warmer than cashmere fabrics of the same weight and knit structure.
Pilling, also known as bobbling, is when small balls of fibres form due to wear and tear. Again, because of their unique structure, fabrics containing possum fibre are less inclined to pill.
Breathable, dry fabric
Possum fibres have a complex structure made up of a water holding interior - the cortex, and a water repelling exterior - the cuticle.
Because of this water-repellent property, sweat takes longer to condense into liquid, keeping the wearer more comfortable.
The not so cuddly side of the New Zealand Possum
The possum was introduced to New Zealand in the 1830s with the aim of establishing a fur trade.
Unfortunately, the introduction of the possum has had dire consequences for our natural environment.
Indigenous to Australia, the possum has plenty of natural enemies including dingoes, bush fires and less choice in vegetation.
However, Aotearoa has no natural predators and lots of very palatable vegetation. As a result, the possum has flourished, spreading quickly and destroying native bush along the way.
Now officially categorised as a pest in New Zealand, the Brushtail possum has thrived in the lush woods and forests here, and the population has exploded.
Pest control programmes are in place in an attempt to protect native bush and birdlife. Every year, untold damage is caused to the country’s natural flora and fauna.
Possums have spread to every corner of New Zealand, and their damage is obvious in many areas. In some parts of the country, they have eaten entire canopies of native tress, including totara, rata, kowhai, titoki and kohekohe.
Unfortunately, it’s not just the native bush possums are a danger to. They eat smaller birds, many of which are flightless and can’t escape. Even the bigger birds aren’t safe from the dangers of the possum, as they eat eggs and chicks.
It’s in our nature
In New Zealand, the DoC (Department of Conservation) is charged with the care of the country’s native plants and wildlife.
It has been clear for some time now that the entire Ecosystem here in New Zealand is under threat by the spread of the possum. The DoC spends millions of dollars each year controlling the possum population, and ensuring the long-term survival of native plants and wildlife.
The fibre we source is a by-product of those eradication programmes. It is collected from a small number of carefully selected regions and only at certain times of the year.
Once collected, it’s blended with only the finest microns of merino and silk to guarantee softness and consistency.
Superior quality of our possum merino knitwear is delivered through careful craft and unwavering diligence. It is appreciated for inherent subtleties and ingrained style. Be it for fashion or function its strength remains undiminished over time.