Merino Sheep

Woolpower’s process starts with the merino sheep that graze the Argentinian part of Patagonia and Uruguay. We have a continuous dialogue with the yarn supplier and have visited them personally to make sure that the merino sheep have good grazing grounds and are treated well. We always buy our raw materials directly from the producers.


Sheep have existed in Europe and Asia for 2.5 million years. The very first sheep, before the ice age, were as big as oxen. Sheep were tamed by humans 9000 years BC in south east Asia and were the first pets to provide humans with food and clothes. Wool has been used in clothing for 10 000 years.


Bill is the handsome merino ram that has been Woolpower’s mascot for many years. Bill and the other sheep are sheared every year between September and November. Their wool grows constantly so they feel well from being sheared. To make a jacket, we need about one load of wool from one sheep’s shearing.


Today there are about a billion sheep in the world made up of more than 200 breeds. The largest sheep producing regions are Australia, New Zealand and South America, and the most common breeds are Lincoln and Merino. Merino sheep produce fine and crinkly wool.


Merino sheep have their origins in north Africa and are believed to have arrived in Spain at the end of the 1100s. Trade in the soft fine wool became significant for Spain, which dominated the wool market for hundreds of years and long forbade the export of merino wool. The sheep got their name “merino” in the 1400s from the royal sheep inspectors “merinos”.