Extrafine Wools

The most highly-prized wool comes from the Merino breed of sheep, which originated in the Mediterranean basin and was introduced to Australia and New Zealand in the late eighteenth century where the animals have always been raised with dedication and innovative techniques that ultimately led to significant improvements in wool quality as well as production.

Today every Merino sheep produces up to 1 kg of superfine fleece.

After careful checks and classification, the fleece is sold at auctions held every year from September to May in the various sorting towns. In these markets, Loro Piana always buys the best lots, especially Top Line 1PP (1PP = 1 plus plus, the highest level of fineness and style) or the 30-50 best bales from the 4 million offered every year at the auctions.

And only one of these can become a Record Bale, i.e. the bale of the world's finest wool, which Loro Piana has been regularly buying since more than 20 years and from which obtains limited series fabrics.

In connection with the company's constant search for excellence and in order to encourage the production of increasingly finer wools, Loro Piana in 2000 established an award aiming to acknowledge the professionalism of the breeders and further reward their commitment for producing higher quality wools.

Every year Loro Piana awards the two growers who have produced the finest bale in Australia and New Zealand respectively, the two countries that historically produce the finest quality wools.

From these two growers, the one that has produced the bale with the lowest microns that complies with the parameters of weight, length and strength set out in the competition regulations will be awarded. Only a grower who wins the title three times consecutively can keep the prize indefinitely.

The award is a miniature replica of one of the artist Pino Castagna’s most famous bronze sculpture (The Wall), which is made of steel and concrete and stands on the lawn of the Loro Piana plant in Quarona, Italy.

This incentive and recognition validates Loro Piana's work with the growers of superfine wools, and has enabled unprecedented levels of quality to be achieved.

The current holders of the award are Australian growers from the Pyrenees Park sheep farm for their bale of 10.3 microns.