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Wool 200th Birthday 25 The list goes meat, wheat, wool then wine. Now look around the class and see how many of you are wearing wool. If you had been in a class 20 or 30 years ago chances are a lot more kids would have had it on. People are wearing less wool and that s bad news for Aussie farmers. But I found out there s a big push to make it cool. Presented by Nathan Bazley (episode 27) The story of sheep in Australia starts with the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. They dragged along with them some fat tailed sheep from the Cape of Good Hope on the tip of South Africa. But they were mainly brought here for dinner rather than to make dinner jackets. Ten years later the first shipment of merinos arrived from Spain and that s when the wool industry began. Back then Merinos were already famous for their fine fleece. They re still the backbone of the industry. These samples were cut off a flock in 1804 and were sent to King George III in England to prove that we could grow wool. A few years later our first bale was sent back there and in only thirty years time we were producing over 2 million kilos a year and wool had easily become our main export. This convict jacket is an example of the earliest clothes we made with wool. Not very attractive really. Sheep farming was very different back then, everything was a lot harder. Mechanical shears weren t invented so all shearing was Moncler Men And Women Hooded Glossy Zip Red Vest done by hand and you also had to use proper horsepower to round up the flock! But we weren t just putting it in physically. Mentally we were stepping ahead of the world. Selective breeding programs began producing sheep that gave finer and longer wool and more of Moncler Gui it. The first Merino sheep brought here grew a fleece of just 1.5kgs a year. Today fleeces of around 10kgs are common. By the start of the 20th century wool had moved a long way from convict wear; everyone was using it. If you wanted to keep warm out came the knitting needles. People also started using it for special occasions like this wedding dress. By the 1950s, big name overseas designers like Christian Dior and Chanel were using wool everywhere. Coming up to the eighties The Australian sheep flock numbered over 172 million! But then a new fibre hit town. Yep. polyester. man made materials began to get popular. They were cheaper and lighter, wool Moncler Sizing sales began falling and the industry began to struggle. The number of sheep was reduced by nearly half. Things weren t looking good for wool workers. Now the industry is fighting back and it s used its 200th birthday to show that wool is hip again. This might be a little revealing but this is certainly not the traditional woolen look now is it? New technology is being used to make wool fabrics finer and lighter so it can be used in all sorts of new ways. This has been treated with enzymes to make it look wet and slick. It s pretty amazing really, a far cry from the old woolen jumpers you d see in your parents cupboard! But it makes you wonder really. If we can go from this to this smooth fancy wet look stuff in 200 years, imagine where the next 200 years of wool could take us!