Spinning special yarns in New Zealand

Woolyarns has been crafting high-quality yarns at the edge of the earth in New Zealand for 75 years. Over the past 25 years, Woolyarns has developed and introduced the textile world to Perino by Woolyarns. Perino blends the finest cashmere, merino, and silk fibres with the exclusive brushtail possum down from New Zealand. This unique product has found international success with high fashion brands such as Hermés, Ermanno Scervino, Canali, Ports 1961, Ellassay and many others. Alongside these international customers, Woolyarns are proud to have Perino yarns featured in several New Zealand stores and boutiques including Barkers, a local men’s fashion and lifestyle brand, who collaborate with Woolyarns yearly and feature a collection of New Zealand made knitwear. Local fashion brands Zambesi, Marle and Penny Sage are also currently selling knitwear using a range of Perino yarn blends. With so many brands repeatedly showcasing Perino’s exclusive Brushtail possum down yarns, it begs the question – what makes Perino so special?

Offering a distinctive aesthetic

Perino yarns are unique and offer designers a distinctive look to their knitwear, plus they are luxuriously soft. These special yarns also offer performance attributes that even cashmere alone can’t match. The wearer gains extraordinary warmth and durability with low-pilling properties created by the unique Brushtail possum fibre. Woolyarns believe that the quality of yarns, and the life cycle of the yarn and fabric, is determined by the quality of the inputs. Garments made from Perino can last for 20+ years when properly cared for, and because of the natural fibres used in the yarn, the fabric will decompose at the end of its lifecycle – making these luxury garments a conscientious choice.

The perfect mix

The yarn engineers at Woolyarns utilise their expertise in woollen spinning and their innovative textile technology. Technical reasons such as the short-staple length of the Brushtail possum down fibres means Woolyarns must combine cashmere, ZQ certified merino, Oeko-tex certified mulberry silk and Lenzing Lyocell with the Brushtail possum down to create these unique yarns from New Zealand. Perino yarns are offered in a variety of blends, counts and colours to suit a wide range of knitted and woven fabrics and designs. There is a deliberate focus on using sustainably sourced, high-quality natural fibres.

Fashion meets performance

The Brushtail possum fibre itself is unique. It has hollow pockets in the core which traps air, insulating the wearer without adding weight. In fact, Perino fabrics are proven to be up to 55% warmer than 100% merino fabric of the same knit structure and weight, and up to 35% warmer than 100% cashmere fabric of the same knit structure and weight. Durability and low pilling can be attributed to the Brushtail possum down fibres unique tapered shape and low scale structure. The ultra-fine micron of the fibre’s tip provides the finished fabrics with luxurious softness, and the distinctive halo-like effect caused by the Brushtail possum down fibre bursting at the fabric surface – creating a handle unsurpassed.

Ethical choice

The Brushtail possum down used in Perino yarns is humanely, ethically, and responsibly sourced from select regions of New Zealand at specific times of the year. The brushtail possum is an introduced pest in New Zealand. The animals cause immense damage to New Zealand’s native forests and animals, and without any natural predators, the population has grown out of control. Trappers and hunters follow strict international trapping standards and guidelines laid out by the New Zealand Government Department of Conservation (DOC) in the humane trapping of these harmful pests. Woolyarns use the Brushtail possum down fibre, a byproduct of the continuous conservation efforts carried out by DOC, in their Perino yarns range.

Sustainable innovation

Woolyarns are passionate about making the production of yarn as sustainable as possible. Success is measured based on the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as outlined in a recent blog post. The use of responsibly sourced raw materials and environmentally friendly chemicals is crucial to the footprint of the company and the yarns produced. The use of non-harmful chemicals is also important to the safety of the staff at Woolyarns. Staff regularly work at Woolyarns for 10 to 20 and even 30+ years because of the friendly and family-oriented focus and opportunities within the company for growth. Quality management is equally important because it ensures the yarns produced perform well, are durable, and create exceptional fabrics.

This year Woolyarns has been involved in a project with the New Zealand Police, transforming old police uniform jerseys into yarn to make blankets to be used in police patrol vehicles. The regenerative process reduces the amount of textile waste that goes into landfills annually and gives the old jerseys a new life. This is just one example of how Woolyarns are incorporating sustainable initiatives into their business practices and are working with outside organisations to reduce the carbon footprint of the textile industry, and New Zealand.

Perino by Woolyarns provides brands with opulent, distinct, and sustainable fabrics to feature in their collections. Many brands have domestic and international success with Perino yarns. The unique properties provided by the Brushtail possum down fibre create yarns unlike any other – elevating the cashmere, ZQ merino, Oeko-tex mulberry silk and Lenzing Lyocell fibres featured in the Perino yarns range.

Every year Woolyarns release a new collection of Perino yarns featuring a range of different fibre blends, counts and colours to suit unique designs, markets, and price points. Woolyarns have recently released their new fall/winter collection for 2023/24. It features new and exciting colours – selected with inspiration from the Peclers Paris fashion, textile and apparel trend forecasting system. With a focus on pastel hues, natural mélanges, and bold accent colours there is something for any brand looking to stand out in the luxury fashion market.

More information about the unique properties of Perino yarns can be found on the Perino yarns website. You can also find Perino by Woolyarns yarns featured on the online Shima yarn bank, a digital library of yarns from around the world, along with Woolyarns Kaamera camel yarn range and the new and exclusive New Zealand Cashmere yarns.