West Brook fleece shines best

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantThe West Australian

In keeping with the 2015 IGA Perth Royal Show catchphrase, a "gottasee" superfine Merino fleece is a must, according to the wool judges who adorned it with the supreme ribbon on Monday.

All six judges agreed show visitors should have a look at the wool display this year to see the 160 competitive raw greasy examples, some of which will end up in the world's finest fashion houses.

Excited about this year's show and their supreme win, Michael and Erna Morrissey, of West Brook Merino stud Westdale, said the news was unexpected after the judges tallied the points.

Mr Morrissey said the fleece was shorn off an unhoused paddock ram that had been busy with its 100 ewe girlfriends.

From the Morrisseys' eight fine wool fleece entries, he said the supreme fleece was shorn from a three-year-old superfine Merino ram, sired by Karori 364.

"I am following the success of Karori stud principals Robert and Katrina Blomfield, of Walcha, NSW, who are processing their wool in Italy to which 100 per cent woollen fabric is branded as ultimate comfort Merino," Mr Morrissey said.

"I have a tonne of Karori bloodline greasy wool bailed up to be processed in the same manner.

"Developing the world's softest woollen knitwear fabrics is the bigger picture for West Brook."

Mr Morrissey said the prestigious Royal Show win validated his ambitions after the judges awarded his 17.5 micron superfine fleece with a score of 95 out of 100 points.

The 5.7kg fleece had a comfort factor of 99.6 per cent, stable length of 110mm, staple strength of 42 Newtons of kilotex and a yield of 80.5 per cent.

Chief judge Tim Chapman said the West Brook fleece had an excellent coefficient of variation diameter of 14.5 per cent.

"The micron was very even throughout the fleece," Mr Chapman said.

"The fleece won on character, strength of fibre and brightness."

Mr Chapman said the fleece entries were down this year as a result of difficult seasonal conditions.

"There was plenty of interest in exhibiting, but some regular competitors pulled out because of lower textile strength, which is an important element in wool processing," he said. "Having a new supreme fleece winner this year, demonstrates that the ultimate award is always up for the taking.

"Both fine and medium wools have been successful in the past and this year we certainly congratulate the Morrissey family, who have been very consistent exhibitors over the years and finally have been rewarded for their devotion."

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