Australian Merino face mask design of times

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Email Bob Garnant
Brisbane-based Merino Country is manufacturing 100 per cent Merino face masks which are designed to act as a barrier.
Camera IconBrisbane-based Merino Country is manufacturing 100 per cent Merino face masks which are designed to act as a barrier. Credit: Merino Country

Australian Merino face masks — naturally, a new innovation to break the COVID-19 spread.

With orders in the thousands across the country, the brainstorm of Brisbane-based Merino Country owner Kerrie Richards is a big hit.

Her woollen garment business is producing 1000 masks per day and has put on four extra staff.

“With so many requests from our customers for a face mask made out of our 100 per cent Australian Merino fabric, we got to work,” she said.

“We wear Merino wool garments for the same reason sheep grow it, to protect us from the elements.”

Ms Richards said Merino fibre’s interlocking proteins acted as a protective outer layer on the skin.

“This gives wool the unique ability to work like a second skin with protective mechanisms,” she said.

“Our face masks, which provide four layers of soft Merino fabric, are not a P2 mask or surgical mask but they will provide a barrier.”

In response to low wool prices and drought and difficulty in obtaining any wool products for everyday use, Ms Richards established her garment business in 1993.

“We decided to take our raw wool right through to fabric and garments,” she said.

“As a family business, we made a conscious decision to manufacturer in Australia to support local jobs and communities and to maintain the quality of our products.”

Ms Richards said Merino Country garments were made in-house at a factory in Queensland where the business invested in new machinery and local people.

“The construction and performance of our fabric in our underwear range is very different to other brands as we have developed a lightweight fabric,” she said.

The face masks are washable and reusable and are available online for $30 each.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails