There are few things that say luxury quite as much as the lavishly soft and sumptuously light feel of possum fur. But what is it about New Zealand possum fibre that makes it so highly sought-after around the world?
Here are our top 5 most surprising facts about possum fur:
1. Possum fur fibre has a hollow core
The only other animal with a hollow core fibre is the polar bear. Possum fibre traps a cone of air which provides higher levels of warmth, up to 30% more than a 100% wool product. This hollow core means it is far lighter than most other natural fibres, which is why possum merino blends are so popular. By mixing possum fibre into a yarn the overall weight of the finished product is reduced by more than 20%. This possum merino blend is also very resistant to pilling.
2. Wearing possum fibre is therapy for your skin
Not only is possum fur incredibly soft, is also has therapeutic benefits. Research shows an enzyme in the fibres can help prevent skin conditions like eczema. And because it is a 100% natural product there are no chemicals coming into contact with your skin, unlike when you wear man-made products.
3. Possum fur is a breathable, dry fabric
Possum fibres have an intricate structure comprised of a water-retaining interior and a water-repelling exterior. This means sweat takes longer to form, keeping you dryer and more comfortable than many other products.
4. Possum fur dyes very well
The unique natural properties of possum fibre holds dye very well, which means there is a wide colour variety available for clothing and home-wear.
5. Possum fur is considered ethically sound
New Zealand possum fur complies with the International Fur Trade Federation Agreement on International Human Trapping Standards and is considered ethical and sustainable. As a non-native species, possums are not farmed in New Zealand, they live in the wild with no predators and so the population keeps increasing. Possums cause a great deal of damage to the environment, eating trees and endemic bird’s eggs and hatchlings, and so possum numbers are controlled to protect the wildlife and their fur is a by-product of this.
Ecowool has a magnificent range of possum merino knitwear and possum fur clothing. We specialise in creating natural New Zealand-made products, and along with our own special brand of Kiwi customer service we are experts on all things possum and wool. Have a look at our extensive range.