Chantel’s Images Inspired by Australian Wool

Chantel is an award-winning photographer with a passion for Australian wool, both for the fibre, the sheep and life in rural Australia. A passion inspired through working with wool as a master classer, classing and handling wool in outback Queensland.

Living and working with people on the land has created a connection that resinates within Chantel’s images.

Each encapsulates a storyAustralian wool Truth About Wool that portrays the essence of life behind the image, one that draws the viewers senses to see and feel the life of Australian wool beyond the image.

Chantel’s Truth About Wool Tour 2017 in Tasmania

At baregamerino we were privileged to meet this passionate young Queensland photographer, Chantel McAlister of Chantel Renae Photography on her journey about Truth About Wool National Tour 2017.

We met on a clear sunny Tasmanian winters day on the 7th June 2017 and talked about Australian merino wool, merino sheep and our individual journeys that are a part of Australian Wool.

Chantel Shares National Wool Tour Experiences and Thoughts

We ask Chantel some questions about the tour both for her personally, professionally and for Australian wool.

What is the main purpose or aim of the National Tour 2017?

The aim of The Truth About Wool Campaign is to first of all promote the wool industry and educate others on the wool growing and harvesting processes. Not everyone is able to just pop down to their local sheep property and learn how it all works, so through my photography and videos I am bringing our world to them. It’s also about giving a bit of recognition to the dedicated people contributing to the Australian wool industry.

Where did the inspiration for this project come from and how did it evolve?

I have always documented my life in the wool industry with my camera, so I feel like my campaign for wool actually did start many years ago. It wasn’t until I had developed my photography skills further and had a deeper understanding of the wool industry that I took it to a larger scale.

The campaign started in early 2016 with a video demonstrating crutching at my home property, ‘Sutton Grange’ in Queensland. It was an educational video on the process and it was well received in the online community. From there more videos were released and each had a larger reach.

Growing up in Brisbane, I can appreciate how the wool industry can be wrongly perceived as I had done so myself, for most of my life in the city. My only exposure to the industry had been petting zoos and sensationalised imagery from animal activist’s groups. I draw on my former (city) self to inspire my work and try to put images and information out there that I think would clear up any the misconceptions I used to have.

What has inspired you the most on your journey to date?

I would have to say woolgrowers. Only ever seeing the industry from a shearing team point of view, I had never taken a really close look past their farm gates and realised just how much of their lives they dedicate to their passion of growing wool.

They don’t think twice about the time they invest into their jobs and it’s incredible how many don’t even view what they do as a job, instead a lifestyle. There are no ‘weekends’ or ‘holidays’ just working towards their next goal.

Their drive to constantly keep their flock moving forward to keep up with consumer demand is tireless and admirable. It’s so much more than just putting sheep out into the paddocks until the next shearing time, it’s constant research, development and care.

Have you found a previously unnoticed or understated message that needs to be expressed?

We all know that farming and harvesting wool is hard work, but I don’t think most people know how personal the wool story is. So many hands go into making a wool garment and each pair of hands has their own story to tell. It’s a story of resilience and passion and the only fibre in the world that can boast this. These stories need to be told. It’s the story of Australia’s past and indeed, our future.

Wool is not only an investment in your wardrobe, it’s an investment in rural communities and families. It’s an investment in rural Australia.

Have there been any surprises for you along your National Tour 2017 and what are they?

I had always heard that the wool industry was a little diverse from state to state, however had never been able to experience it all for myself. What one state struggles with, like the war on wild dogs in Qld is virtually non-existent in another state like Tasmania. But then Tassie deals with things that is almost unheard of in Qld like footrot.

What learnings have there been for you personally, professionally and perhaps Australian wool along the way as you see it?

I naively didn’t expect the tour be a learning experience for me, but it has challenged me constantly and opened my eyes and mind to a whole new world around me.

I am not well travelled, in fact the furthest I had ever strayed from Qld was NSW before the tour started. So, going out on my own and finding my way around such a huge country has been challenging and a little scary at times but rewarding all the same. I’ve learnt a lot about my limits, physical and mental and how far I can push them.

Professionally I feel like I am always growing. I am a self-taught photographer so I don’t mind going the long way about things if it means I can teach myself. I can see that my photography has evolved a little from the start of the tour and has taken a slightly different direction.

I focused heavily on the sheep and art of shearing before the tour, but the more I uncover that people working in the wool industry have an emotional connection to it, the more I try to portray that through my photography.

Where to from here for Chantel of Chantel Renae Photography, what do you aspire to?

I feel like The Truth About Wool National Tour is like a fact-finding mission, gathering images, stories, information on the wool industry. Almost like it’s just the start of what’s to come.

I have plans to publish a book of the tour in 2018 and later take this on the road to metropolitan areas to educate city dwellers face to face about the industry.

My vision is to hold a touring exhibition that has hands on displays of wool, sheep and wool products and speakers from within the industry educating them on their role in wool. The aim of this would be so visitors may be able to experience a woolshed first hand, make a personal connection with wool and clear up and misconceptions they may have about wool growing and harvesting.

Master Classer and Photographer of Australian Wool

Chantel’s passion of wool as a master classer has energised her to reach out and journey in search for the true meaning of wool in rural and remote Australia through the art of photography.

Through photography, Chantel’s seeks The Truth About Wool reflecting in the lines on the faces of people she meets, capturing moments in time of the expression of sheep and the dynamic landscape across Australia.

Together through impressions and imagery, Chantel’s journey will inspire all to the truth about wool, a reflection of the diversity, of resilience and courage of all those whose connection with Australian wool is part of their daily life.

Finding The Best Comfort In Merino Base Layer

Merino wool in next to skin wear or merino base layer garments have many attributes that offer the wearer a unique experience that differs from many other fibres.

While merino wool attributes of moisture wicking warmth, summer coolness, odour resistance and fibre elasticity in the base layer merino garment are a given, finding the right merino comfort experience in your next to skin garment can be a challenge.

How do we as consumers select the most comfortable merino base layer for our activity whether running, hiking, travel or everyday wear?

What is Merino Base Layer Comfort

We begin by understanding that there are different levels of comfort that can be measured in merino base layer or next to skin garments.

Each measured wool comfortmeter (wcm) score or rating, comes with a recommended best level of activity for that garment to ensure a good user comfort experience, in another words no prickle or itchy discomfort on the skin.

There are two WCM activity groups:

  • 1. Active sports wear
  • 2. Everyday fashion wear

Each of these two activity groups has three recommended merino comfort scores allocated to each activity level.

Lets take a closer look at what is behind merino base layer comfort

  1. How is the WCM rate translate onto merino base layer garment descriptions for the consumer
  2. Understand how merino comfort is measured in next to skin wear
  3. How does merino comfort score relate to merino base layer in sport and everyday wear
  4. What other information is on the merino next to skin garment label
  5. What is the recommended merino fleece specifications for consistent good user comfort experience when using wcm score in merino base layer fabrics

1.How Does the WCM Score Translate onto Garment Swing Tags for the Consumer?

How do we find that perfect option among the fantastic new base layer merino garment styles, fabric weight and fibre combinations are regularly coming onto the market.

To gain some perspective on what information is available to the consumer, we looked at a selection of quality online merino base layer garments tested for comfort level and noted the  recommended activity type for the wcm score along side the garment swing tag or website descriptions.  These very well-made merino base layer garments were tested through AWTA on the Wool ComfortMeter in December 2016 and early 2017.

Merino Base Layer BrandMerino Base Layer GarmerntFabric WeightFabric CompositionGarment Activity Description LabelLogosWCM ScoreWCM Recommended Activity Level for ComfortMerino Base Layer
Brand Website
Product Order Description
Macpac Singlet150g/m²100 % merinoLike a second skin, lightweight superfine and regulates your temperature.Garment brand logo77Active wear-elite performanceMacpac Merino ThermalsMerino 150 singlet W 113521-BLKOO-10
Bluey Merino Singlet140g/m²90% ultrafine merino 10% polymideUltrasoft 16.3 micron luxurious sports singletGarment brand logo, made in Australia logo84Active wear-elite performance Bluey Merino baselayersWomens sports singlet SKU ext-140-WS-GA-s
Icebreaker Cami200g/m²100% merinoEveryday light weight cami bodyfit basicsGarment brand logo191Active wear-elite performanceIcebreaker Merino ThermalsWmns Eday Cami blk 101307001
Kathmandu Tshirt195g/m²96% merino wool 4% nylonNext to skin comfort natural performance temperature controlGarment brand logo277Active wear-performance enhancedKathmandu Merino BaselayerGallium Wmns Merino Top v2 sku 14456/466/10,
Kathmandu Singlet140g/m²85% merino 15% silkmerinoLINK natural performance temperature controlGarment brand logo52Active wear-elite performanceKathmandu Merino SilkTag missing bought off the hanger in store
I/O Merino Tshirt 170g/m²96% enigma merino wool 4% elastane100 %Australian merino, luxurious soft performance in urban arena. MicroMerino®Garment brand logo311Active wear-performance enhancedIO Merino Next To SkinTraverse (Altitude)Active Tee sku 14-111-59-03
Baselayers Vest200g/m²Pure merino woolPerfect layer for cooler weather soft fine micron woolBrandell logo261Active wear-active everydayBaselayers Merino WoolModel B4400(b) 1x1 rib
Dhbsport Merino Sleeveless 150g/m²100% merino woolLightweight superfine merino base layer for thermal regulation natural performance 18.5 Garment brand logo152Active wear-elite performancedhb merino base layerWomens merino sleeveless base layer M_150 1608-5360113848
Cederberg Thermal Top?g/m²100% virgin wool merinoLight weight first layer undergarment, all types of cold weather activitiesGarment brand logo & Woolmark pure wool logo620Fashion everyday wearCederberg Merino ThermalsLong sleeved top Cederberg Adult's Baba Merino unisex
Ortovox Merino Long Sleeve Tee185g/m²100% merino woolRock'N'Wool developed for mountain useGarment brand logo208Active wear-elite performanceOrtovox Merino MountainwearMerino 185 Rock'n'Wool model # 333006
Mountain Design Tee150g/m²100% merino woolMerino base layer ultralight base layer or solo for travel or activityGarment brand logo, woolmark pure wool logo364Active wear-active everydayMountain Design Merino Base LayersMD 150 merino SS Tee W code 150586

2.How is Merino Base Layer Comfort Measured?

Retailers, spinners and garment makers now have access to a Wool ComfortMeter (wcm) through Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) to help assist them to produce merino base layer or next to skin merino garments to a measured level of comfort for specific types of activities of their customers. This opportunity enables retailers and garment manufactures measure the fabric or the yarn to be used in the next to skin garment for a consistent comfort score rate that will give good user experience.

The flow on benefit for us as their customers, is we are able to access merino base layer garments that give no prickle next to skin experience or a good comfort level when wearing the garment for the recommended level or activity type. Research has demonstrated that the handle or feel of softness in the merino next to skin garment is not a good predictor of wearer comfort.

3.How Does Merino Comfort Score Relate to Activity

Basically, the recommended wcm scores are rated to cover two merino next to skin or base layer wearer groups known as active sportswear and everyday fashion wear.

The group names define the types of activities of the two wcm score groups and reflect the expected level of activity or exertion of individuals in those groups.

Each activity level or type of activity within these two groups has a number of wcm score recommendations for the the most comfortable merino next to skin garment for that user.

Essentially, the lower the WCM score the more comfortable the merino base layer experience next to skin when the skin temperature is raised during high activity levels or exertion.

Recommended WCM Score Active Sport Wear

Active and  sport wear group recommend the lower wcm 250-400 score range where skin temperature levels are expected to be elevated more than normal due to physical exercise and exertion.

Recommended WCM Score Fashion Everyday Wear

The everyday and fashion wear group will enjoy great next to skin experience with the recommended wcm score of 400-600 range where skin temperatures will be close to normal with little variation.

Read for more detail and tables on wcm score or rating of next to skin wear and their recommended activity type, read the ATWA and Sheep CRC: Next to Skin Wool Comfort and Handle

4.What Other Information is on the Merino Next To Skin Garment Label

Other information found on the next to skin merino labels aside from care instructions, give useful information which is helpful to understand the merino base layer garment.
4.1.Merino base layer fabric weight
4.2.Merino base layer brand
4.3.Merino logo
4.4.Merino base layer composition

4.1.Merino Base Layer Fabric Weight

Often described as grams of merino per square metre in the merino base layer garment and is usually located beside the garment brand, either on the swing tag or packaging. Typically base layer merino is next to skin or the first layer of clothing and typically the amount of merino will range between 150 to 200 gms per square metre.

4.2.Merino Base Layer Brand

Behind every brand there is description of the brands values or ethos of what they are about, what is important to them and their commitment to those values. These may also cover the micron range (ultrafine, superfine or fine), traceability of merino sourced for their merino next to skin garments, animal welfare and environmental ethics associated to their merino source.

Once familiar with the garments brand, their standing within the merino next to skin and merino wear retail sector, you will associate previous experiences of their merino garment comfort, quality and style with their company brand or logo.

Brand websites do give information on their merino base layer or next to skin garments which varies widely from specific to general. Click on the image in the table to see the base layer garment brands website descriptions.

4.3.Logos on the Next To Skin Merino Garment

Base Layer Brand Logo

Some merino base layer garments may also have extra information through the addition of an accredited body’s logo signifying further compliance of a specific sort or meaning.

Pure Wool and Wool Blend Logos

Some well-known logos including Woolmark’s merino mark apparel logos  cover the quantity of merino in the merino base layer garment from pure merino to various merino blends, fabric quality, range of micron and the activity group that the particular merino mark logo is best suited.

Base Layer Merino Traceability

Other logos include traceability from farm to finished product, an emerging story about the identity of the merino garment beginning where the merino is sourced at the farm gate.

Ethical Merino Logos

Other merino base layer garment logos include country of origin labels and where garment is made to animal welfare logos to signify ethical non-museled merino to no tail docking merino wool.

4.4.Merino Base Layer Fabric Composition

Pure Superfine Merino

As mentioned earlier the measure is given in grams of merino per square metre of the merino base layer fabric. The higher the grams the more merino in the fine knit fabric. The amount of merino in base layer merino will depend on the primary need your activity level, whether for sport comfort or extra base layer warmth.

Superfine Merino Blends

The other level of merino relates to the composition of the fabric, how much of the next to skin fabric is 100% merino or merino blend. Base layer merino blends can include other natural fibres such as silk and cashmere. The blends can also include of varying levels of specialist polyester fibres, each in balance to enhance merino garment performance and comfort level.

Merino Base Layer Fabric Description

The composition descriptions are usually found on the garments inner tag. Some merino base layer garments may also have a logo or tag that will specify the micron of the merino used or the activity the blend is designed, i.e. Woolmarks merino perform, cool wool or merino sport.

5. Recommended Raw Merino Fleece Specifications For Best Merino Base Layer Comfort

There are a number of factors that contribute to wcm score in a merino next to skin garment from the raw or greasy merino wool type sourced to factors along the wool processing line.
Briefly it appears that a major determent toward a favourable wcm score is in sourcing the right superfine merino for processing, whilst processing factors such of yarn spin quality and fabric evenness and tenacity are considered secondary contributing factors

Primary Determent of Comfort in Merino Next to Skin Fabric

When sourcing sbaregamerino ultrafine merinouperfine merino wool for a low wcm score for increased comfort next to skin, the major determents are micron and coarse edge micron (CEM).

Current recommendations are superfine merino of 18 micron or less with a CEM 30 of less than 3% in the raw merino fleece measurements.

Superfine merino by definition is 18.5 to 15.6 micron. CEM measures how far from the mean micron the stronger or coarser fibres are in the sample. CEM 30 refers to those fibres are over 30 micron identified as responsible for the prickle sensation in wool next to skin in previous research. The higher the percentage over 30 micron the more skin irritation experienced.

Merino Base Layer Comfort Identification for Consumers

There is a wide range of quality stylish merino base layer garments on the market with a comfort rating to suit a variable array of activities from everyday comfort and fashion to increased comfort need in active wear next to skin merino garments.

While wcm scores or uniform rating are yet to be translated to labels and swing tags to assist the consumer, there are some marketing label descriptions that do assist. It does seem that for consumers to confidently find the best merino base layer comfort for a specific activity level in mind, is a bit of challenge without a uniform comfort level for activity descriptions being used.


Bruce A McGregor, Maryam Naebe, Henry Wang, David Tester, James Rowe. 15 October 2015. Relationships between wearer assessment and the instrumental measurement of the handle and prickle of knitted wool fabrics. Textile Research Journal.   DOI: 10.1177/0040517514551460

Wang, Henry, Quiniou, Cecilia, Naebe, Maryam and Crowe, David 2016, Predicting fabric prickle propensity by testing yarns on the Wool ComfortMeter, in IWTO 2016: 85th International Wool Textile Organisation Congress: Wool for Future Generations, IWTO, Brussels, Belgium.

Australian Wool Exchange Ltd. 2016-2018  Classing Superfine. Code of Practice Preparation of Australian Wool Clips. Pg 56

SRS® Advances Ethical Superfine Merino Sheep

SRS at BaregaMerino

Using a new innovative approach to sheep breeding, farmers are able to change from the traditional techniques for breeding superfine Merino sheep to selective breeding for smooth, soft rolling skin Merino™, commonly known as SRS® Merino.

Using the scientific principles of genetics and SRS® breeding principles, farmers can significantly advance the health and productivity of a flock, decrease animal expenses all while maintaining high-quality disease free superfine wool.

Innovative SRS® Sheep Breeding Principles

Testing of SRS® breeding principles began in the late 1980s. The attempt to create a sheep superior to the traditional Merino sheep of Australia was spearheaded by Dr. James Watts. The skin of the SRS® merino sheep breeding Australia Merino tends to be wrinkly, and the more wrinkles present, the larger the surface area of the skin. This translates to a greater space for wool to grow. Wrinkly sheep, however, can be difficult to shear, and they must be mulesed to protect their health.

Dr. Watts began selectively breeding sheep to create what is now called SRS® Merino or Merino with smooth, rolling skin. Watts examined sheep for particular objective and subjective traits, often relying on the look and feel of a sheep as an indicator of its offspring’s body type.

His aim was to create plain-bodied, wrinkle-free sheep that also had loose, thin skin.  Along with that, the creature would be capable of producing fleece with not only more wool than the average Merino sheep but also wool of better quality comprised of multiple secondary fibres of a smaller diameter.

For more further information on the benefits of SRS® merino breeding, the lustrous merino fibre  production on ethical merino sheep visit the SRS Merino website at

Traditional Treatment for Disease-Free Fleece

Flystrike is the bane of wool sheep. Flies are naturally attracted to any discoloured wool from dermatitis on a merinos wrinkled skin to urine and faecal matter that clings to a merino sheep’s breech area. To keep merino sheep disease-free, some traditional farmers utilise practices such as mulesing and tail docking. If a sheep’s breech is neglected, flystrike can result in an infestation of blowfly maggots. Mulesing and tail docking cost money, take time and manpower, stress the animal, and defame farmers for being inhumane and unethical.

SRS® A Natural Solution for Ethical Merino

The natural traits of SRS® Merino provide an alternative to these practices with no tail docking and no mulesing. The Humane Society International ( and Dr Jim Watts of SRS®  have formed a close working relationship as a result of these advanced changes of the merino and improved animal welfare due to SRS breeding techniques.

First, their tails are shorter. They also have strength enough to effectively lift their tails when expelling waste therefore not always require their tails to be docked.

As for mulesing, the process is not needed, for the SRS® Merino generally receives a score of 1 on the Visual Sheep Scores for breech wrinkle.

At present, sheep farms do not usually begin with herds strictly made up of SRS® Merino. Instead, the herds slowly convert to the SRS Merino variety, as they are bred for the desired traits including completely eliminate the need for mulesing.

Lamb Survivability

Data continue to be collected and studied for SRS® Merinos. In this breed, the ewes often rear twins and triplets, and the survivability rate of the offspring is strong. Overall, the survivability rate halfway through gestation for the Merino industry hovers above 50%. Recent data from SRS® Merinos indicate a much higher survivability rate – sometimes exceeding 90% – over the same period of time.

Additional SRS® Merino traits contribute to a high survivability rate. The ewes nourish their offspring with a stellar milking capacity. Plus, they tend to be more docile  and display a calm temperament than their Merino counterparts.

Ethical Luxury High-Quality Wool

Merino with smooth rolling skin have follicles that produce wool in a way that differs from skin that is wrinkled or skin that is taut. Instead of a single fibre growing out of a follicle, multiple fibres generate from each. The fibre srs-wool-ultrafine-merinois fine. Each fibre is long with a bold crimp. These fibre properties are responsible for making the SRS® Merino wool silky and soft. Many studies laud Soft Rolling Skin™ Merino wool for being strong and quite like pure cashmere.

Besides excellent wool quality, SRS® Merino wool continues to impress farmers. One notable trait is that the wool actually prevents water from penetrating beyond the fleece tip. SRS® breeding results in merino fleeces made up of free growing bundles of merino wool fibre that have a growth rate that allows for three shearings every 2 years. Read more about ethical luxury superfine and ultrafine wool fleece of the BaregaMerino brand.

SRS® Principles Extend Beyond Sheep

Sheep are not the only animals to benefit from farmers using these breeding principles, both alpacas and angoras benefit in the same way as the sheep have from selective breeding. For example, alpacas are now being bred so that they are born without guard hairs. These hairs have poor density. Another pitfall of guard hairs is that they do not absorb dye for fabric. By breeding with SRS® principles, the offspring have fleece of better quality because they are without guard hairs; thus, SRS® breeding principles improve the overall yield.

Humane Reputation for SRS® Merino Sheep

Demand continues to increase for ethical wool. More consumers want products of wool from humanely-treated sheep, not products from wool that have undergone the painful processes of tail docking and mulesing. In turn, the wool industry is responding to the pressure to use ethical wool. From wool processors to clothing retailers, the wool industry is finding long term and natural solutions with innovations like the Soft Rolling Skin Merino™.

baregamerino Tasmanian superfine

“Breech Strike.” Fly Boss. Sheep CRC Ltd., 2016. Web. 17 Aug. 2016.
Francis, Patrick. “Mulesing under Pressure from Merino Wool Value Chain Players.” Humane Society International. May 2016. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.
Stewart, Georgie. “Cruelty Going out of Fashion.” Technical Bulletin, no. 27, Humane Society International, p. 7. 2016. Web. 17 Aug. 2016.
“A Unique Breeding System.” SRS Alpaca. SRS Alpacas International, 2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
Watts, James. “Introduction to SRS Merino and Fibre Genetics.” SRS Merino. 2016. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.
—. “SRS Merinos Have More Lambs and Rear More Lambs.” SRS Merino. 2016. Web. 18 Aug. 2016.
—. “The SRS Merino.” SRS Merino. 2016. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.

Merino Comfort & Wool Quality for Next-To-Skin Merino

Merino Comfort & Wool Quality for Next-To-Skin Merino

Wool’s place in high-end fashion and suiting is well established but a new emerging market of next to skin merino, base layer merino and intimate merino appeal is gaining momentum.
New merino testing technologies gives these emerging markets, both retailers and consumers alike, consistent results of wearer merino comfort and quality for next to skin merino wear.

merino sports wearWool ComfortMeter And Wool HandleMeter

When evaluating Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear, the most common concerns that people have are prickle, allergies, and itch. The misconception that wool lacks the softness that is essential for next-to-skin comfort is based largely on subjective estimates of the fabric’s handle and feel. However, the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) and Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) have made a break through testing meters available, Wool Comfort Meter and Wool Handle Meter. These two new measures of Merino comfort and wool quality are objective and unbiased and give retailers consistent, repeatable results on the quality of the merino products to ensure a superior merino next to skin consumer experience.

What Are A Fabric’s Comfort And Handle?

Merino Comfort

A merino fabric’s comfort refers to its level of smoothness and wearer experience often referrenext to skin merinod in the past as a level of prickliness. Comfort is dependent on the fibre’s diameter, the spin and yarn finish used in the processing of the wool fibre and the fabric construction.

In general the finer the micron (smaller the number) the softer and more comfort next to skin with fibres of a diameter of less than 18 micron deemed to be comfortable and is suitable for next-to-skin wear.

Superfine merino wool is defined as between 15.6 and 18.5 microns are excellent fabrics for base layer garments and ultrafine merino wool, 15.5 microns and finer ideal for next to skin merino and intimate appeal wear. Hear more about next to skin merino comfort and handle meters and an Australian superfine grower’s bid to ensure the comfort and wearer experience for ultrafine and superfine merino end users as featured on Australian Broadcasting Commission Landline.

Merino Fabric Handle

A fabric’s handle, on the other hand, refers to its softness or feel by hand. The handle is dependent on the fibre’s thickness, density, and weight. Contrary to what most people believe, tests have conclusively shown that a fibre’s comfort and handle are unrelated attributes.

A fibre can, therefore, be hard to handle, but can have a high comfort value with a low prickle. On the other hand, a fibre can be incredibly soft to handle, but can be associated with high prickle or discomfort.

How Can I Evaluate Merino Comfort & Wool Quality For Next-To-Skin Wear?

You may already know that Merino wool garments are sustainable and naturally breathable. You may also be aware that Merino is a moisture wicking and odour resistant fibre.

But are you confident that you want to wear a Merino garment against your skin?

To make this intimate decision, you don’t have to rely on a subjective evaluation anymore.

Two new measures of Merino comfort and wool quality developed following five years of extensive research by Sheep CRC, have taken the guesswork out of Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear.

merino next to skinThese two instruments empower retailers and consumers alike by providing increased transparency and confidence that Merino is the fabric of choice for base layers and next-to-skin wear with a superior feel and comfort factor that outperforms all other fibres.

Endorsed by the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) as commercially viable and effective methods of assuring quality and comfort, these new technologies are set to revolutionize how consumer expectations are met by providing predictable comfort and guaranteed softness.

1. What Is The Wool ComfortMeter?

The Wool ComfortMeter is a breakthrough technology and is a new measure of Merino comfort and wool quality. It works by counting the number of protruding fibres in a given area of the fabric or fibre and accurately correlates this to wearer comfort.

The higher the number of bulging fibres, the more is the associated discomfort. The Wool ComfortMeter is, therefore, a quantifiable measure of Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear. It also has useful commercial applications as a quality assurance test for medical and baby products.

For the benefit of consumers, the predictive value of the Wool ComfortMeter (WCM) has been honed by large scale wearer trials conducted over a period of four years.

How Does the Wool ComfortMeter Work?

  • The meter is non-destructive and scans the fabric placed on its testing bed, providing a single value indicating the fabric’s comfort level, with lower the WCM score the higher comfort level experience for the consumer.
  • There are three comfort level ratings within two wearer descriptions of active wear and every day fashions.

1.1 Active Wear

The active wear description has lower value ratings of between WCM 250 to 400 making it ideal for next-to-skin wear with the average person perceiving no discomfort at this level.

It takes into account the raised skin temperature of the active wearer, which raises the sensitivity of the skin to any irritation and hence the lower WCM value levels for this wearer description.

They are describe WCM values of 250 or less as luxurious and premium comfort next to skin experience at an elite performance activity level.

merino next to skinThese values give a wool comfort level described from luxurious though to everyday comfort depending on the level and intensity of consumer activity and well described in their Next-To-Skin, Wool Comfort & Handle pdf at

1.2 Everyday Fashions

The everyday comfort description group have a WCM value range of 450 to 600 in three user comfort levels.

Again the lower figure WCM value offers the best next to skin comfort experience to the most active consumer within this everyday fashions group.

2. What Is The Wool HandleMeter & How Does It Work?

This is a new measure of Merino (comfort and) wool quality that objectively evaluates the softness of a fabric by measuring the force required to push it through the Wool Handlemeter (WHM) instrument’s nozzle.

Like with the ComfortMeter, the HandleMeter does away with prior subjective assessments and gives a score rating or value on a number of the fabrics attributes including the fabric’s softness, warmness, smoothness, hairiness, and tightness. The WHM gives a value of between 1 to 10, and the higher the WHM value the softer the handle.

Unbiased And Repeatable Merino Comfort & Handle Values

It provides unbiased information about Merino comfort and wool qualityand handle values for next-to-skin wear. The Wool HandleMeter WHM is, therefore, an independent and objective calibration of a fabric’s handle or feel, which overrides previous subjective estimates and language barriers across global supply chains.

ComfortMeter & HandleMeterRead more about these new exciting technologies and down load their brochure at

Is Superfine Merino Wool Ideal For Next-To-Skin Wear?

Quite simply put, yes. New measures of Merino comfort and wool quality, by way of the Wool ComfortMeter and the Wool HandleMeter, have created clear product differentiation.

The bad reputation that wool had for being too itchy and prickly for base layer garments has been decisively repaired. It’s easier than ever for retailers to offer consumers quality merino next-to-skin and active merino wear.

Superfine and ultrafine Merino wool can now be independently certified as the most comfortable next-to-skin garments, offering unrivalled comfort and ultimate customer satisfaction. We now have the opportunity to confidently say that Merino comfort and wool quality for next-to-skin wear is unparalleled by any other fabric.

Non mulsed Australian superfine merino

What Is Merino Next-To-Skin Wear?

merino base layer

You have probably heard of ultrafine merino wool, and you are likely aware of the importance of a base layer merino, but are you wondering what is merino next-to-skin wear?merino base layer

These similar terms refer to the layer or merino clothing worn closest or directly next to the skin.

Superfine merino and ultrafine merino wool is increasingly used in a wide range of wool clothing.

Ultrafine merino is worn ultra-close, next-to-skin in the form of merino underwear and thermal wear with superfine merino in the next closest to skin garment to complete the merino base layer.

Superfine Merino Wool and Wool Blends

Many people associate the word “wool” with a prickly, itchy, and uncomfortable fibre that is the least likely candidate for a good next-to-skin fabric.

However, in recent years, merino sheep farmers and textile processors have combined forces and used advances in technology to develop next-generation merino and merino wool blends that are ideal as a base layer.

Ultrafine and Superfine Merino Next to Skin

Wool is an inherently natural and breathable fabric that can keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm merino next to skinweather, and it is this property that makes ultrafine merino and superfine wool especially suitable for next-to-skin garments.

Millions of air pockets in merino wool trap a layer of air next to the skin and retain body heat in cold weather. Ultrafine merino underwear as a first layer next to skin is, therefore, insulating and keeps you toasty warm in even the harshest weather conditions.

By transferring perspiration away from the body, regulating temperature, and keeping you well ventilated in warm weather, base layer merino underwear keeps you from overheating or feeling clammy.


New Research highlight Health Benefits of  Superfine Merinosleeping with wool

Recent research has highlighted that babies sleep for longer and more settled when sleeping with wool. It is thought that merino wool ability to control skin moisture encourages a more even body temperature, resulting is an increased level of comfort for improved sleep.

Further early research results are finding these natural merino characteristics are also assisting in the treatment of  some skin conditions.

Performance Merino Clothing

merino sportswearSuperfine merino and ultrafine merino is used in an increasing range of merino wool clothing from the traditional designer garments and suits to include a new fine light weight merino knit fabric, used in next to skin wear and base layer merino in the performance merino clothing arena.

Next To Skin Merino

The spectrum or range of next to skin wear and base layer merino in clothing includes underwear and casual everyday wear to travel wear, active wear to sportswear or performance wear merino and merino blends with users from inexperienced to elite levels across many sports and occupations.

Merino Sportswear and Active Wearmerino sportwear

Next-to-skin Merino can wick away moisture from the body for a dry and comfortable feel, making Merino active wear and Merino sportswear popular with both amateur fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes striving for peak performance.

It’s possible to stay fresh much longer with a merino wool base layer because it is odour resistant and can be worn for longer duration without any unpleasant smells.

Pure Merino and Merino blends outperform all other fibres when it comes to extreme sports.

performance merino clothing 6Performance Merino clothing is the soft, comfortable, and friction-free alternative to uncomfortable synthetic fabrics or moisture-retaining and slower drying cotton.

With its low warmth-to-weight ratio, Merino is a lightweight and gently stretchable fibre that allows freedom of movement without chaffing, making performance Merino sportswear an unparalleled fabric to take your game to the next level.

Merino Next to Skin Wear Recommendation

Cold can mean just a slight nip in the air, but what is merino next-to-skin wear when it comes to extreme weather conditions? Merino wool is the base layer of choice for Tasmanian and Antarctic adventurer/guide Ewan Blyth who swears by next-to-skin merino underwear as the fabric of choice on the world’s coldest and windiest continent.

With a maximum recorded low of -89.6 degrees Centigrade, an average winter temperature of -50 degrees Centigrade, and sub zero temperatures in the summer months, not to forget the wind chill factor, keeping warm can never be more important than on the White Continent.

Blythe states his merino next-to-skin garments are resilient and easy to care for and that they keep him warm even when wet. He also finds merino base layers are astonishingly comfortable and don’t develop an offensive smell if he gets sweaty when he’s working hard showing visitors the spectacular scenery from sea kayaks.

Ultrafine Merino Next to Skin Wear for Warm and Cool Seasons

Cold weather is all very well, but you could rightfully be wondering what the role of Merino next-to-skin wear is in warmer climes? It may surprise you to learn that “wool is for cold climates” is a misconception and that lightweight Merino wool is an excellent warm weather fabric. Wool growers in Australia have worked with researchers in the textile processing industry to enhance the natural properties of Merino wool and make it suitable as a base layer for hot climates.

next to skin merinoOn account of its breathability and moisture wicking properties, Merino wool provides dry comfort in the hottest of weather conditions. Ultrafine merino in next to skin wear soothes your skin and keeps you cool in summer, protects and gives warmth in the winter. Australian merino sheep experience a vast range of climatic conditions from extremes of heat to cold, wet to dry with their merino fleeces sheltering them, keeping them safe from the elements.

Ultrafine Merino Base Layer Comfort Assurance

Whether you’re a fashion-conscious diva looking for a smooth fitting base layer or a busy mother of three for whom comfort is paramount, pure Merino and Merino blend base layers provide a lightweight, breathable, and luxurious fibre that is unmatched in comfort.

next to skin merino

This is not an unsupported claim based on human estimation. Five years of trials and more than 25,000 individual assessments have led to the development of two calibrating instruments that can accurately measure a garment’s wearability and next-to-skin comfort.

Skin comfort from base layer Merino has been objectively measured and found to consistently surpass consumer expectations. There’s no guess work involved any more, and pure Merino and Merino blends have come out winners when it comes to comfort in next-to-skin wear.

Cool Wool

Cool Wool is a sub-bramerino cool wool 8nd of Woolmark and is the latest trend that all the leading and influential designers are showcasing, taking advantage of this versatile fabric’s incredible features.

Cool Wool has featured on the spring/summer and autumn/winter collections of designers all around the world, catering to the growing demand for a fabric that is natural, sustainable, and supremely luxurious.

Superfine merino is a soft and fine fabric that is the epitome of luxury and the last word in elegance. Cool Wool has also gained popularity as it is lightweight and wrinkle free, making it ideal for global travel.

What is merino next to skin Wear?

Next-to-skin superfine merino is easy to care for, elastic, incredibly light, crease-resistant, fire-retardant, odour-repellant, and UV protecting, making it an exceptional base layer fabric. Now if someone asks, “What is Merino next-to-skin wear?” you can tell them it is a naturally breathable sustainable fibre that is ideal for next-to-skin wear with a veritable laundry list of beneficial features.


New Research On Health Benefits of Superfine Merino

Scientists have studied the potential role of ultrafine Merino in sleep health and skin health, and have found it is beneficial to those afflicted with chronic skin conditions and that it promotes restful sleep.

superfine merino health benefits

Historically, there has been a general misconception that wool fibre is itchy and irritating to the skin, but new research has shown there are real health benefits of ultrafine and superfine merino worn next to skin.

Ultrafine Merino Benefits on Skin Health

Researchers at the Queensland Institute of Dermatology (QID) Australia, specifically focused on ultrafine Merino in skin health and its use in the treatment of chronic dermatologic conditions. The aim of the study was to challenge the common belief that wool fibre is bristly and prickly, and to explore any unrealized health benefits of superfine Merino wool in the treatment of skin disorders.


Atopic dermmerino benefits skin health 6atitis is a skin condition that affects up to 30% of children and 10% of adults. It is an immune-mediated inflammation of the skin resulting in itchy, red, swollen, and cracked skin.

Scratching the intensely itchy lesions makes sufferers of atopic dermatitis susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. With no known cure, the only treatment for the condition is moisturisation and skin hydration to reduce the intensity and frequency of flares.

The new research has shown definite health benefits of superfine Merino in atopic dermatitis and other similar conditions. Given that the fibre is natural and chemical-free, the role of ultrafine Merino in skin health has come as no surprise.

Next To Skin Ultrafine Merino Helps Treat Dermatitis

sunsafe merino wearThe study has demonstrated that participants with inflammatory skin conditions had dramatically reduced symptoms of redness, dryness, itching, and pain after they started wearing superfine Merino.

Ultrafine Next To Skin Merinowear

These wool garments were worn in direct contact with body surface in the form of base layers or next to skin wear including gloves, and socks.

merino next to skinMerino fleece has been adapted by nature to allow merino sheep to survive unpredictable  and sometimes harsh weather conditions.

Ultrafine Merino has skin health benefits due to its fundamental temperature regulation and moisture management properties.

Naturally breathable, the fibre draws moisture away from the body, preventing the skin from remaining damp or clammy.

While sensitivity to prickliness varies from person to person, in general, moist or sweaty skin and humid weather makes skin more sensitive.Ultrafine Merino keeps the skin dry and temperature controlled and makes the wearer much more comfortable and less prone to itching.

Ultrafine Merino in Sleep Health

Quality sleep in babies is right on top of every new parent’s wish list and is, in fact, imperative for the healthy growth and development of the wee ones. New research has shown health benefits of superfine Merino and a role for ultrafine Merino in sleep health.

Ultrafine Merino, A Natural Fibre

The natural breathability, exceptional softness, and luxurious feel of superfine Merino make it aparent’s instinctive choice.  Parents of babies who use Merino wool wraps to swaddle them have found it is by far the best material to keep baby comfortable and promote undisturbed sleep.superfine merino babywear 5

Sleeping Temperature Regulation with Merino

One of the common reasons for babies waking up at night is being too hot or too cold, and the intrinsic temperature-controlling properties of superfine Merino wool keep baby’s delicate core temperature regulated by insulating in a cold environment and releasing heat in a warm environment.

Sleep suits, sleeping bags, sleeping gowns, and base layer sets in ultrafine Merino all promote sleep with their incredibly soft, warm, and breathable material that is lightweight, yet substantial, and soft as silk against baby’s delicate skin.

Sun Safe Merinowear

It doesn’t hurt that ultrafine Merino is stain resistant, resilient, and easy to care for, making it the obvious choice of busy parents.Merino wool offers ultraviolet protection with ratings up to UPF50+, and superfine Merino blankets are especially convenient for sun safety when baby is on the go.

Quality Sleep With Merino

sleep quality improves with merinoIt’s not babies alone that need a good night’s sleep, science results through new research has shown the health benefits of superfine Merino in the quality of sleep in adults as well.

A three-year study conducted at the University of Sydney Australia, to evaluate ultrafine Merino in sleep health has shown a direct correlation between woollen Merino bedding and sleep quality in adults.

The luxuriously soft Merino wool fibre was found to have a direct positive impact on sleep quality, sleep quantity, and sleep efficiency (time spent asleep versus total time spent in bed).

Natural Superfine and Ultrafine Merino

New research has shown the health benefits of superfine Merino, and it is the wool’s inherent ability to regulate temperature, manage humidity, and create a comfortable micro-environment around the wearer that makes ultrafine Merino so indispensable in sleep health and skin health.

Sheep Pellets to finish Merino Lambs

Using quality sheep pellets to finish old seasons superfine merino lambs in an El Nino weather season ensured three quarters of the mob were off the property within 8 weeks after their spring shearing.

Current sale options for old season’s full drop of superfine merino wether lambs with a 25 kg average live weight was the store lamb market, a subdued merino wether replacement market or value add with quality sheep pellets to finish merino lambs to a saleable minimum live weight of 32kgs.

Tasmanian low fat merino lamb

Merino Lamb Market Opportunity

1. Merino Lamb Project AimTasmanian merino lamb

To lift 450 superfine wether merino lambs live weights from a range of 18 to 30 kg range to achieve minimum 32 kg live weight within 6 to 8 weeks off shears.

2. Merino Lamb Market

Niche merino lamb market opportunity through Tasmanian Quality Meats (TQM) at Cressy Tasmania.

3. Sheep Pellet Lamb Feed

High performance sheep pellets, Rivalea lamb finisher pellets were  fed out daily in a feed line on the ground in a paddock environment to utilise available standing dry matter.

4. Merino Lamb Weight Gain and Feed Conversion

Andrew Bailey, Tamerino lamb weightssmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) Sheep and Wool Officer, assisted with expert support in our first intensive sheep feed program and feedback on lamb weight gains.

Feedback included assessing individual animal weight gain against feed intake and their individual rate of weight gain in an attempt to identify poor doers. The question was whether these animals presented in any particular weight group or were they spread across all weight ranges within the merino lamb wether drop of 450 lambs.

The information gained will be used to try and to identify early, those animals that will not perform well in an enhanced feed program of specialist sheep pellets for finishing lambs.



TQM chilled merino lamb niTasmanian low fat merino lambche for a Middle East market specialising in a smaller, quality low fat table lamb.

Niche Market Specifications
– merino lambs of 12 to 18 kg dressed weight to average 15kg/head for the load.
– optimum lamb is condition score 2, to preserve the bagged chilled lambs appearance after transport and enhance shelf life for the customer.

For more information and contacts, visit TQM website

sheep pellet feedSheep Pellets Intensive Feed

Rivalea Sling Shot lamb finisher pellets were used in the project, a specifically formulated complete feed for finishing lambs in the paddock or feed lot situation. The lamb finisher pellets have a minimum 17 percent protein, 12.5 MJ ME/kg, trace elements, vitamins, and minerals to guarantee a quality lamb finisher feed.

More information about Rivalea lamb finisher pellets and lamb target weights is available on Rivalea website at

Merino Lamb Preparation

1.Lamb Health Preparation

Rivalea slingshot fact sheet for intensive lamb feeding protocols were followed to prepare the merino lambs for the intensive feed program of sheep pellets. The preparation included vaccinations, vitamin supplements and zero worm egg counts.

The fact sheet also has tips on mob size and group bodyweights as well as feed induction hints and rates.

2. Sheep Pellet Induction

Lamb finisher pellets were fed in increasing increments from until the lambs were on 1000gms/day. The sheep pellet line on the ground was up to 1.5km long to ensure all 450 merino lambs had access to the feed line and to avoid gorging.

intensive lamb feed

3. Lamb Monitoring Preparation

All the merino wether lambs had electronic ear tags (EID) inserted for individual weekly weight monitoring and recording.

Existing equipment comprised of a quad bike and grain feeder, animal weigh scales, drafting unit and EID data collector

Intensive Feed Health Monitoring

The newly shorn lambs were weighed weekly and the auto-drafter set at 32kg live weight (13kg dressed weight approx.) to draft off the saleable animals soon as they reached the target weight

  • first quarter of merino lambs achieved the target weight within 5 weeks on full ration
  • second quarter of lambs were ready within another 2 weeks
  • third quarter of lambs were ready a week later
  • final quarter of lambs took up to a further 4 weeks to finish.

No merino lamb deaths using Rivalea lamb finisher pellets following their intensive feed protocol for this project. There were four lambs that became unwell about 3 to 4 weeks into program with an infection and hindsight showed they had consecutive weight losses prior to the signs of scouring.

These lambs were isolated and successfully treated and put back with intensive fed group and sold after their treatment withholding period met the export slaughter interval.

Lamb Weight Gains

Daily weight gains of up to 400gm/day were recorded in some individual animals but daily weight gains varied considerably across individuals within the mob.   More analytical information from TIA on the individual animal weight gain performance across the mob will be available later.

Benefit of Lamb Finisher Pellets

Rivalea lamb finisher pellets are a complete 17% protein finisher feed that enabled three quarters of an unclassed merino lamb mob to achieve saleable weights within our target time frame in a dry and cold El Nino Tasmanian spring.

The quality sheep pellets were a safe alternative finisher food, easy to feed out in any paddock where there was standing dry matter and fresh water. The merino wether lambs stayed clean for sale and required little handling  apart from weekly weighs.

We were able to utilise existing equipment and infrastructure for this exercise and gave us opportunity to enter alternative market relatively quickly.

The lamb finisher pellets were a strategic lamb feed, effective in lifting the whole merino wether lamb mob to a viable level offering our enterprise an alternative market option in a wide spread El Nino season.

Barega Merino Farm Biosecurity

Tasmania, Australia’s island state is a unique gem of culture and wilderness adventure, of heritage forests and agricultural niches, pristine lakes and inspirational art. It is the home of Barega superfine and ultrafine merino.

Tasmania is surrounded by the oceans of Indian and Pacific which create a natural barrier that protects the island’s biosecurity status. A closely guarded status that is clean, untouched and disease free, a status that enhances those grow, create and produce within island’s shorelines.

Barega merino farm biosecurity lies beneath this protective umbrella and specifically about further strengthen disease prevention within the property boundary and the region.

Tasmanian farm biosecurityBarega Merino, the Farm

Barega, an aboriginal word meaning the wind, lies with in the northern midlands of Tasmania between the mountain ranges of the Great Western Tiers and Ben Lomond National Park to the east. A family farm of 100% merino, comprising of self- replacing flock specialising in super soft ultrafine merino, breeding easy care new superfine merino and low fat merino lamb. A dryland grazing property with low input system uterlising a diverse toolbox to balance the health needs of our land and our merino sheep for a healthy landscape and ecosystems.

Biosecurity Awareness

We have always been aware of the importance of biosecurity from our backgrounds in health and meat industry. onfarm biosecurity awarenessWe started with good basic animal health and welfare soon realised that we needed to include soil biology and the environment.

Over time farm biosecurity awareness has increased from an internal focus to looking beyond the farm gate to include what is happening with our neighbours, our region, state and country.

Often increased awareness was learnt the hard way, not asking the right questions or information was incomplete when buying stock. We have inadvertently bought in stock with diseases like footrot, lice and quite possible ovine johnes to name a few.

We noticed our saxon merinos had some ongoing health issues with internal parasites and fly strike that necessitated a breeding change with new genetics toward a new easy care superfine merino with an innate resilience and high immunity.

In more recent years, industry bodies have regulated for increased transparency from the prBaregamerino Farm Biosecurity oducer for ongoing documentation and accountability of treatments and applications administered to animals, on animals and the food they ingest.

Biosecurity awareness is a heightened state of mind that allows us as producer specialists to tailor and adapt our responses to our specific individual and regional biosecurity needs. The Livestock Biosecurity Network is freely available and up to date resource with local contacts for help and assistance.

Barega Farm Biosecurity

Tasmanian merino, superfine and ultrafine sheepThe health and welfare of our merinos, grasslands, and landscape are intrigual and pivotal to our enterprise.

Their combined health is reflected in the truly wonderful and natural ultra-soft merino fleece these relationships produce, so the importance of Barega farm biosecurity is paramount.

Our ultrafine and superfine merino is destined to be worn next to your skin, to cocoon your baby and sooth your body and that merino fibre needs to be a pure as nature can provide.

Barega Biosecurity Farm Practise

Barega produces chemical free non mulesed merino and biosecurity is about protecting the health of our merino and our ecosystems on farm and regionally.

Barega Farm biosecurity is about identifying disease risks to our enterprise, reducing those disease risks and or exposure to disease and being proactive with a property biosecurity plan.Farm biosecurity

1.Health and Welfare

Maintaining good animal and plant/soil health is important to optimise natural immunity as first line of defence. We use a diverse range of measures including integrated pest management, a toolbox approach to farm health where possible.

1.1 The land:

Tools we use include herd effect in pest plant control, regeneration and shelter belts for housing beneficial insects, birds and wildlife, rotational grazing system for plant health and encourage plant diversity, minimal to no till pasture renovation, compost teas and inputs that encourage an active soil biology.

1.2 Livestock:

We are proactive in our approach toward disease prevention through good vaccination programs, strategic feed supplementation and treatments, low stress stock handling, match peak stock demands to peak growing periods. Merino rams with specific traits in their Australian sheep breeding values, (ASBVs) to are selected to drive change toward a robust sustainable merino, to read more click here.  Deep plain bodied superfine merino with high worm resistance, their wrinkle free skins producing non mulesed and disease free merino fleeces.

2.Prevention and Monitoring

Risk assessment, disease prevention and monitoring are some of the proactive measures used as part of our on farm biosecurity. Its about ongoing surveillance and being always vigilant and questioning any deviation from normal.


Aware of signs of ill thrift or disease change in lambing percentages or weight gains, wool strength and cut, feedback report analysis and managing stray animal incursions.

2.2The Land:

Our four season climate and impact on the our environment is constantly changing. Keeping the ecosystems and the landscape healthy we monitor grass growth  is monitored ensuring good ground cover, plant density and diversity, rainfall and temperature anomalies.

Our goal is prevention but when there is biosecurtiy breach or disease breakdown the action is prompt with planned farm biosecurity plan processes followed.

Barega Biosecurity Processes over Time

Barega biosecurity processes are dynamic and change to meet new challenges and risks over time. These on property changes are often simple and easy to implement if they form part of a properties biosecurity plan.

Some simple changes on Barega include:

  • Increase reticulated water toughs and reduced water holes to decrease the risk of spread in a footrot incursion.
  • Areas of the property have been securely fenced to be able to securely isolate a flock during a disease threat or outbreak.
  • We regularly monitor which includes testing in areas of increased risk or under performance. Results are reviewed and used for change, for example, to improve or upgrade an on farm vaccination program or use genetics and ASBVs to push a trait change in a particular direction.
  • We review feedback reports from our various accreditation schemes, they tell us if we are doing a good job or it may highlight problem that we have been unaware of.
  • The most recent change is to join a community based biosecurity program and become a collaborative member for the benefit of our farm and property owners in our community.

Cost of Disease on Barega

The cost of disease always exceeds the cost of proactive on farm biosecurity prevention programs. Those diseases not covered by vaccination are often costly in terms of treatment, with varying loss of production and often involves another huge cost……time. Read more about Barega biosecurity response to disease in AWI publication, Beyond The Bale

At Barega merino we look closely at repetitive problems, ask what changes are needed to minimise or element this disease or threat.

Preventative farm biosecurityTo do nothing is not an ethical option, the costs only increase the longer and wider the spread of the untreated disease along with declining health and increased severity of treatment. We have a duty of care and those responsibilities are reflected in our National Biosecurity Livestock Reference Manual, our state animal welfare acts, and industry accreditation schemes.

Grower Farm Biosecurity Commitment

We are passionate about the health and welfare of the merinos, soil biology and our eco systems. We embrace farm biosecurity as it protects and supports the continued welfare of the environment that nourishes the ultrafine and superfine fleece of our merinos.

Tasmanian Farm BiosecurityWe wish the barega merino you wear next to your skin or clothe your baby to be ethical, an experience that is a reflection of our merinos within their protected and sustainable environment in Tasmania, Australia.