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Do we call it NZ Halfbred, Colonial Halfbred or Merino/Romney cross?

Whatever you want to call it, we love Halfbred yarn. It's soft, durable, lively; a real pleasure to weave and wear. Halfbred growers tell us that they are kind sheep, with a good nature.

Here's a little bit of history for you...

The Halfbred, or ‘colonial’ Halfbred, sheep was one of the first crossbreeds specially developed for New Zealand conditions during the later 1800's. A cross between a Merino and a Romney or English Leicester, Halfbreds, like Corriedales, are a New Zealand breed developed to produce both wool and meat and are suited to hill and high country. Their wool ranges from 22 to 30 microns - coarser than most Merino but finer than that of breeds like Romney.

The Halfbred, or ‘colonial’ Halfbred, was bred in an attempt to retain the Merino’s wool quality, foraging ability and hardiness, while increasing its lamb production and improving its carcass conformation for the meat trade.

 Eric Laurenson, pictured below on his farm in the Maniototo, who we buy our Halfbred yarn from was quoted as saying,

"Halfbred sheep will stack up against any other breed at the moment but he suffers from not having a decent name - no-one wants to be known as a halfbred, it's like being called a bastard. If we got Saatchi and Saatchi behind it and gave it flash name, we'd be away."


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