New Zealand Babylamb (also known as "Shearling" and "Curly lamb")
Farming in New Zealand
New Zealand has a large sheep population (currently 40 million) in a relatively
small geographical area.
As is quite normal in the animal world, there is a natural attrition rate of around 10%. In the
spring lambing season, millions of new lambs are born. During this season, the weather can be
fickle; many cold fronts sweep the New Zealand countryside, particularly in the high Hill Country
This can result in higher lamb losses than would be the norm.
Knight of New Zealand uses this unique material selected by nature to produce a collection of super
lightweight but warm garments for both Ladieswear and Menswear. These skins, known as Curly lamb in
Europe due to the fine natural curls in the wool, or Shearling in the USA, are incredibly soft and
lightweight and are an ideal material for making fine soft apparel.
The 100% natural baby virgin wool forms an ideal insulation against the cold on the inside, and the
reverse side of the skin is buffed to form a soft silky suede or a soft napa finish. Because the
skins are from such a young animal, the natural skin fibres are tightly interlocked to form a fine
lightweight but strong, durable material. Knight's Babylamb garments weigh only a fraction of the
weight of a traditional Shearling jacket and yet retain all the warmth that only fine natural wool
Garments made from these skins make an ideal "travelling companion" as any creases caused by
overhead locker or suitcase storage will fall out very quickly when worn as they warm up with your
natural body heat.
The small size of the pelts means that it usually takes
around 30 skins to make a single jacket!
being placed on skins
New Zealand Opossum fur
New Zealand Opossum fur (Trichosurus Vulpecula)
Knight's uses New Zealand Opossum fur to trim many of our pure Cashmere and
New Zealand Opossums were introduced to New Zealand from Australia in the late 1830's in an attempt
to set up a fur industry in the fledgling colony. However, due to the lack of natural predators in
New Zealand, the population of Opossums has now reached over 80 million animals!
The business of preserving NZ native forest
Opossums have voracious appetites and destroy thousands of acres of native bush
each year. The New Zealand Department of Conservation has an active programme to cull these
animals to sustain New Zealand's natural environment. Over 27,000 Tonnes of native vegetation is
eaten and destroyed by Opossums in New Zealand EVERY DAY!
Opossums are in direct competition with native bird species and also feed on baby birds and
For more details click here
Because of this, New Zealand Opossum is not listed as an endangered species and is therefore not
listed in the * C.I.T.E.S. agreement. For more information about C.I.T.E.S. click here.
* The Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a United Nations treaty that governs the
International trade in certain species of plants and animals .
Natural winter fur for luxury winter garments
The New Zealand Opossum are completely wild and not raised in artificial
conditions in captivity. In the winter months, particularly in the colder South Island climate,
these Opossums grow a thick winter fur coat, and it is these animals which are selected for the
luxurious fur trims used on Knight's garments.
Easy care fur
Most furs used in the garment industry are "dressed and dyed" rather than fully
tanned. This means that these furs cannot be drycleaned and have to be detached from the garment
before drycleaning takes place. This can be time consuming and therefore costly.
Because Knight of New Zealand Opossum fur is tanned, it is FULLY DRYCLEANABLE as
an integral part of the garment. Drycleaning should always be carried out by a reputable
"SPECIALIST" leather Dry Cleaner.
100% Pure Cashmere "Double Face" fabric
Knight of New Zealand only uses the very best 100% pure Cashmere Italian fabric,
in which two different coloured fabrics are "bonded"
Double face cashmere
fabric folded to show both colours
together using a special process. This 600 gram weight fabric is then known as
"double face" as it can be made into fully reversible garments, with a different colour on each
side. This means that you are getting two garments in two different looks for the price of
To view a selection of these garments click
Many of these garments are trimmed with New Zealand Opossum fur (see above).
"Ivory-like tagua nuts, made into buttons, may help keep Equador green. Two
U.S. clothing companies are buying hundreds of thousands of cream coloured fasteners made from the
golf ball size tree seed. Villagers in Rio Santiago Comuna who pick the nuts are hoping to
prosper, thereby demonstrating that rain forests are more valuable standing than cut down for
Fashioned into jewelry and figurines, the rock hard nuts also offer a substitute for Ivory, now
banned from International trade.
Evidence of a 250 year old tagua carving tradition in South America was found by researchers for
Conservation International (CI) which initiated the button project. This marks a comeback for
tagua used for buttons before plastic largely replaced it in the 1930's.
Marketing Tagua buttons is only the first phase of a CI plan to increase the use of some 2,000 rain
forest products , including medicines, furniture and baskets. It's one thing to wear a button that
says "Save Mother Earth" said outdoor clothing manufacturer Bill Scranton, "and another thing to
wear a button that does save Mother Earth"
Source: National Geographic (Earth Almanac) February 1991.
Tagua is the seed of an Equatorial Palm. It is called Vegetable Ivory because it's veins are the same as those of
This characteristic, which is exalted in dyeing, distinguishes the Vegetable Ivory button from any
other because of their extreme fitness for every kind of fabric, especially for those of natural
fibre. Because of this organic quality some slight colour variation may occur within one dye
batch; this is a natural enhancement.