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July 28, 2012 In a little over a month since its launch, Wool Charne' has taken the Australian wool processing and fashion design industry by storm.

Developed by Albury woolgrowers Leon and Sandra Martin, Wool Charne' is an innovative pure woollen fabric produced from ethically grown, non-mulesed Charmac wool.

The Charmac is a South African Merino strain, originally derived from the Australian Wanganella Merino and with a wrinkle-free skin, clean breech and soft handling, high yielding white wool.

Mr Martin said the message from the northern hemisphere from consumers wanting ethically produced wool was loud and clear. The Martins worked with wool industry consultant David Tester to value add to their raw wool.

The weaving, dyeing and finishing was done by Macquarie Textiles in Albury.

Wool Charne' was launched on-property at Charmac Merinos, Table Top, on June 22 by Australian Wool Fashion Awards managing director Liz Foster.

Australia’s leading designers were immediately captivated by the fabric’s weave, matte appearance, drape and smoothness.

Mrs Foster said the fabric had been described as “divine’’ by designers with the natural antique white shade fitting perfectly with 2013 autumn/winter collections.

Mr Martin said a spike in European inquiry for non-mulesed Australian wool had prompted the family to evaluate options for processing Charmac wool domestically.

Commercial inquiries for both Charmac Merino genetics and for non-mulesed wool by Australian clothing designers have kept the Martins busy since the official launch.

Mr Martin said the long term goal was to buy back the wool from Charmac-sired progeny to grow the Charne' brand.

The family run 100 stud ewes on their 320ha property in conjunction with a Limousin stud. Shearing has been moved to an eight month cycle with rams cutting an average fleece weight of 8kg (extrapolated to a 12 month figure), and adult ewes 5.2kg of 18-22 micron wool.

Albury woolgrower Leon Martin has value added to his non-mulesed Charmac Merino fleece by developing Wool Charne.