Portree Enterprises of New Zealand manufactures base layers and cycle jerseys from Merino wool. With such a small domestic market, the company is now seeking pastures new

Woollen base layers from down under seek UK distribution

Merino wool is widely acknowledged as the finest and softest of wools.

Portree Enterprises take the finest, softest New Zealand Merino wool and produce base layers and Swobo-like woollen cycle jerseys.

Merino wool has many benefits:

* Non-itch warmth without weight. The very soft, light weight, superfine yarn is like a second skin. Wool is an excellent insulator, even when wet. Wool can absorb many times its own weight in water without feeling clammy.

* Excelllent natural wicking properties.

* Odour free, unlike synthetics which tend to pong very quickly.

* Resistance to static electricity

* Non-soiling. Syntethic fibres are produced as a byproduct of petrol and oil production and tend to attract and retain oily soils. Washing and wearing of synthetics leads to a phenomenon called ‘greying’ which is caused by soil build-up and absorption of oil contaminants into the chemical structure of the fibre.

Portree’s products tend to be more expensive than base layers made from man-made fibres.

"This leads me to believe that we should probably look direct to retailers because the margins will preclude the involvement of a distibutor," Rod MacDonald of Portree told bikebiz.co.uk.

Portree’s Merino wool products are marketed under the ‘Whisper Warm’ brand name and are already available in Canada.

"It seems churlish to have this wonderful fabric down here and not try and

share it with the world. Long ago we imported Europe’s best sheep, and have improved their wool to an enormous degree and it is now only right that we should offer it back to you to enjoy its superlative qualities!" said MacDonald.

Portree Enterprises

18A Alfred Street

Northcote Point


New Zealand

Tel: (09) 480 6880

Fax: (09) 480 6881

Email: rodmac@xtra.co.nz

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