TEXTILE

Wool

Zegna is wool. From the beginning, our founder’s dream was to create the most beautiful fabrics in the world. He understood that the quality he sought in his wool was dependant on the environment and wellbeing of his suppliers. As we innovate our product and production processes, the Group continues to empower farmers and their animals. Quality only comes with care.
Superfine Wool
Every year, two billion kilograms of wool are produced worldwide. The most prized variety comes from Merino sheep, whose fleeces are shorn once a year to obtain the fine, very curly fibres used exclusively for clothing.
Wool’s long fibres make it perfect for tailored pieces. The longer the wool fibre, the higher the quality. The higher the quality, the more naturally resilient, which is why a durable wool suit moulds comfortably to the body. It’s the length of the high-grade fibres that helps Merino wool trousers spring back into shape if creased or crumpled.

19.5 micron

The most prestigious wool is called “superfine”, which possesses an average fineness of less than 19.5 micron (or 19.5 thousandths of a millimetre) and amounts to a mere 15% of annual production.

Compared with cotton, wool can store up to 30% of its weight without becoming damp. Its ability to absorb moisture – and to breathe – is welcome when the pressure is on. Sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, wool intuitively adapts to its surroundings. That’s why suits are made out of wool. And Zegna’s suits start with the best sheep.
ACHILLFARM™
ACHILLFARM™ is the crown jewel of Zegna. The purchase of the farm in 2014 represents a decisive step for the Group to take direct responsibility for the production phase of one of its primary raw materials.

This both reconfirms Zegna’s longstanding support of the wool industry and allows for fully integrated production of our ACHILLFARM™ Merino wool from sheep to shop. There are about 10,000 sheep on the 2500-hectare farm, all of which are raised in the open according to modern grazing practices, as Zegna cares for the environment and well-being of its animals. Our sheep have become an inseparable part of the Zegna world, producing prestigious ACHILLFARM™ fabrics. From our farms in Australia to mills in Italy to our stores worldwide.

The conditions of the Australian plains produce some of the most sophisticated fabrics in the world. It’s here that herds of merino sheep quietly graze on the best pieces of Australian grassland. Owning the Australian wool farm ensures the highest quality control over the materials and the end product. ACHILLFARM™ has six generations worth of wool expertise to produce the best Merino wool. The farm takes an active approach to improving wool quality: monitoring pasture lengths, recording the data of individual sheep and identifying those that produce the highest quality of wool.

The Trophies
For over 50 years, Ermenegildo Zegna has awarded Trophies to its natural fibre suppliers for the production of top-quality raw materials. These prizes are much coveted by producers and are a powerful incentive to gearing their production towards superior quality. At the end of each year’s competitions, Ermenegildo Zegna buys all the raw materials that the farmers have submitted, thus securing the world’s finest fleeces.
To take part in the Ermenegildo Zegna Trophies, farmers must select a specific fleece and submit it to a panel of independent judges. The main criterion is fineness. Moreover, fibres are assessed according to other parameters with a decisive bearing on the quality and performance of the raw material. Of these, the most important ones are cleanness, consistency, appearance, style and length.
Ermenegildo Zegna Extrafine Wool Trophy
The Ermenegildo Zegna Extrafine Wool Trophy, which was the first of its kind in the natural fibre world, was instituted in Tasmania in 1963 with the purpose of stimulating the production of the finest merino wool. At the time, the local industry was structured to guarantee high profit margins for farmers rather than reward the quality of the fibres. Convinced of the future of fine fabrics, Zegna encouraged wool growers to produce even finer, higher quality fibres in order to create even better extrafine wool fabrics the company required.
The trophy was expanded to include the whole of Australia in 1980, which remains one of the best wool-producing countries in the world. It is still one of the most keenly anticipated events by the country’s best s extrafine merino wool growers.
Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum International Trophy
Celebrating the incredible advancements made by Australian wool growers in fibre fineness, the first Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy (Golden Fleece) was awarded in 2002. Given to wool of 13.9 microns and finer, it recognised Australian growers quest for excellence and benchmarked the finest woollen fleece. The producer of the winning fleece received its equivalent weight in gold and a replica of the famous Not Vital sculpture “Vellus Aureum”.
The Trophy was opened to New Zealand in 2003, the only other country able to compete with the preciousness of the best Australian wool. From that year onward, the Trophy became known as the Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum International Trophy. As part of the Zegna Wool Mill’s centennial year in 2010, twenty cut lengths of fabric were woven from the world’s finest “Vellus Aureum Trophy” winning wool, thus creating the world’s finest wool fabric.
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