In 2004 Shrek, a Merino wether, was found with six years of unclipped fleece. His discovery was a hot media story and within 24 hours of his televised shearing, the Merino clothing manufacturer, Icebreaker, had over a million hits on their website. The Merino wool used in Icebreaker clothing was one of the few bright spots in the sheep economy by the early 2000s. Crossbred wool, produced by most of the New Zealand flock, and used more for carpet rather than clothing, was no longer in demand, being replaced by synthetics.
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Otago Daily Times
Photograph by Stephen Jaquiery
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