Lothlorian Dash beanie

Why choose possum fur?

I started selling possum and merino blend garments from New Zealand over 10 years ago now. At first I was skeptical. The garments seemed expensive and I was concerned about the welfare of the possums.

Upon doing some research, I discovered that possums had been introduced by man into NZ in 1837 and with no natural predators, the population quickly exploded. By 1946, the possum was regarded as a noxious pest. The damage to the New Zealand Forest and the native fauna, particularly the NZ national icon, the Kiwi, was increasing rapidly and it became necessary to begin to cull the possums if native species were to survive. The use of possum fur in clothing was considered a practical solution to ensure that these creatures did not go to waste. It was discovered, through experimentation, that the possum fur on its own was unable to be knitted into garments as it was to short so it was blended with merino wool and in 1992 the first Possum fur and merino wool blend was created.

The result was a luxurious blend which has an extremely soft, lightweight, and excellently warm nature similar to cashmere.
Merino wool is best known for its greater warmth properties and soft texture. Combining merino wool with possum fur results in 55% more warmth than merino on its own. Moreover, it also outranks the warmth of cashmere! A unique feature of the possum fur is that the actual hair shaft are hollow and therefore have a thermal effect, trapping and storing heat in the small chambers (just like polar bears).

As well as its superior warmth, the possum and merino garments are super lightweight and wear beautifully. The pilling which is so common in wool garments just doesn’t occur in possum & merino. Here at Sage Natural Living, I carry Lothlorian brand garments which are classic and elegant, and very flattering without the bulk of traditional winter clothing.

This versatile blend is not just for winter either, it’s a perfect choice the whole year! It’s thermos like qualities as well as its breathability works as a great temperature regulator in the warmer months. It is also water resistant in damp conditions. Travelers just love possum and merino, as it is lightweight for packing and can be worn several days running. Most of the garments are knitted as one piece, meaning less seams, increasing comfort and durability.

Most importantly, all of the possum fur used in the Lothlorian garments comes from wild possum populations. There are no fur farms in New Zealand and the Department of Conservation agrees that recovery and use of the fur is a valid solution for protection of the indigenous flora and fauna. Many people in NZ make a living from possum hunting. Possum hunters are given permitted access to and which is owned by the Department of Conservation. The hunters and trappers need to abide by the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and are monitored by the government in order to ensure they are doing so. This includes that duty to ensure that no unnecessary pain, distress or suffering is caused to the animal. In other words, the possum must be killed outright and quickly.

I feel confident that the beautiful possum and merino from Lothlorian fits the criteria for our shop of ethical luxury! Pop in and see us or check it out on our website.

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