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Australia came out on top this year for being the home of the finest wool in the world.

In a presentation in Istanbul last week, Loro Piana, the Italian luxury brand, presented The Challenge Cup to Suzanne and Matthew Triplett of the Australian Highlander Farm of Tumbarumba in New South Wales, Australia. The Tripletts, whose bale of wool was 11.4 microns, beat out Yvonne and Barrie Payne’s Visulea Farm in Timaru, Canterbury, Central South Island in New Zealand, whose wool measured 11.7 microns.

The bales are certified by an independent jury formed by the presidents of the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association and the director of the New Zealand Stud Merino Breeders Society and must comply to specific weight, length and strength standards.

Loro Piana is considered the largest single purchaser of fine wools in Australia and New Zealand, which are recognized for producing the best quality merino wool. It established the Challenge Cup in 2000 to promote quality among breeders.

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