I wove the Mombasa Jive Merino Wool Wrap quite a few years ago, and it is one of my favourite pieces. Back in 1998 Christchurch hosted the World Merino Wool Conference. An exhibition was held showcasing this wonderful fibre, and my piece was selected for display and went on to win the Award for Handweaving.
Being a weaver in New Zealand, I am fortunate that I have access to some of the best wool in the world, and none more so than New Zealand merino wool. The merino sheep is a very ancient breed and quite different to other breeds. New Zealand merino can handle extremes in temperatures and are usually found in the New Zealand high country. The wool produced is some of the finest in the world and is used in the best Italian suits on the market.
Merino wool is breathable in summer, insulates in winter and makes a lovely, lightweight fabric.
The Mombasa Jive Merino Wool Wrap is woven out of a 22 micron 2ply merino wool. I had always wanted to experiment with shadow weave, and after selecting the pattern of the weave, designed the wrap with an african influence.
I trimmed the ends of the wrap with black merino wool tassels, twisted cords and tiny pieces of bone made into beads. Doing fancy trims such as this is very time consuming, but I feel that it is time well spent to make this wrap exceptional.
This piece is part of my own personal collection and displayed in the gallery. I intend to do a series of scarves based on shadow weave and utilise the lovely merino wool yarns that are being produced in New Zealand.
These scarves would be the perfect way to showcase a beautiful fibre and make a special gift for a gentleman.