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In Search of the World's Finest Wools is a photographic search around the world to find the finest wools available and to meet the dedicated people who care for the animals and harvest the raw wool. From this precious commodity comes the unsurpassed wools used around the world.
An ethnographic marriage of stunning imagery and authoritative text, the book reveals the nature of the animals, the lives of the farmers and nomadic shepherds that care for them, and the cultures and traditions that have enriched wool-producing societies for centuries, including the use of wool in traditional costume and for utility.
In Search of the World's Finest Wools explores these wool-producing regions:
- Greenland -- Qiviut, the wool of the musk ox. From the stone age comes the rarest and most precious of all wools, a wool "so subtle with qualities somewhere between the luster of silk and the softness of cashmere" and a thermal quality eight times that of sheep's wool hardcover with jacket
- Mongolia -- Cashmere goat wool, a wool of "incomparable lightness and softness, yet with an unmatched body and warmth" and a domesticated history dating to 9,000 BCE
- Kyrgyzstan -- Taewit goat wool, the product of a cross of the Kyrgyz goat with the Orenburg cashmere goat, discovered by the wider world only after the fall of the USSR
- Ladakh -- Pashmina goat wool, the "prince among Oriental wools" produced by goats that prefer life at 16,000 feet (5,000 m)
- Scotland -- Shetland sheep wool, its fine guard hairs, the product of 250 days of coastal wind and rain, give superior thermal, wind and moisture resistance
- Australia and New Zealand -- Merino sheep, the "most noble of all wool breeds", produces the finest of all wools with a fiber as little as 11 microns in diameter
- South Africa -- Mohair goat wool, not as fine as other wools but its structure gives it softness, strength, elasticity (no creases), and unparalleled luster
- Peru -- Vicu a wool, once the exclusive preserve of the Inca emperor, almost hunted to extinction in the 1960s, the "princess of the Andes" produces wool that outranks Musk ox and cashmere.
People have used wool in a surprising number of ways for thousands of years, though primarily to keep warm or protect their skin from the sun. The world's wool-producing societies have deep connections to their animals, and anyone who works with wool holds it in the highest esteem for its beautiful practicality.
In Search of the World's Finest Wools is an excellent choice for tailors, knitters, weavers, rug purchasers, travelers and anyone interested in wool crafts, ethnography and culture.
About the Author
Dominic Dormeuil is the fifth-generation president of the Dormeuil Cloth Company, founded in 1842, which creates high-quality fabrics from natural fibers. He travels the world to select the finest wools and learn more on the farmers' techniques and traditions. Jean-Baptiste Rabouan is a photographer and a writer specializing in ethnographic reports. His previous books include Mother India, and he is also a regular contributor to the monthly Grands Reportages, where his photographic features and articles on his travels are published.