In the late 1990s, Pier Luigi Loro Piana crossed paths with Donald Burnett, one of New Zealand’s oldest wool breeders from the Mount Cook Station farm. Inspired by Burnett’s relentless pursuit of fine fibers, Loro Piana launched the prestigious Loro Piana Record Bale Award in 1997, honoring breeders in Australia and New Zealand for their exceptional work in producing the finest Merino wool.
The Loro Piana Record Bale Award honors craftsmanship and innovation in wool fibers. The award was launched to encourage farmers to cultivate finer Merino wool, resulting in a remarkable improvement of over 30% in fiber fineness.
The recent 24th and 25th editions of the award, held in London on February 1, marked a historic moment. The Australian farm Pyrenees Park took the crown for the World Record Bale with a Merino wool fiber measuring an astonishing 10.2 microns, surpassing the previous record set in 2013. Hosted by Damien Bertrand, CEO of Loro Piana, and Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Deputy Chairman of the Maison, the ceremony celebrated the ongoing quest for the finest Merino wool fiber.
Each year, the Loro Piana Record Bale Award recognizes two farms—one in Australia and one in New Zealand—that produce the finest bale of Merino wool. This prestigious accolade challenges farmers to push the boundaries of excellence and innovation. Damien Bertrand emphasizes, “This wool is not just a gift of nature; it is the result of the hard work of exceptional people combined with their passion and true belief in innovation.”
The 2023 Loro Piana World Record Bale Award was bestowed upon Pyrenees Park, led by Pamela, Robert, and Bradley Sandlant, for their remarkable achievement in producing 10.2 microns fiber. Similarly, Barrie and Yvonne Payne of Visuela Farm in New Zealand were honored for their 10.7 microns wool bale. These exceptional results underscore the breeders’ dedication to producing finer, better-performing wool.
Stored in a glass container at the Loro Piana Quarona factory in Piedmont, the World Record Bale is a symbol of excellence. The fabrics crafted from these exceptional fibers are reserved for a select group of discerning connoisseurs, each piece distinguished with a special label documenting its traceability and micron count.