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Article: The Merino Country Story

The Merino Country Story

From the Shearing Shed to Sewing Shed

“Adversity is the Mother of invention” and Merino Country was born in 1993 as a result of drought, low wool prices and the inability to find Australian wool products in the shops. As part of the family wool enterprise, Kerrie Richards, decided that it was time to throw her hat over the farm gate and give more value to the beautiful natural fibre the family put so much time into producing.

The government of the day was helping rural communities help themselves and initiated a program called Future Search. Out of this, a group of passionate wool growers based around Richmond, Winton & Julia Creek in North West Qld, formed the group Matilda Merino investigating new markets, value-add opportunities and the promotion of different wool products.

 A textile chemist in Melbourne mentored Kerrie and helped her navigate the complex world of processing Merino wool through to fabric. This expertise combined with her in-depth knowledge of the raw product saw the development of Merino Country’s renowned lightweight, easy-care, 100% Merino Jersey for everyday wear. Versatile, Sustainable, Ethical & Really, Really Comfy clothing… Naturally!

From Party Line to Online

Kerrie says, "In those days we didn’t have internet, mobile phones or social media… we were still on a party line with 5 other properties (farms) and when we got Radio Digital Satellite towers it really changed things… we got a fax machine!"

In the early years we did all the local Field Days and Agricultural shows which eventually led to bigger things including coordinating the Qld Festival of Wool, Wool Parades at Brisbane & Melbourne Royal Shows and opening a Wool Shop in Paddington Brisbane – hence the saying “From Paddock to Paddington”!

From Single Items to Bulk Deliveries

Kerrie met her husband, Malcolm Pain, who also has a farming background, at the Brisbane Royal Show, and he now runs the production side of the business and manages all the machinery.

Together they have created a balanced business model selling direct to retail customers through our website, wholesale to other shops, complimented by government contracts supplying Merino thermals to the Victoria Police, the Department of Defence, Border Control and the Australian Antarctic Division and manufacturing niche products for other local companies.

In 2003 we won our first government contract supplying Merino Thermals to the Victoria Police and in 2009 we expanded again after winning a contract with the Australian Defence Force. We have supplied nearly 250,000 Australian Made Merino thermals in Government contacts and around 350,000 garments direct to our wonderful customers around the world… not bad for a small business that started on a sheep & cattle station in outback Queensland - 1800km from a major city!

Merino Products for Defence. Land Forces Conference, Brisbane, 2014

Sustainable, Ethical & Really, Really Comfy... Naturally!

We work with Australian woolgrowers, processors and manufacturers and are a licensed user of the Australian Made trademark & Ethical Clothing with all fabric processed in Australia and garments manufactured in Queensland, supporting local jobs, industry & families.

Our Merino range, ideal for wear all year round, includes active & travel wear, thermals, kids gear, and the famous WUNDIES. Comfortable, durable, totally machine washable, and ideal for work, travel and play in hot and cold climates, there’s something for everyone!

From the Café Scene to breathtaking scenes, the bedroom to the boardroom, the Ski Slopes to the shearing sheds, our 100% Australian Merino products will take you anywhere in comfort and style... Naturally!

 Read Our Story here or go straight to our Timeline 

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