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Cathcart breeder wins Zegna Fine-Wool Competition
08
Mar '08
Cathcart fine-wool producer Bruce Dewing and his son Stuart from the farm Highlands in the Cathcart district walked away with top honours in the South African leg of the fourth Ermenegildo Zegna VA Challenge competition for the best fleece in the category 14 microns to 17,9 microns.

The announcement was made at a function held recently in Port Elizabeth. The runner-up was a fleece entered by Messrs Carlie and Jules van Aardt from Cookhouse, with Mr Donald Young from Kokstad placed third.

A total of 128 entries were received and competition was extremely stiff. The winning fleece, which measured 17 microns, scored 90,6 points out of 100, with the second placed fleece hot on its heels with 90,4 points. Mr Young's entry was awarded 89,8 points.

Points are awarded according to a sliding scale with fibre diameter (micron) accounting for 50 points, fleece weight and quality 15 points each, and strength and evenness 10 points each.

Ermenegildo Zegna is a well-known Italian manufacturer of high quality, fine-wool fabrics and men's wear and one of the largest users of ultra-fine Merino wool.

It currently employs over 5 000 people and has offices and retail outlets all over the world. It presents the competition biennially with the aim of encouraging growers to improve the quality of their wool.

The competition comprises two sections - the Vellus Aureum (VA) International Trophy for superfine fleeces (finer than 13,9 microns) and the VA Challenge for fleeces measuring from 14,0 to 17,9 microns. Only New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina are allowed to compete in the VA Challenge.

The winning fleece has already been dispatched to Australia where it will compete against the winning fleeces of New Zealand and Argentina.

The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Sydney, Australia, on 26 April this year. Zegna will fly the Dewings to Australia for the occasion.

South Africa's entry won the previous competition two years ago with New Zealand in second and Argentina in third place.

Cape Wools SA

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