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Quality Merino Wool from Provence Tricote Moi un Mouton

Merino Wool in Provence

Tricote Moi Un Mouton is a producer of premium merino wool in the Luberon. Located near Apt in the Luberon Valley, Emilien et Emilie Bonnet raise a herd of some 500 sheep. Their farming operation includes a breed called the mérinos d’Arles chosen for their high-quality wool and tender meat. Emilien Bonnet began the farming operation in 2005. He quickly settled on the mérinos d’Arles as these sturdy animals adapt quickly to their natural environment and extensive breeding.

Breeders Quality Merino Wool Provence

Breeding Sheep

Originating from southwestern France, the mérino d’Arles is an ancient breed of sheep from the 18th century. At the request of Louis XVI, a group of prized Spanish merino rams were exported to France and crossed with a local sheep variety from the Camargue. The National Bergerie in Ramboulliet managed the original reproduction program in 1786. In 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte established the Bergerie Impériale d’Arles. This sheep variety has further evolved through research and breeding programs. Well-suited to the pastoral conditions and the seasonal temperatures in Provence, the mérino d’Arles population is roughly 150,000 animals down from a high of 300,000.

Merino d'Arles Quality Merino Wool Provence

Relatively small in size the ewes are 50-55 kg and the rams roughly 80-85 kg. Covered entirely in a fine, wavy white wool, and it is possible to gather 5 kg of wool from a sheared male. The mérino d’Arles as initially bred to produce yarn, but today with synthetic textiles the woollen market is weak. Farmers in Provence primarily raise the lambs for their meat, with wool providing an incremental income stream.

Raising Quality Merino Wool Provence

 

Merino wool production at Tricote Moi Un Mouton begins in the spring with sheep shearing. Animals 18 months and older are sheared, before this age, the lamb’s wool is soft but too short. When shearing and sorting wool, one of the selection criteria is the wick length, it must be at least six (6) centimetres long.

The wool is washed, combed and spun in Biella, Italy. Then the Filature Fonty, a manufacturer in the Creuse in central France, twists the fine merino thread into skeins, dyes the wool and creates the balls for knitters.

Quality Merino Wool Provence Kit

Buy Merino Wool from Provence

Online: Tricote Moi Un Mouton kits (include wool, pattern and needles) or individual woollen balls are available for sale on the website.

Quality Merino Wool Provence Kit

Quality Merino Wool Provence

In person (make an appointment):
Emilien et Emilie Bonnet
Les Cabanes
84220 Lioux
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 74 03 99

Transhumance Breeders Quality Merino Wool Provence

For more information on their animal husbandry click here.

Image credits: All photos provided by and published with the permission of Emilien et Emilie Bonnet

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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