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Brand Partner Profile: Südwolle Group

One of the huge benefits of sourcing through The New Zealand Merino Company is our ability to support the alignment of value chains across all microns and fabric types through deep relations with key partners. It is exciting to work with innovative partners like Südwolle Group who sit within our global supply chain network. Südwolle Group produce exceptional dyed and natural worsted yarns in 100% wool and wool blends.

Founded in 1966, they continue to be a family owned business with their head office in Schwaig, Germany, however they have expanded to be a truly global company, with 11 warehouses in 8 countries (Bulgaria, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, USA & Vietnam) and 13 sales offices in 11 countries (China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, UK, USA & Vietnam).

When Südwolle started over 50 years ago, they were a spinner for pure wool and only white weaving yarns. Their first production was in1972, which was a massive milestone for current CEO Klaus Steger’s father and uncle. From here they grew in producing pure wool yarns for weaving. However, with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, they were opened up to a huge amount of competition from eastern Europe.

At the time Klaus and his cousin were the youngest employees in the company, so they lead the expansion heading out to eastern Europe and quickly developed a company in East Germany and then later in Poland. There this was only the beginning of Klaus’s expansion and innovation setting up production in China, Romania and Bulgaria.

Transparency is an incredibly important part of ZQ and ZQRX Merino, working with trusted partners like Südwolle Group allows us to reassure end brands through transparent production processes that meet the highest ecological and ethical standards. Südwolle Group uses ZQ and ZQRX in all of their product segments; weaving, flat knitting, circular knitting and hosiery.

Südwolle Group is involved throughout the supply chain and owns a merino farm in Australia; Mount Hesse. Mount Hesse (pictured below) is an 8,000 acre merino sheep station located in south-eastern Australia, in the state of Victoria. Mount Hesse has been a part of Südwolle Group since 2002, it is ZQ certified and an early adopter of the ZQRX program. Mount Hesse is a family-operated farm, this year the Kininmonth family is celebrating 140 years on farm.

David Kininmonth has been farm manager for 30 years and sees himself as a custodian of the land and believes in the importance of working and empowering his team to leave the environment and business in a better place than he found it. Since July 2022 Edward Brand has taken over the role of farm manager from David.

Being involved from fleece to finished products provides a unique perspective of the entire production chain, resulting in the highest levels of quality yarn. Südwolle Group is extremely customer focused and has developed a supply chain with customers who are willing to invest in this ethos. This ensures that they develop the right yarn for the right purpose.

They are passionate about innovation and have founded a new department called “Südwebs” whose focus is to enhance collaboration, to develop new ideas, technologies and products to ensure specific needs of customers are met. Within the Südwebs Innovation Hub interesting collaborations and projects are being shared with the world.

Wool is the world’s most technical fibre and we at the New Zealand Merino Company believe there’s no end to what wool can do! It is an absolute pleasure to work with our growers and supply chain partners to bring the world best and most ethical fibre to the world’s leading brands.


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