Possum yarn

This page is devoted to information about possum fur yarn and the New Zealand yarn brands that produce possum knitting yarn.

If you are a New Zealander, or have visited New Zealand, you will already know that possums are a major ecological disaster for native New Zealand flora and fauna. Introduced into New Zealand from Australia in the late 1800’s, the brush-tailed possum soon became a pest of major proportions due to the fact that this animal has no natural predators in New Zealand.  More facts about possums are set out here and here.  A few more posts about possum:

Possums beware!

Possum bites

Pesky possum problem

Zealandia day

I have written, or am in the process of writing, a number of reviews covering possum fur yarns from The Wool Company, Zealana, Touch Yarns, Supreme Possum Merino, Mohair Craft and Naturally.

The reviews I have written are set out below:

Possum tales:  A beginning

Possum tales:  The Tui flies

Possum tales:  Kiwi and the trees

Possum tales:  A sense of Touch

Possum tales:  A Supreme fur

Light as air?

My free patterns using possum fur yarn are:

Pretty cabled fingerless gloves

The cafe hat

Evelyn – a simple eyelet lace cowl

Steampunk mittens

I’ll be adding more information here as times goes on.

26 thoughts on “Possum yarn

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  1. Thank you very much, you taught me a lot about possums ! Possum wool is not my favourite indeed. I find it’s not as smooth as lamb/alpaca/merino and other threads. However maybe I’ve just not been lucky with the yarn I bought.

    1. You’re welcome! You are right in that some possum yarns are not as soft as they ought to be. I find the yarns I have highlighted in my blog are consistently soft and good quality though. The yarn also does soften and bloom once washed.

  2. By the way I’m actually looking for kiwi wool manufacturers (my preference goes to crafted/and dyed threads) to sell through my website and export (that’s how I found your blog), so if you ever know somebody or a small producer who would be interested in selling to me, please let me know 🙂 Thanks !!

  3. I absolutely love your review of possum yarns. I am in the U.S. and my boyfriend has requested I crochet him something using possum yarn (his brother lives in NZ and sent their sister a scarf) and I had been struggling to find different kinds available online until I found this website. I had previously been considering Supreme 8 and 12ply for making a hat and sweater due to the significantly lower cost and thickness (worsted/aran weight), but your reviews suggests that The Wool Co. makes the best yarn. Would you mind giving me some advice about this?


    1. Just realized the Wool Co. yarn is double the weight per ball, so ignore the comment about lower cost… but would still love advice about which is the best!

      1. I’m glad you found my reviews helpful. In answer to your question, I’ll make a few observations:

        1. Supreme and The Wool Co. possum are the same quality. They’re both lovely. They do feel different – Supreme is a lot softer and loftier as it has a higher possum content. The Wool Co. is also soft, just not quite so cuddly, I should say. There’s a bit more ‘substance’ (wool) in the yarn. If you’re looking to do something with cables or stitch definition, I’d say the Wool Co. as you’ll get a nicer result, but if it’s all ribbing or stocking stitch, then either is fine.

        2. The Wool Co. easily knits to 20 sts using 4.5mm needles. I’ve been able to translate it into some light worsted patterns with no difficulty.

        3. Each company does different colours – you may find you end up choosing based on which colour you prefer! (As long as the weight checks out I suppose. ;-))

        Hope that helps.

  4. Good morning,
    You may just be the person to answer my question. A few years back (maybe 10) I got some yarn that I believe was 100% possum fur. It was rather rough as I worked with it, but once it was washed….it is divine! Today, as I look for possum yarn, it is all blended. Is 100% possum available? Was it ever? I want to duplicate the feel of the hats that I made years ago.
    Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you, Ann

    1. Hi Ann

      The commercial spinners I have spoken to say that the highest concentration of possum you can get is 40% before the yarn becomes too weak to work with. Apparently, the fibres are too short to spin into a yarn strong enough. I think I know the yarn you refer to because I got some too – it didn’t seem at all like the possum garments I bought. I was told that once I washed it, it would fluff up nicely, and it did. That yarn was 30% possum I think. Was your yarn commercially spun or handspin? Someone might have tried hand spinning 100% possum. I suspect that if you knew what you were doing, you probably can handspin it as 100% possum as it can’t be that different to angora (not that I’ve tried). At $150 per kg, I suspect there’s a commercial decision why it’s not spun 100% too!

      In summary, I confirm you can’t buy commmercial 100% possum yarn. The yarns spun these days are pretty soft and luxurious though… have you tried Supreme’s 8 ply? It’s very, very soft and I think probably the closest to what you are looking for.

  5. Hi,
    What wonderful site. I have been trying to find 100% possum yarn, the information you have provided is excellent. I have knitted a cardigan and scarf using the “Supreme Possum Merino” . I was hoping to find a yarn with a greater possum content. Now I realise why it is so difficult. I was told by a weaver in Nelson that the higher % possum yarn is not available in NZ but is being made in China!! I’m not so sure now of the validity of this.
    Anyway – the garments I knitted with the Supreme yarn are fabulous, very soft and cosy, though I didn’t find them quite the same quality as my commercially bought possum cardigan. I was under the impression my bought garment was 100% possum, it certainly was the warmest (though most light weight) garment I have worn. – Unfortunately I have lost this cardigan!

  6. I recently bought a skein of zealana Rimu. It was a bit pricey (I live in California), so I bought only one as I had never knit with knit. I am thinking about knitting it into a hat. It feels lovely.

    1. Yay!! Wait ’til you give it a quick wash after you’ve knitted it – it will bloom beautifully and be even softer! A hat sounds like a great choice.

      1. I don’t think I have enough, so I’m thinking of a wide brim knit in garter stitch sideways, and then picking up and knitting the crown in black alpaca. Do you recommend a loose gauge to allow the blooming?

  7. I have just finished a Furlana sweater — 20 % Possum fur. I love the sweater, but HATE, HATE, HATE the shedding. I become a fur ball every time I wear it — and it has been washed!!!
    Do you have any way to stop the shedding? I am NOT willing to put it in the freezer for 24 hrs before every wearing!
    Any help would be most appreciated — otherwise this thing is gone!

    1. I am sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with possum yarn. As with all yarns, some are good, and some are not so good. As I am not sure which brand you used, I can’t comment, but it does sound like you got one where the possum fur was not incorporated properly into the yarn. That is sad to hear, and so disappointing for you. I did buy a skein like that once from another brand not featured on my blog and ended up throwing it away.

      In a good possum yarn, after a wash and a small amount of pilling the yarn usually settles into something that does not create problems. All I can suggest is to try washing it one more time, in a big tub of water to give the yarn plenty of water to release the excesss fur. And if the sweater still sheds after that, I suggest you approach the manufacturer/yarn store for a refund.

  8. Thanks for the response. I did give you the brand — it is FURLANA , and says Sherwood Exports, Ltd. on the label. My sister bought it years ago in Queensland from the Kiwi Gift Shop. I even e-mailed the shop with a query and got no answer.

    I have inquired on Ravelry about this yarn and all responses there seem to be that the possum yarn never stops shedding.

    I have washed the sweater and 3 times have brushed it really hard with a whisk brush, but it is still a problem. I was at a meetking last night and before I left I was picking up balls of possum yarn from the floor around my area.
    I was thinking I would give this sweater to my granddaughter, but I will not give her and her mom this awful problem.

    I’m glad you have had good experiences with the yarn, but I can’t imagine why yours has been so great and mine has been so awful.

    The yarn feels wonderful and is comfortable to wear. But the shedding problem is never ending, so I don’t know what the fate of this sweater will be.

    1. Hi Priscilla, my apologies for the belated response! I am not at all familiar with the Furlana brand. I suspect it was discontinued a long time ago. Such a shame that it is giving possum yarn a bad name! I suspect you will not be keen to give possum another go, but I highly recommend Zealana if you ever do. Good luck with the sweater’s fate.

  9. I inherited 10 balls of Furlana yarn ( quite old I think and labels were all turned inside out!!! ) So I’ve knitted an amazing jumper that will be so warm. As I was knitting and certainly when a section required undoing, the fluff went all over the place. I’m concerned when I wash it that the fluff might just remain in the sink!!!

    1. I am really sorry to say I have heard very bad things about Furlana. I hope that the shedding does not keep on. This brand is not a good one, and I believe it no longer exists. I do hope your sweater will continue to be beautiful and warm. Possum yarn is very good (especially yarn produced by Zealana).

      1. O.K., you’ve got my attention. If I ever decide to try possum blend yarn again, it will definitely be the Zealana.
        Thanks for hanging in there with us doubters. LOL
        By the way, this spring I have been wearing the sweater with my jeans or outdoor activities and it does seem to have calmed down somewhat. And I have to say it definitely is cozy and comfortable to wear.
        Thanks for all the hints

  10. I have just finished knitting an amazing Tarras Poncho in TOUCH Possum Silk Merino but sadly have had to take an antihistamine tablet every night I worked on it. The yarn sheds dreadfully. I wore the garment for the first time over the weekend and my black jeans and black thermal top ended up looking decidedly grey by the end of the morning, there was so much fine yarn shedding all over me. The poncho is absolutely divine though – so soft and drapes just beautifully and I have had many compliments already about it. I suspect there is no quick fix to the shedding problem but if anybody has any tips……………

  11. I’m going to be visiting NZ early next year. Starting in Auckland ( relatives live there) , but planning to travel north and south!
    Am looking for a good specialist yarn store, want to indulge myself with some possum
    and if there is something else unique to NZ?!?
    Where would you suggest I go shopping

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