24 Dec 2012

NZ deer fibre product being used offshore

7:54 am on 24 December 2012

Luxury socks made from New Zealand deer fibre, and carrying a price tag of $1600 per pair, are proving popular with wealthy customers.

The socks are made from Cervelt - the rare, ultra high-quality fibre from the soft layer of underdown of the New Zealand red deer.

Harrys of London, an upmarket menswear store, is selling a limited edition of 100 pairs.

Douglas Creek, which developed and markets Cervelt, says the socks are the latest luxury product to be made from the fibre.

Managing director Bert McGhee of Tauranga said it has taken 12 years to develop the machinery and take Cervelt to the market. Italy is the initial target.

Now a textile developed from it is used for scarves and jackets by a number of leading companies, including Hermes and Armani.

Mr McGhee said Douglas Creek has invested millions of dollars and is yet to make a profit.

But the company is now taking orders from around the world for the fibre, which sells for more than $1000 per kg.

He said his vision is to now take Cervelt to the United States and China. He is currently in talks with a company to make yarn, but the dream is to eventually have garments made in New Zealand.