Australis

Inspired by the mythical imaginary continent of Terra Australis, which was supposed to be formed by the unknown lands of the far South, we found the inspiration to create this new collection.

Merino wool from Australia and New Zealand processed in the south of Chile, blue linen yarns, and Alpaca wool from the Altiplano Andean Plateau of Chile are handwoven near the port of Valparaíso to create unique garments inspired by the Patagonian heritage and sheep ranches.

This collection is the first to move away from our traditional monochromatic colours, introducing earthy pastel hues reflecting the southern Chilean landscapes. Our colours are obtained mostly from natural dyes from native plants, combined with blue linen yarns and the natural shades of alpaca fleece, bringing to life our own interpretation of the Terra Australis.

Between 1880 and 1914 the vast plains of Patagonia Austral and Tierra del Fuego became one of the world’s great centres for the raising of sheep and the processing of their products. Vast estancias – sheep ranches – were established by individual settlers or by companies, the largest being “La Sociedad Explotadora del Tierra del Fuego”  which possessed vast tracts of land in Tierra del Fuego and on the mainland in both Chile and Argentina.

The sheep raised on the estancias were sent to one of the many processing plants – “frigorificos” – from San Julian and Rio Gallegos on the east coast of Argentine Patagonia round the Straits of Magellan and west to Puerto Bories, near Puerto Natales in Chile, where they were slaughtered and the meat, wool and other products exported.

Many Scots, some migrating from the Falklands and others directly from Scotland, were amongst the earliest shepherds, ranchers, managers and engineers in these processing plants, merchants and shopkeepers, and continued to play a prominent role in this great agro-industry up to and well beyond the first world war.

Thanks to Cerro Guido Lodge for the images.