Side profile of model wearing The Merino Balaclava in brick red.
Side profile of model wearing The Merino Balaclava in brick red.


To create a circular product is to understand it's provenance. Collaboration and transparency are key, without it we would not exist. We embrace no cover up's providing you the ability to make a conscious decision.

The Balaclava or The 'Clava

KNITWEAR LAB has been involved with UNBORN ever since we got introduced to the world through our successful crowdfunding campaign in 2020. As part of our first collaboration with the KNITWEAR LAB we are sharing a detaild overview of the journey from sheep to balaclava.

Our collaboration is a statement against the knitting industry’s opaque supply chains, harmful magic potions and linear material blends that enable brands to cut corners and save costs in order to manufacture softness and cheat their way into durability.

UNBORN and KNITWEAR LAB share their ambition to fix the design flaw of the textile industry by reshaping the way garments are designed and believe you have the right to know where our products come from, what the impact is and what the ingredients are for making our garments.

Merino Wool From The Congi Station

Close up of Merino Fibres.

Healthy Merino Wool Fibres

The wool fibers that are at the core of our knitwear come from the Congi station in Walcha, NSW, Australia. Now in their fourth generation, the Field family produces exceptionally high-quality wool using modern technology and sustainable, certified herd management processes. The use of non-toxic spray guarantees animal health and safeguards the environment.

Merino ram in meadow at the Congi station

Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)

At the Congi Station they understand that fiber quality is a result from the way sheep and land is managed. That is why they have adopted the RWS standard so their flock can enjoy the five freedoms which guarantee the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on.

Three persons in a shed, shearing a Merino sheep at the Congi station
Women shearing a Merino sheep at the Congi station
Man throwing a Merino fleece on a sorting table
Man throwing a Merino fleece on a sorting table

Wool Combing in Romagnano Sesia, Italy

Opened Bales filled with Merino wool fleeces resting at Romagnano sesia

The opening of bales before being loaded into the openers for transport to the pre loading zones of washing

Wool resting before scouring in the warehouse of Romagnanosesia

In the winter the pre loading zones get heated as to soften the wool for better processing during washing.

Merino wool combed tops

After washing, carding and multiple combing stages the wool is processed into tops for dyeing or spinning.

Dying & Spinning facility, Valle Mosso, Italy

Undyed Merino wool tops at dying facility in Valle Mosso
Inspection of combed Merino wool tops at spinning facility in Tarcento
Production line of Merino wool coning machines at facility in Valle Mosso
Undyed Merino wool tops at dying facility in Valle Mosso

The wool tops of the Arkaba are dyed with cradle to cradle dyestuff in kettles that can hold up to 6kg of wool.

Drying chamber for Merino yarn at spinning facility in Tarcento

After washing the wool is dried in temperature chambres before it is spun into yarn at the same facility. Only our Slowool yarn is transported to Tarcento where it is processed at the Cascami Seta Facility.


Close up of Arkaba Merino yarn at Knitwearlab

Cradle to Cradle Certified™ 2/30 Nm Arakba yarns. Made from superfine, long staple Merino fibre

Stoll knitting machine at Knitwearlab

Stoll ADF 16 BW flat-bed knitting machine to create the complex 3D shape of the balaclava

Stoll knitting yarn feeders at Knitwearlab

two threads in different shades of Merino wool are used to creates a nice contrast.

two Stoll ADF knitting machines at Knitwearlab

The stoll Machine park at the Knitwearlab ranging between 3 Gauge for coarse knits and 18 gaugs for the extra fine knit. The balaclava is knit on a 14 gauge.

The knitwear engineers from Knitwearlab

The talent behind the balaclava. Modern day knitting requires mathematical insight, machine handling skills, creativity and a design-driven mentality.

The top part is a combination of tuck and jacquard stitch giving this piece its technical look on the outside and a clean sophisticated look on the inside.

Close up of The Merino Balaclava knit fabric

The lower half is made from a rib knit for a snug fit around the neck.

Close up of The Merino Balaclava knit fabric

Half cardigan for a clean drape on the shoulders eliminating any need for a scarf.

Jacquard Merino Sweater 1.0 Flat
Jacquard Merino Sweater 1.0 Flat

View the knitwear collection