Merino sheep developed in Spain and were highly prized for their fine wool. In 1797, the first merino sheep, derived from the famed royal merino flocks of Spain, were introduced into Australia. Although these sheep had already evolved a fine fibre, further selective breeding by Australian farmers soon produced the authentic Australian merino with its even finer wool. Australian merino sheep have played, and continue to play, a major role in international fashion. Being highly resilient, wool had predominantly been used in utilitarian garments, particularly military uniforms and work wear. But wool's big fashion break came in the decade following the first world war when Coco Chanel reinvented the fashion rules and produced a dress from fine wool jersey. Since then, wool has always been used in fashion. Over the years, classic and much-loved looks have benefitted from merino wool's qualities. Today, fashion designers and woolgrowers across the world continue to work alongside the best textile manufacturers to produce quality merino wool apparel and connect consumers with its natural benefits.