The fur of the Namibian Karakul sheep is known as Swakara, an
abbreviation for South West African Karakul. Karakul sheep have
been bred in Namibia since 1907, when the first sheep were imported
from Central Asia.
In a country where the stony desert and sandy soil limit
agricultural activities, Karakul breeding is an important source of
income. Karakul breeding in Namibia accounts for annual export
earnings of 4.5 to 5.5 million Euros. The industry employs close to
20,000 people in the primary and satellite industries. Given
Namibia's social structure, most people working in the industry are
families whose sole source of income is Karakul breeding.
In addition to contributing to the sustainability of the
Namibian society, the sheep help increase and maintain the
vegetation in the barren desert which covers 80 percent of the
country. As they stomp on the grass while grazing for food, they
actually plant the grass seeds further into the ground. Grass seeds
which the wind would otherwise carry away.
Swakara has earned its rightful place as a favourite amongst
designers and fashion houses for its exclusive appeal, lustrous
sheen and truly distinctive pattern of compact curves and swirls.
While the natural colours of Karakul sheep consist of black, grey,
white and brown, you will find over 200 different tone variations.
Even one grey coloured Karakul features over five natural
Through a partnership with Kopenhagen Fur and the International
Fur Trade Federation (IFTF), Namibian sheep breeders and the
Namibian government cooperated with the European Union to formulate
and regulate a Code of Practice ensuring the welfare of the Karakul
sheep. This work resulted in a Code of Practice which not only
complies with European legislation and recommendations but also
recommendations from the US, Canada and New Zealand. Meaning proud
owners of Swakara fur garments can be assured of a quality
eco-product produced in line with international
Swakara is sold exclusively through Kopenhagen Fur.