Manawatu Knitting Mills

What we do

With over 135 years of knitwear experience, we have learnt a thing or two about using natural fibres to produce a large variety of high quality knitwear.

​Manawatu Knitting Mills specialises in the design and manufacture of knitwear using locally sourced fibres, including Possum Merino, New Zealand Wool and our exclusive fibres; Eco Blend’ and Superfine 17-micron Merino.

We produce two in-house brands, Native World and MKM Originals, which are distributed to retailers across all of New Zealand and the rest of the world.

All of our products are designed and manufactured at our headquarters in the Manawatu region of New Zealand. Our Head Office, factory, distribution warehouse all based on site.


The business was founded by John Stubbs in his home, and moved to the Main Street site in 1889. It was originally named Stubbs Hosiery Factory, then the Manawatu Hosiery Factory before it became the Manawatu Knitting Mills Ltd in 1932.

A constant drive for innovation and new ideas has seen Manawatu Knitting Mills survive the twists and turns of over 135 years, mirroring New Zealand’s coming of age from a colony to a nation.

While other manufactures have made the decision to move off shore, Manawatu Knitting Mills has always been determined to remain a New Zealand Business in every sense.

Adapting and changing with the market demands has been the driving force of the success of our business.

We are a family owned business with connections dating back over 30 years. We pride ourselves on our innovation, our support of local industry and fibre, and most importantly, our connection to the people who ensure the industry that we occupy continues to thrive – our customers.


Manawatu Knitting Mills are a future-focused, innovative knitwear manufacturer and we lead the industry with the use of state-of-the-art equipment and technology. The use of ‘Whole Garment Technology’ plus a highly skilled workforce with decades of industry experience means our products are produced to the highest quality.


Our products are 100% New Zealand made and the fibres we use are drawn from around our beautiful country. Because of this, Manawatu Knitting Mills is dedicated to the preservation of our country’s unique environment.

We strive to be business that has minimal negative impact on the global and local environment, who meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs

Our in-house brand ‘MKM Original’ addresses issues around sustainability in the fashion and textile industry by using our unique recycled yarn called ECO BLEND.

ECO BLEND is another MKM New Zealand first that builds on the environment – friendly and sustainable properties of our wool garments. Yarn manufacture produces fibre fluff ordinarily discarded. In our Eco Blend, we’ve collected and re-spun the fibres to create an entirely new yarn with exceptional properties. It’s an innovation that has turned production waste into a premium yarn combining the best characteristics of its component fibres.

POSSUM MERINO is a superior yarn combining New Zealand merino wool with possum fur. MKM was at the forefront of the development of this yarn in New Zealand after recognising the special attributes of the fur. Having a hollow fibre, possum fur is both lighter and warmer by weight than other natural fibres. Its silky feel is soft and easy to wear. The fibre withstands freezing temperatures and when blended with merino, is pill resistant Garments are light to wear and ideal for the outdoors.

WOOL is nature’s wonder fibre, tough, durable and long wearing. Wool is one of the most effective natural forms of all weather protection. It has naturally high UV resistance. With high water and nitrogen content, wool is also flame retardant. Its unique fibre structure allows wool to absorb and release moisture and in turn, to transfer or maintain heat. This breathability delivers year – round comfort – never too hot, never too cold. The fibre’s resilience ensures garments keep their easy care good looks for years.

Manawatu Knitting Mills are proud to support these New Zealand Organisations

Through our sponsorship and support, we are working towards the recovery and preservation of our endangered wildlife, to ensure they continue to thrive for generations to come.

Our Brands

MKM Originals

Just good quality knitwear, designed and made in New Zealand, by New Zealanders. As original as it gets.

Native World

A unique blend of possum fur, merino and silk to create a luxurious soft and exclusive fibre

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