Jema's Ultrafine Saxon Merinos operation was established in 1988, however the controlled environment which the sheep now enjoy eventuated two years after Phyllis and Ian "retired" in 1993, and they have been consistently busy ever since. They built their initial shed with Phyllis driving all of 8700 nails in the slatted floor.

Introducing sheep to a controlled environment was established in 1996. Jema then launched a determined search to find a source of sheep of sufficient quality and in sufficient quantity to make the venture worthwhile.

After four years, of continual searching, Keith Jackson, of "Jackson's of Geelong", managed to find sufficient sheep of the quality Jema were determined to have. That is how Jema came to select wethers for their operation from the skilful Western District sheep breeders, David and Sue Rowbottom, of Rowensville stud, who have spent their lives developing bloodlines which have resulted in Ultrafine Saxon Merinos that produce extremely high quality wool.

The result of this drive for quality was that in 1997, Jema produced its own 1PP bale, which was purchased by Filatura Fontinella, Italy.

The next phase in the history of the establishment of Jemala garments took place after the first sale of Jema's shedded clip. A meeting with Silvio Botto Poala from Biella changed their focus. Silvio questioned the wisdom of twisting all this fibre into a form suitable for weaving. Why not enhance its softness by twisting it less tightly and knitting super soft garments. After all, the fibres were finer and potentially softer than cashmere. The only problem was finding someone who would handle the small quantities that Jema had to process.

Jema was fortunate to have assistance from Australia's renowned Textile and Fibre Technology division of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) who were eager for the chance to work with such a fine product.

CSIRO's Textile and Fibre Technology division not only scoured the wool, but took it through the processes of top making, sliver making, spinning and dyeing, treating the fibre with the special care that such a rare product deserves. The Gills learned from the team at CSIRO, viewing the various processes and questioning each step, to gain an intensive insight and knowledge base into the total wool process. The yarn from this process ended up at AB knitwear where it was knitted into a length of cloth. There it was shown to fashion designer, Angela Padula, by Adrian Bressan of AB Knitwear who immediately saw its potential and produced a gown, cut on the cross, that received the Runner-Up in the Cocktails Section in 1999 Australian Gown of the Year.

It was then that the Gills decided that they had the knowledge and potential to produce unique ultrafine garments from Jema fibre. So Jemala was established as the processing and marketing branch of Jema.

In 2000, a Jema fleece was selected for the official Woolmark display at the 27th Olympiad in Sydney This same year, Loro Piana of Italy purchased 13.2-micron bale - then the finest bale sold in Australia. This was the start of a relationship with Loro Piana that was to last for some years.

In 2001 Loro Piana purchased a 13.0-micron bale from Jema, again, the finest bale sold in Australia. In 2002, Loro Piana purchased Jema's 12.9-micron bale. This was an equal WORLD RECORD bale, the finest wool ever produced. And in 2003, Loro Piana purchased Jema's 12.5-micron bale.

While Jema has traditionally sold its top bale to be made into the best suiting cloth, it has also produced many more extremely fine bales. For instance, in 2002, Jema also produced four bales under 13.8-micron. In 2003 another 2 bales less than 13.5 micron, and in 2004, 3 bales under 13.4-micron were produced. It is this raw material that Jemala utilises to make its Jemala - The Golden Fibre top, yarn and finished garments. The initial processes of top making, dyeing and spinning are performed in Italy by some of the best in the business. Knitting has been performed in Australia, but is recently being performed in Italy as well.

Besides garments, Jemala also produces Jemala - The Golden Fibre yarn for clients, such as Kiton, who has recently reordered Jemala yarn for use in their knitwear. Jemala yarn was also used in knitwear in ISPO Fair in Munich in 2006.

Jemala works closely with designers such as Judy Bond, who has won the Australian Wool Fashion Awards on several occasions with a Jemala creation. More recently, at the World Boutique in Hong Kong, Jemala scarves and shawls by Kay Faulkner, a Master Weaver from Queensland, were on display and created a much interest. These were also featured in the AWI display at Spin-expo in Shanghai in 2005. Natalie Begg, who has featured in Vogue magazine, is also working closely with Jemala, using her special talents with colour on lengths of Jemala - The Golden Fibre cloth.

Jemala has had its share of media exposure too. Cigar Aficionado (Oct 2004 p.153) looked at Jemala in an article "Fantastic Fabrics", written by Jack Bettridge. Jemala also featured in The Robb Report (Nov 2004, p.327), in an article called "Spinning Gold", by William Kissel.