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The Process of Collecting Cashmere Fiber

It is hard to believe that we are starting on our fifth cashmere collection season. The years are really beginning to blur together! I moved to Kyrgyzstan in late 2010 with my family and after a period of language learning, research, and social networking, we collected our first cashmere in the spring of 2013. At the time, people were shearing their goats and the fiber was being sold to middlemen, who in turn sold it to traders who sent it on to China. The price being paid to the shepherds was a flat rate based on weight, rather than quality. Our plan was to purchase combed fiber instead of sheared—this leaves the protective guard hair on the goat’s body while also...

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Behind The Scenes: One Kyrgyz Family

In 2013 when we first began collecting cashmere in Kyrgyzstan our Kyrgyz general manager Kanat and I worked to appoint a coordinator for each village in the regions where we were buying cashmere.  Jengish and his wife Uuzbu. As we entered one particular small village Kanat pulled the car over and called his mother to ask if they had any “relatives” in this village. In Kyrgyzstan the word “relative” is very wide reaching as it is a small country with close knit communities and layers of connections. Kanat’s mother replied that she needed to check. A few minutes later the phone rang, and news came that there was a relative in this village named Jengish and she went on to explain the...

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Back in Kyrgyzstan

Since coming back to Kyrgyzstan we have joked with our friends that we came here to rest...the two months leading up to our departure with travel and packing, while maintaining the business were some of the most full and logistically challenging that my wife and I have ever had to navigate. Thankfully the trip went fairly smoothly and our children cooperated quite well. It was such a relief to finally arrive to our house in Kyrgyzstan and know that we will be rooted here in one place for an extended period of time. It is almost a tradition that the first day back from the States there will be a water or electric problem in one's house...sure enough the very...

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Caring for Cashmere

We've been asked how best to care for hand knit and crochet items made with June Cashmere yarns, so today we'll be posting some of our tips and tricks to ensure your hand made pieces will last for years to come.  Frequency of Washing Your item should be washed and blocked to show off your garment after it's completed, and then should be washed and blocked again before storing during the summer months. In general, your cashmere items don't need to be washed multiple times per season. It's important that you properly clean your items before storing, as unseen food particles could attract moths in storage. If you've cleaned and blocked your pieces before storing, you should be able to...

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Back to Kyrgyzstan

After five years of predominantly living in Kyrgyzstan since 2010, our family spent all of 2016 in the States as we focused on launching the June Cashmere brand. We plan to return to Kyrgyzstan in late January and as the days tick by we are increasingly cognizant of the big transition ahead of us. It takes time to truly settle in to a new place, and that process entails bumps and bruises as well as joys and victories. We are at the point now where we feel 75% at home in both places…of course America is our home and that is where our family and roots are. But we have had enough time in Kyrgyzstan to develop strong relationships and...

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