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A knitting pattern is born: Millcreek-The classic cashmere sweater set.

A knitting pattern is born. Our newest collaboration with Tayler Harris is perfection. A sweater set offered in two knitting kits showcases our cashmere knitting yarn. Knit in June Cashmere's fingering weight cashmere, you will wear this timeless design for years to come, enjoying this soft and lightweight ethical wool.

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Part II: Kyrgyzstan and Cashmere: How did it lead to June Cashmere?

In our previous blog post, we introduced Dr. Carol Kerven and Sabyr Toigonbaev and their vital work with native cashmere goats in Kyrgyzstan. We continue our story of their work then and today, and how it led to the founding of June Cashmere. If you missed Part I or want a refresher, find it here: Part I: Kyrgyzstan and Cashmere: How did it lead to June Cashmere? Sabyr assessing quality of cashmere. Photo by Carol Kerven. Carol and Sabyr organize a conference In 2012, Carol and Sabyr organized an international conference on high value animal fiber that took place in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. One of the goals of the conference was to make people aware of the quality of cashmere available...

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Part I: Kyrgyzstan and Cashmere: How did it lead to June Cashmere?

Native cashmere goats on rocky terrain, Kyrgzyzstan.  Photo by Erjigit Abdykaarov Background For most of the 20th century, Kyrgyzstan was part of the Soviet Union, belonging to its textile-producing region. State farms managed livestock production, including specially bred wool sheep and fiber-producing goats, and the fiber was transferred to state-owned textile mills, which in turn shipped finished yarn and clothing to a very large Soviet market for sales. In 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Kyrgyzstan’s animal fiber and textile-producing infrastructure also collapsed. Kyrgyzstan became independent but, external markets were lost, textile mills were privatized and then closed when all the equipment was sold off, and newly-privatized livestock owners were left without a state-run outlet for fiber from their own...

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Knit together: Guilds.

I have a strong appreciation and admiration for textile guilds. Their members join to foster community and learning around textile crafts like weaving, spinning, and knitting, to name just a few. Their existence is important to the preservation of craft traditions, both through member workshops and community demonstrations, offering others an exposure to making. Guilds for skilled craftsmen began in Medieval Europe with the mission of working collectively toward skill standards, political clout, and control of competition. Some descriptions of early guilds asserted that to become a member, one had to submit completed textile projects for acceptance by the guild as evidence of skill in the textile craft. As a member of my local weaving and textile arts guild, I’ve...

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Cashmere and Caring for the land.

Southern Kyrgyzstan, photo: Erica Manning Historically, the vast majority of the world's cashmere has come from Mongolia and China. In recent decades, the rapidly increased production of this fiber has contributed to land overuse and land desertification in the region, the negative climate effects of which are felt even along the west coast of the United States. Native goats to Kyrgyzstan - referred to as 'jaidiri', meaning local goat; photo: June Cashmere Goats aren't innately bad to the land if managed properly; total animal numbers (including goats, sheep, cows, and any other animals being grazed) need to be kept in proportion to the size and topography of the area of land being grazed. Traditional grazing methods understood the importance of numbers in an animal...

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