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June Cashmere's Official Blog — yarn RSS



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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Springing with kids!

Spring. The time of renewal, hope, and . . . birth! Of kids!     We purchase cashmere fiber from shepherds in the Chong Alai region of southern Kyrgyzstan. In this high mountain region, goats give birth once a year – preferably in spring, when there is more food for grazing and time for the kids to grow before going to jailoo – the high mountain pastures where shepherds live in yurts and graze their animals until fall. If all goes well, birthing takes about an hour. If there are twins, the babies are small and birthing is easier. If the kids are large, the mother may have difficulty and shepherds may have to help the birthing process by pulling...

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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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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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