June Cashmere At String Yarns
As proud purveyors of all things cashmere, String Yarns was so pleased to recently announce we would be distributing June Cashmere yarns. Not only do we adore beautiful, luxurious, all-natural fibers, but we also love fibers with a good story. The June Cashmere brand supports several different local industries, including that of Kyrgyz farmers, who have been producing gorgeous, high-quality cashmere for generations. We take pride in both their product and in the ways in which their product moves from sheep-to-shearer and mill-to-maker.
Our fearless leader, Stacy Charles, was responsible for this brand new relationship. He met Sy Belohlavek, a frequent traveler to and worker in June Cashmere’s home of Kyrgyzstan, almost a year ago. Sy presented his concept for June Cashmere to Stacy, who admired “his dedication to his work and his desire to help the villagers of Kyrgyzstan.”
Stacy said, “This is an incredible story of Sy’s commitment and passion to help local farmers in Kyrgyzstan become self-sufficient and bring cashmere from farm to market.”
The story of June Cashmere is fascinating. All of June Cashmere’s 100% cashmere fibers (btw, June is the Kyrgyz word for animal fiber) are gathered from Kyrgyz farmers who live in Central Asia along the Silk Road. (Fun fact: The Silk Road was a major cultural trade route during the Han Dynasty, used for transporting silks, philosophies, new technologies, and other goods and products.)
A farmer in Kyrgyzstan
The small enclave of Kyrgyz family farms in Kyrgyzstan depends on june to sustain their way of life. The cashmere of Kyrgyzstan is incredibly soft—a result of the region’s exceptionally cold climate. An interest in bringing Kyrgyzstan’s special, 100% cashmere to the states propelled Sy to learn the language and forge relationships with the farmers, for whom he developed training programs so that they might learn how to properly collect the best cashmere fibers. The Kyrgyz farmers actually individually hand-comb from each goat, ensuring only the best cashmere is gathered.
Photos of the process from the June Cashmere website
This close, personal relationship with the farmers ensures they are fairly compensated for their work, thus enabling their rich june relationship to continue into the future. June Cashmere is a true investment in not only sustaining an eco-friendly cashmere industry, but also in a community with a deep and storied history. Through June Cashmere, Kyrgyzstan farmers now have access to the international market.
From Kyrgyzstan the cashmere fiber is then shipped to Europe, where it is cleaned and spun. It is then organically dyed using sustainable, eco-friendly processes at the Saco River Dyehouse in Maine.
String Yarns is incredibly proud to carry both June Cashmere Laceweight and June Cashmere DK. A quick glance at the color offerings is all the siren song you need. The hues are rich, unique, and highly covetous.
June Cashmere Laceweight
On Thursday, January 12, 2017—right before VKLive!—String Yarns will host "String After Dark," an event running from 6-8:30pm. Guests include Sy from June Cashmere as well as Julie Conroy from HANIA by Anya Cole. Get ready for some nibbles, drinks, fun kits, exclusive looks at June Cashmere, and more. Lots of surprises are in store!
Are you knitting with cashmere this season? Have you knit with June Cashmere? Let us know in the comments below!
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