Sport Weight Cashgora by Cashmere People

in stock

$48.00

Sport Weight Cashgora by Cashmere People

$48.00

The cashgora fiber is harvested from goats produced by villagers in the Pamir Mountains of Eastern Tajikistan. Cashgora goats were developed by crossbreeding Russian fiber goats and local cashmere-type goats. They produce a slightly coarser and longer fiber compared to cashmere (approximately 17-21 micron). Cashgora is a renewable resource – it protects the goat during winter but is no longer needed in the spring. Women comb their goats in April and sell the fiber. The average yield is approximately 400 grams or 14 ounces of combed fiber per goat. (For comparison, an average Merino sheep produces around 4-5 kg of wool). Prior to this project, all cashgora fiber produced in the Tajik Pamirs was sold to China. Now a portion of it is purchased by the spinning groups for better prices, benefiting the local producers. The fiber is then sent for dehairing to Herat, Afghanistan. During the dehairing process, the coarse guard hair is separated from the fine down. Clean cashgora comes out of the dehairing machine as a featherweight cloud. It is shipped back to Tajikistan and spun into luxurious yarn by local spinners. They also dye the yarn using American-made dyes and ship it to PortFiber in the United States.

356 yards/316 meters, 3.52 ounces/100 grams.

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About this collaboration

The Tajik and Afghan spinners were supported by a 4-year development project funded by IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) and managed by AKF (Aga Khan Foundation). The objective was to create earning opportunities for rural women in remote areas of Tajikistan and Afghanistan by helping them process local fibers into high quality yarns and linking them to the global marketplace. The project was successfully completed in spring 2017 and the spinners now collaborate with Portfiber (portfiber.com) on marketing their yarn.

The spinners and PortFiber guarantee that this product is the best handspun yarn on the market, produced in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable way by fairly paid artisans who are fully in charge of their business. They share the belief that strong personal ties between producers, buyers and customers make a better product and promote an ethical, not-just-for-profit business that empowers women and links spinners and knitters from different places and cultures.

The spinners live in some of the most isolated, traditional communities in the world. They want to learn about the women who knit with their yarn. Perhaps you will also be curious about the woman who spun your yarn. Please check out her bio. The chances are she had to confront poverty as well as constraints of traditional, patriarchal culture. Your purchase will make her life just a little easier and having her own money will make her just a little more powerful. Her yarn will allow you to knit a unique, luxurious product.  Thank you for making this happen.

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