Tajik Cashgora is simply gorgeous yarn with an interesting background.
In 2016, four women from Tajikistan arrived in the US to learn about the American yarn market at the Vogue Knitting Show in New York.
Oigul, Tuluikhon, Jonnamo and Shahlo (shown above with their project leader) are handpsinners that produce the wonderfully soft Cashgora yarn made from the Cashgora goats that they raise.
What is Cashgora?
Cashgora goats originate in the Tajik Pamir mountains in the Himalayas, one of the highest and most beautiful mountain ranges in the world with peaks reaching 24,000 feet.
By early November when the temperature falls below freezing, the goats have grown a soft down undercoat that will protect them from the harsh winter weather. The fiber is very similar to cashmere, just slightly longer and coarser which makes Cashgora more durable and less prone to pilling.
In early spring as the temperature rises, the goats begin to shed. Pamiri women comb the goats and sell the fibers. The fibers are dehaired in Afghanistan which is the third largest cashmere producer. The scoured and dehaired fiber is shipped back to Tajikistan where it is distributed to seven spinning groups. The spinners are rural women that are able to earn a living to help support their families and become more independent.
The women enjoy working together in the their workshops as it gives them a safe space to earn money, socialize and bond with their friends.
Spinning yarn for export is not only a source of income but also a source of pride and accomplishment for the spinners. Each spinner has a tag for her yarn that includes her name and photo. Each skein of Tajik Cashgora is tagged with the woman that spun the yarn.
There is a bio of each of the women on the the Cashmere People website.
The Cashgora yarn is dyed over the original silver/brown skeins and results in simply gorgeous, rich colors with a unique luster and shine.
The Tajik Cashgora yarn is distributed by Peace Fleece. 70% of the proceeds go back to the project which pays the women a fair wage.
We're absolutely thrilled to be carrying Tajik Cashgora! The deep jewel colors immediately catch your attention.
One touch and it becomes a must-have!
Photos courtesy of Cashmere People and Peace Fleece.