On the slopes of Temple Mountain, northeast of Spokane, Washington
Living in harmony with wildlife: cougar, bear, coyote, bobcat, elk, white tail deer, moose and our resident pair of nesting ravens - hence our name “Ravenwood.”
2008. Begin enterprise of producing quality cashmere goats, fiber, yarns, goat milk soaps and fine Italian Maremma Abruzzese Livestock Guardian Dogs.
2010. We begin focusing on promoting American Grown Cashmere and educating the public on the quality of yarn produced right here in America. We presently have 5 producers involved in this project, and welcome others committed to a high standard.
Besides managing our own herd, we purchase raw cashmere fiber from producers committed to biennial histogram analysis of their goats to monitor the quality of fiber production in their animals.
A long search for a designer we felt could showcase the fiber in the manner we wished, led us to well known knitwear designer, Jen Hagan. After working the yarn up, Jen was excited to work with us on patterns to help launch exposure to American produced cashmere. Jen has completed designs on 4 beautiful patterns to showcase the fiber.
2011: After losing a mill that processes cashmere in 2010, and the setbacks that brought in processing, we are now very excited about launching the patterns and the prospects for 2011. A beautiful new harvest of the rare and divinely fine cashmere begins every February. The cycle begins anew and we are committed to the following"
OUR MISSION: TO PROVIDE YOU A CASHMERE YARN THAT IS EVERYTHING CASHMERE IS MEANT TO BE!
- Processed naturally with no harsh chemicals or bleaches that degrade the cashmere and hurt the environment. Harsh chemicals and bleaches are used by large commercial processors to eliminate dander and vegetative matter during washing/scouring of the fiber before dehairing, and to lighten fiber to accept dyes like pastels.This also helps create an even twist with no bits of foreign matter. However, there is a price for that scouring. The chemicals also strip away crimp that is a quality characteristic of cashmere, breaking the bonds that create crimp and straightening the cashmere. "Feels great, is still cashmere, but degrades the fiber and creates an inferior yarn. Crimp is the characteristic of higher quality, stronger fiber that helps fibers interlock, trapping air, creating insulation and producing a very light, yet warmer than wool yarn with great loft and handle. As producers, we do not feel that should be sacrificed. We want to provide you with the strongest, warmest, most natural yarn possible. Small irregularities may exist in our yarn but you get a high quality yarn.
- Never mixed with other fibers or wools stripped with chemicals to pass as cashmere. That has been a problem with some foreign cashmere product in the past.
- Does not include kid fleece that is the finest micron diameter the animal will ever produce. It has the weakest tensile strength and is prone to breakage and pilling. Just not strong enough for what we want in our cashmere yarns.
- Using only prime and first runs and not including shorter fiber called 'seconds' to bulk up our yarn. Seconds, along with weaker fibers like kid fleece, contribute to pilling, and the garment losing it's shape over time. The garment wears quicker. Seconds are used well in blends with other fibers or for felting, but do not belong in our 100% cashmere yarns.
- Raised sustainably with well cared for animals from producers devoted to their animals health and the health of the environment.
- Raised by producers that use objective analysis to measure their animals fiber and even go beyond the legal definition of cashmere. Our producers maintain that crimp raises the bar in quality and we are dedicated to retaining it in our product.
- Never mixed with foreign cashmere. All American produced!
- We are all trying very hard to provide a very high quality yarn that will create articles that, with proper care, will last you a lifetiime.
We also breed for all natural colors. White, in the industry, is in most demand because it is easier to dye. Foreign producers heavily cull out colored goats for that reason. If a goat is producing good fiber of color, we like to keep a natural choice. There is something intriguing about the all natural, earthy tones that may include taupe, creme, white or grey. Some reds even produce a rare, slightly 'apricot' tone. Presently, what we sell in yarns will be natural colors of white, taupe(brown), grey and creme, depending on the current year and herds contributing. Cashmere fiber accepts acid dyes very well and we may start introducing dyed yarns later. For now, we just love natural!!!
We are committed to producing a high quality cashmere yarn that is grown, processed, spun, designed and custom handknitted in America!
Sustainable, Natural products, Predator friendly, Locally grown
Loving every minute of it!
Contact us: Email: delia@ ravenwoodcashmereandsoaps.com
Ravenwood Cashmere and Soaps