LUNAN BAY FARM: THE FIRST HOMEGROWN SCOTTISH CASHMERE PRODUCER IN 30 YEARS
Rearing the UK’s largest herd of Cashmere Goats to produce genuine Scottish Cashmere, grown, harvested and processed in Scotland, and help secure the future of the breed.
Scotland is world renowned for its Cashmere production industry. However, the fibre has not been grown in this country for decades. The finest Cashmere is currently sourced from goats in China, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan, then processed in Scotland by our world class mills. Although there are moves for the Cashmere industry to became more sustainable, there are issues about the ethical and environmental impact of Cashmere production in these countries.
Learn more about the history of homegrown Scottish Cashmere HERE.
As guardians of the largest remaining farmed herd of Cashmere goats in the UK, we believe this unique natural fibre is gift from our goats and should be treated with the utmost respect. Every Spring, we ethically harvested our goats’ cashmere fibre, their winter undercoat, by hand combing, not shearing, to leave our goats with glossy new coats for the summer. Goats spend the summer months naturally casting their Cashmere undercoat, we are just giving them a helping help. Securing the future of this heritage breed is important to us. Once our Cashmere ladies retire from having kids, we let them live out their natural lives at Lunan Bay as a “Thank You” for their fibre, kids and company.
Although our Scottish Cashmere project is in its early days, and we are regularly tested our fibre for quality, looking at length, micron size and curvature profiles, and collaborating with Cashmere fibre experts. So far, our average micron size is 15uM, which is classified as a very high Grade B. Some of our herd are producing micron sizes of 14 which is indicative of the highest quality of Cashmere, Class A.
Our raw Scottish Cashmere is expertly processed in small batches at our artisan micro-mill, The Border Mill located in Duns in the Scottish Borders, who are delighted to be producing high quality Scottish Cashmere, grown and processed in Scotland for the first time in decades. The feedback from the fibre experts at Border Mill after processing our first batch of 100% Cashmere was that they were extremely pleased with results, and after some minor processing tweaks, they thought the resulting yarn, in their professional opinion, was gorgeous, very soft and had that distinctive Cashmere glean.
Cashmere goats only produce on average 150g of raw Cashmere annually. More than 50% of raw fibre is lost during the dehairing process, require to remove guard hairs from pure Cashmere fibre. Therefore, one goat will yield only 75g pure spinnable Cashmere per year.
As only 150g of raw Cashmere is collected annually from each of our goats, we mix our Scottish Cashmere with fleece from native Shetland sheep, another Scottish heritage breed with super-soft fibre characteristics to produce a natural fleece yarns with 5% (in stock), 10% (in stock low quantity) and 20% Cashmere (sold out).
By purchasing our Scottish Cashmere, you will not only enjoy knitting with an unique handmade yarn with Scottish provenance but you are helping to secure the future of this heritage breed of goat.
We also Limited Edition Lunan Bay Bunnet, handknitted by craft knitter, Auchmithie Designs using our first batch of Cashmere yarn and Cashmere Gloves (both now sold out).
Our Cashmere yarn and associated garments are available for worldwide mail order now here:
Read more about this in these articles in The Sunday Post, The Times and The Courier.