This very special collection comes from Ladakh—a tiny Buddhist kingdom of India on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Ladakh is home to the pashmina goat and a truly inspiring group of women known as Lena Ladakh who are reclaiming the pashmina industry.
We've partnered with Lena Ladakh to source the finest pashmina directly from nomad herder cooperatives of the Changtang and then hand-spin their fiber using the traditional willow drop spindle. Lena Ladakh creates a sustainable and dignified livelihood for women who are keeping precious local textile traditions alive.
Each skein of this sublimely soft yarn is 100% hand-spun pashmina. It's warm, soft & highly precious. It takes the carefully shorn fiber of one pashmina goat to spin a single 100 gram skein, and one 50 gram skein takes an artisan one full day to hand-spin.
The warm colors of the collection are either the natural color of the pashmina goat or are skillfully hand-dyed using pure, all-natural botanical pigments. Click on our "Technical Stuff" section above for details on each color and background on its natural pigment.
At DK weight, this is our finest yarn to date and is sublime for apparel such as sweaters, socks and beanies—really anything that will bring this incredibly warm and soft premium fiber close to your skin.
• Fiber: 100% Changtang nomad family-raised pashmina fiber from Ladakh
Natural Dye Profile:
Meelam color: Mustard Flower
Natural pigment: Himalayan marigold (tagetes species); the marigold used in our dye pots is grown in the semi-arid hills of the Leh valley of Ladakh at an altitude of 3,500 meters / 11,400+ feet. They are ubiquitous in the landscape of nearly every temperate environment & flower from the summer months into fall. They create bright yellow, soft green, gold and chartreuse hues.
Meelam color: Indigo
Natural pigment: Indigo (indigofera tinctoria); prized as one of the oldest dyes, indigo is obtained through a non-toxic fermentation of indigo leaves. It grows all over the world but flourishes best in hot, sunny, humid areas. Indigo gives a wide range of blues—from pale, sky blue to deep navy.
Meelam color: Hibiscus
Natural pigment: Madder (rubia tinctorium); one of the most ancient dyes extending back to at least 2000 BC. It’s a perennial herb native to the eastern Mediterranean & Central Asia. Madder is an important source of ‘true’ red in plant dyeing and can create light peach to deep maroons.
Meelam colors: Carnation, Peony & Azalea
Natural pigment: Lac (laccifer lacca) is a natural dye that’s extracted from the resin of the scale insect laccifer lacca. Found throughout India, Southeast Asia, Nepal, Burma & China, it’s harvested both wild and cultivated. The female lac insects invade host trees (mainly fig & acacia) and secrete a resin that contains the red dye. Lac extract yields a range of reds from crimsons to burgundy reds to deep purples.
• Weight: Roughly 50 & 100 gram skeins
• Approximate yardage: 50 gram skein ~110-160 yards / 100 gram skein ~220 - 320 yards
• Suggested knitting needles: US Size 4-6
Due to the hand-spun and hand-dyed nature of this collection, each skein is unique. Please plan on purchasing enough yarn to complete your project to assure consistency.
• Suggested yardage: Visit our Pattern Library in the coming months for free project ideas and exact yardage guidelines.
Hand wash cold with mild fine wool soap. Press to release excess water, do not wring or twist. Lay flat to dry. May be dry cleaned.