Kyrgyzstan

Taewit wool

Precious wool from the Heavenly Mountains

Taewit wool comes from the Kyrgyzstan goat, which lives at an altitude of 3,500 metres in the pastures of the Heavenly Mountains. It produces one of the world’s most precious fibres. This incomparable fibre is as fine as the most beautiful cashmeres, as soft as pashmina, and as smooth as silk.

Here in the alpine pastures of Song Kul lake, at an altitude of 3,200 metres, the most beautiful cashmere goats are raised. While the backdrop is picture-postcard perfect, the climate conditions can be extreme. The pastures see the worst of all weathers – storms, hailstorms, torrential rain and blizzards – and as is always the case, these extreme climate conditions to which the goats must adapt produce the very best down.

The taewit wool harvest is the product of long months of cold, snow and ice: a harvest of immaculate down, a true gem which is hidden each spring under the thick hair of the Kyrgyz goats.

After the fall of the Soviet regime, many Kyrgyz families left to fend for themselves became involved in farming for wool production. The return to traditional farming techniques created a strong bond between the nomads and their animals, which are still treated with the utmost care.

Mokeshof keeps constant watch over his flock with his old binoculars, doubtless one of his most prized possessions. Most Kyrgyz nomads have adopted modern clothes imported from China, but have continued to wear the felt hat that is characteristic of their culture.

In the mountain pastures of the Heavenly Mountains, Dominic Dormeuil carefully examines the unique fibre of Kyrgyz goats.

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