ULA+LIA: Mongolian Yak Down, Cashmere, and Camel Wool Yarn

Created by Jon Hetts

From herders to home, our yarns are made with exotic fibers from nomadic, free-range animals on the remote Mongolian plains. Enjoy our super soft cashmere, yak down, and camel wool yarns in a variety of colors and weights!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Fiber Delivery, Pics, and General Update!
11 months ago – Sat, Aug 04, 2018 at 01:33:17 AM

The Good

Super happy and relieved to announce that the fiber has been received and it's awesome! Couldn't be happier with the quality of everything, and I'm sure it's going to turn into beautiful yarn. Receiving the fiber was definitely the crux of the project, so I'm really confident everything will still be out and ready for delivery next month. On Monday, I'm going to meet with the spinning engineers and hammer down all the last details. I was told 2 to 3 weeks for spinning, so we s look good!

The Not So Good (for me)

The last few weeks have actually been quite stressful over here regarding procuring the fiber. This year, apparently demand out of China for Mongolian fiber was abnormally high, and it caused a massive spike in raw material prices. As I've never worked with my current distributor, I was concerned he was trying to pull one over on me. After cross checking with other past business partners, I confirmed that the prices were astronomically high this year. 

It's normal for prices to fluctuate 10-15% or so year to year, but this year there was literally a 75-80% increase in raw material prices across the board. Of course, this is absolutely devastating for a project that received prefunding based on historical prices. Luckily I had a contract to somewhat mitigate losses, but herders were literally refusing to sell at the original agreed upon prices. Yak wool, in particular, could have really put me under.

Here's a short article that talks about it a bit, but of course it's a bit hard to find many articles about raw Mongolian cashmere prices. Last year, herders were selling at MNT 65,000/kg. This year, they are selling at MNT105,000/kg. This is also raw, uncleaned, uncombed cashmere. We need 2-3kg of raw fiber to get 1kg of our beautiful, finished yarn!

So unfortunately, at this point, my margins are more or less cleared, and it probably won't be profitable for me this season. I will still have a small inventory of the different fibers, but it won't be as large as I had originally planned and hoped for. This was a pretty bitter pill to swallow when I found out, but am now focusing completely on keeping everybody happy and still delivering a great product. With almost 600 backers, that's a huge customer base to have going forward, and hoping you will all be back next season for more yarn and for more related projects I'm hoping to launch after our yarn project finishes!

In short, absolutely no worries. Everything is going to get finished and sent out, and it will be awesome! But I did want to keep you guys posted. I wanted to be open and share earlier, but I didn't want people worried they would get shorted. 

Pics!

Here's the loot! It's all great... Really happy with everything. I've had fiber before that has a strong animal smell, but this fiber has none or very little. It's obviously been very well combed and washed!

A proud man with his loot!
A proud man with his loot!
Camel, dark yak, light yak, white cashmere, brown cashmere
Camel, dark yak, light yak, white cashmere, brown cashmere
Elbow Deep in the light yak!
Elbow Deep in the light yak!
Brown Cashmere
Brown Cashmere
White Cashmere
White Cashmere
Camel
Camel
The haul!
The haul!

So that's it! The crimson will come from the white cashmere after it's dyed, so right now I don't have any pics of the crimson. If there's anything more you guys want to see in particular, let me know and I can try to get some shots of it on Monday when I go to meet with the engineers.

As always, holler with any questions!

-Jon

Backerkit Lockdown and Card Charge Dates!
11 months ago – Wed, Aug 01, 2018 at 11:03:16 PM

Hey guys,

Have a time set up this Saturday to get the fiber, although the camel wool still might be another week. Since I'm getting the fiber, I am going to lock down the orders on Friday to make sure I don't over extend myself. I'm also planning to charge credit cards for the orders on Wednesday of next week, after I get the fiber together. 

For those new to backerkit, this just means you won't be able to change or adjust orders after Friday. You will, however, still be able to update your shipping address and change your payment method. 

Getting the fiber together is taking a little bit longer than I had originally hoped, but we are still on schedule to ship everything out in late September. Thanks for hanging with me, almost there!

As always, holler if you have questions!

-Jon

Fiber is on its way, and spinning scheduled for August 15th!
11 months ago – Wed, Jul 18, 2018 at 02:05:58 AM

Hey everybody,

Breaking radio silence now that I have some info to update everybody with! Over the last few weeks we've had the summer festival in Mongolia, and that pretty much grinds everything to a halt for a couple weeks. Everything is starting to move again, and am starting to get the last steps of the project scheduled.

Currently, the cashmere and yak wool fiber has been cleaned, combed, as is ready for spinning. Since the camel wool order is relatively small, it's getting juggled around a bit behind bigger orders in the processing facility my co-operatives use, but I've been promised it will be out and ready before August 10th.

After speaking to the spinning facility, they confirmed scheduling to start spinning mid August, which still puts us perfectly in line to have everything ready for September! 

Nervous and excited to get everything moving again, and pumped to book my trip home and start on fulfillment. As always, holler at me if you have any questions. Pre-ordering is still open on Backerkit, and I'll keep it open through August. Feel free to add or adjust any orders! I'll give you all a few days warning before it locks down and I charge credit cards.

Thank you!

-Jon

Still waitin for fiber!
about 1 year ago – Mon, May 21, 2018 at 02:19:16 AM

Hey all,

Been on radio silence for a while so just wanted to touch base and say everything is still going fine over here, although not much to report. Still on schedule to get our fiber in mid-July. Until then, it should be pretty slow.

I've been trying to arrange some trips to the countryside, but it's been hard to schedule between the guy that visits some of the herders, the herders, and my work schedule. I'm still hoping to get out soon, but the stars kind of need to align a little bit. The weather has been gorgeous lately, so I'm kind of itching to get out to the countryside a bit anyways!

As always, holler if you have any questions!

-Jon

Deposit down for the fiber, contract is made, and still on schedule!
about 1 year ago – Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 01:48:33 AM

Hey all,

Just a quick update to say that everything is still on schedule here, and we should have all our fiber by the middle of July, which is still perfect for September delivery. A couple weeks ago I signed the contract and sent the deposit to the local co-op here that I spoke of in the last update. All of our fibers will be laboratory checked for quality and come from sustainably grazed and raised animals.

A bit of a waiting game for the next few months, but feel free to ask any questions as always. Hopefully soon I'll be taking a trip to the countryside to get some pictures!

Thank you again!

-Jon