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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have this one Spanish goat that grew ridiculous amounts of cashmere over the winter, more than any of our other Spanish purebreds, so I was wondering whether this is common among Spanish goats? We've always joked that she must be secretly half Nigerian Dwarf or some other miniature breed because she's so much more compact and looks slightly different in the face but lately I've been joking that she must be half sheep 馃槃 But anyway, I was just amused by the sheer quantities she produces and wasn't sure if this is "normal" for goats.

I've been combing her, trying to see if I can collect enough to spin. I'm a knitter, not a spinner, but if she's going to be doing this every year I'm thinking it might be worth learning! Any spinners out there do this regularly? I'm open to all advice on collecting, cleaning, etc.!

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"Did you know cats can fly?"- asked the little girl. Mom- "No?" Girl-**Throws off cliff**
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So I was RIGHT! And now to figure out how a breeder who has nothing but Spanish goats managed to get this mystery mix 馃暤锔忊嶁檪锔忦煒
They might have a doe or a buck who's mixed that is her Dam or Sire. Who knows lol
 

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How lucky! I have dairy goats and carefully comb off the tiny amounts of cashmere they give each year. By now I think my stockpile is like... 1oz? lol

I do spin. Cashmere is not a beginner's fiber. It is short staple and requires a lot of speed to get the fiber to "grab." I would recommend mixing it with a nice wool--ultrafine Merino and cashmere would make for a really lovely yarn! If you haven't spun before, I recommend taking classes and mangling a bunch of cheap wool before you start playing with the ultrafine and cashmere!

What might be a good option is to spin cashmere with a supported spindle or takhli, which is designed for shorter fibers. I have many spindles, supported and not, and a beautiful spinning wheel that I love very very much. Every person learns differently. A decent-sized drop spindle might be easiest to start with, and move up from there.

Be warned, it is EXTREMELY addictive to spin....
 

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I spin on a drop spindle and I've started collecting my does' cashmere, but I get no where near that much! I've wondered how it should be cleaned as well, so I'm following this thread to learn!
 

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How to clean cashmere?

Very, VERY carefully. It will felt if you look at it sideways.

I recommend Unicorn Power Scour for any and all fiber cleaning. Just hand wash only on the cashmere, and be very gentle. Thankfully, the Power Scour means that you can wash at lower temperatures, which is less chance at felting. Just take your time and be gentle.

Of course, the washing comes AFTER carefully picking out guard hairs.... That's the biggest downside to cashmere. You'll go cross-eyed!

Picking out vegetable matter comes with the territory. Some of that can be removed when you're blending it with wool, like I mentioned earlier. You only take a small amount of cashmere, spread the fibers out, and apply them to the carder a bit at a time. Never overload the cards. If you think it looks like barely enough, that's probably perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is all such helpful information! A friend of mine who spins suggested the same thing of starting with a drop spindle and some cheap wool first. Or even better I think I'll use what little I've collected so far and try blending it with merino as suggested, and learn with that and then I'll be better prepared for next year :)
 
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