In the heart of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, rugged nomads produce the very finest cashmere wools. Rare and precious, cashmere wool is incomparably light and soft. The region is one of the birthplaces of goat-rearing and as has always been the case, wool goats move between their summer and winter pastures where they are still free to roam.
The cashmere fibre is harvested from the goats’ chests once a year by the nomadic tribes of the region. The harvest is no more than 150 g of fibres per animal.
Today, there are three colours of cashmere goat – black, tan and white – which give dark grey, grey-brown and white wools respectively. The white goats are originally from the Gobi and the mountain shepherds of Arkhangai have to buy goats from their desert counterparts to ensure this prized quality in their own herd.
Local breeders and their families inspect the newly harvested white cashmere. Having your own home and pasture often distant hours of car ride from the nearest village is a very common situation for people who base their life on livestock.
The farmers and their herds live in difficult climate conditions where extreme episodes of bitter cold and heatwave are not infrequent.
Farmers think that the origin of white goat breeds originates from the Gobi Desert. Shine Jinst in Mongolia is the only place where the entire goat population is white.