It starts in the Catlin ranges – rugged country at the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island.
Here, the wind arrives direct and uninterrupted in its journey from Antarctica. Despite keeping a low profile, cashmere goats have been thriving on this landscape for over 30 years.
In the decadent 80s, a worldwide demand for luxury fabric saw a boom for New Zealand, where many farmers sought to get their share of the action. However, when stock crashed in 1987 it devastated the market and all but the tough left the industry.
While enthusiasm for cashmere waned nationwide, some farmers remained steadfast in their commitment. Farmers like David Shaw, who continued his meticulous breeding programme – growing his herd and always pushing for softer, whiter, finer fleece.
A strong belief in the superior quality of the product was fuelled by a drive to establish NZ as a sustainable, reliable producer of fine cashmere wool.
Today, the 600 strong herd of goats from the deep south stand as a symbol of resilience. The cashmere wool they grow is their winter coat: a response to the crisp and chilly air of the Catlins. Luxuriously soft and feather light, the threads of the shorn fleece are so fine they literally float in the air.
900 kilometres north of the Catlins is New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington. Here, Woolyarns has long held a reputation for taking fine natural fibres and weaving them into premium yarns.
Woolyarns has vast expertise in machining distinct, natural NZ fibres into specialty yarns, and taking them to the global stage. Our diverse portfolio includes bespoke yarns woven from fibres such as possum, camel and red deer.
Combining a reputation for innovation with an inspired story of perseverance, the relationship was a natural fit. It’s a passion project between parties who are selective in who they work with. Our collaboration with farmers like David Shaw represents a commitment to premium quality, sustainable cashmere. Luxury – with no shadow.
As with all our yarns, our processes ensure that we continue the journey of the wool into a beautiful product that honours the beautiful origin from which it comes.
Our mission is to extract the finest qualities of the wool to create a truly one-of-a-kind, custom yarn for our clients all over the globe.
A beautiful yarn with an ethical origin – we hand the thread to you, our clients. Our world-class cashmere lends itself to premium knitwear. For those with an eye for quality and innovation, Woolyarns invites you to bring NZ Cashmere into the stories of elegance and luxury you tell through your garments.
We are determined to rekindle excitement for cashmere farming across NZ. We’re inspiring a renaissance for a once-forgotten local industry. It’s no small feat, but we’re energised with a renewed focus on bringing a beautiful and ethical cashmere yarn to the global stage.
Together, we’re excited to welcome NZ Cashmere by Woolyarns into our family of brands, and take this beautiful yarn to the world.