Made in Mongolia : Discover The Origins of N.Peal Cashmere
At N.Peal, we are best known for our high quality luxury cashmere, however you may not know that the journey of each cashmere piece we produce begins across the world in Mongolia.
As the second largest landlocked country in the world, life in Mongolia is simple, yet stunningly beautiful.
It is in the vast open plains and mountains of this fascinating country that the decades-old story of N.Peal fine cashmere begins. Our luxurious cashmere is produced entirely in Mongolia and is where we take our inspiration for N.Peal's classic and elegant designs.
The journey of our N.Peal cashmere can be found in our video below. Read on to discover the origins of our N.Peal cashmere, and find out how much care and consideration is given to ensure that our collections are produced to the highest standards.
From the steppes of Mongolia, to the high streets of London and New York
Our relationship with the nomadic goat herders of Mongolia extends back many years, and is so close that we can actually trace our cashmere back to individual herders themselves. This treasured relationship was originally forged by the father of Adam Holdsworth, MD of N.Peal, who first travelled to the country's capital of Ulanbaatar decades ago, at a time when the city could only be reached by train.
As Adam's father explored Mongolia and its sprawling steppes, he came to understand which regions, or 'Aimag', produced the finest cashmere of all, and secured a regular supply from the herders; a process that still continues to this day.
The luxurious cashmere used in the creation for N.Peal knitwear is mainly collected from the Capra Hircus goats which are native to central Mongolia. The goats are herded and bred to produce the varieties of cashmere used in our products, and are specially selected for the softness and versatile quality of the cashmere wool that they produce.
Mongolia's notoriously harsh and unforgiving winters are key to the production of cashmere as temperatures frequently fall below -20 degrees centigrade. These extreme conditions mean that the Capra Hircus goats have to survive the season by growing an extra fine layer of under-down, or cashmere, and this is what is used to give our products uniquely luxurious soft and warm qualities.
When the warmth of springtime arrives and the goats' winter coats are no longer needed, the N.Peal process can begin. As the goats begin to shed their under-coats, they are carefully and delicately combed along their spines to remove the raw cashmere, and preserve the integrity of its fragile fibres. The fibres here have been exposed to the coldest, harshest elements of winter so it is typically longer and softer and has not been damaged by the goats rubbing against bushes, thorns or the ground. It is this extra layer of fibre that really sets N. Peal apart.
Each Capra Hircus goat can yield an average of 2.5 kilos of raw cashmere, which is enough to produce five N.Peal cashmere sweaters!
A traditional process, honoured by time
N.Peal has rigorous, infallible quality standards for the cashmere fibres that are used in our designs. Once the cashmere has been collected, the fibres are 'dehaired' and hand-selected according to our own precise specifications of a minimum of 38mm in length, and micron not exceeding 15.5. This will ensure that our cashmere is more resistant to pilling, and only pure white in colour.
The selected fibres are then scoured (washed) to remove any traces of lanolin, and then spun into yarns using traditional techniques that have been employed for hundreds of years.
The strands are then ready to be gently dyed; it is at this part of the process when the colour of the fibres becomes important, as by removing any traces of black or dark fibres from our cashmere, we are able to create the stunning light pastel shades that have become iconic to N.Peal knitwear designs.
Although our process upholds traditional techniques, we do give a nod to modern technology in the form of our computerised knitting machines. In recent years, these have allowed N.Peal to grow our collections with exciting new knitwear shapes and textures that were not even possible 30 years ago. This has allowed us to keep up with industry demand, as well as contemporary knitwear trends each season.
By blending modern methods with traditional techniques, we are able to create N.Peal knitwear that is at once timeless and iconic, but also fresh and contemporary, and always of the most superior quality.
Following in his father's footsteps, Adam Holdsworth has spent the last 25 years working in the cashmere industry, continuing our legacy for heritage and commitment to quality. His success has made our fine luxury cashmere famous, helping N.Peal become a worldwide renowned brand.