Some people are surprised to learn that the Scottish cashmere story starts with goats.
Not Scottish goats, but a hardy, mountain-dwelling breed that have adapted to the harsh environments and extreme temperatures of the Gobi Desert.
To survive, the goats develop wonderfully thick coats made up of a coarse outer guard hair and a fine, soft undercoat.
We use only the finest fibre – the white, downy undercoat that runs from the throat to belly.
Traditionally, farmers would collect cashmere fibre by ceremonially combing their goats in the spring. Combing is still widely used today, alongside some farmers who prefer shearing. Cashmere goats are usually tended by nomadic cashmere farmers; a typical farmer will have a flock of 2-300.
It’s easy to see why animal welfare, sustainability and traceability are the three pillars of the cashmere industry’s ethical sourcing initiatives.
Todd& Duncan work in partnership with their approved de-hairers, they encourage sustainable herding and grazing practices, promote high standards of animal welfare, and work to protect this traditional way of life within nomadic communities.
Cashmere is known to be soft and insulated. This wool is particularly appreciated for these qualities and its insulating properties. Indeed, it adapts according to the humidity of the air which explains why it is much warmer than wool while being lighter.
Todd & Duncan have earned the trust of fashion houses and knitwear manufacturers for generations. Their cashmere is the only yarn spun, coloured and crafted in Scotland.
Creating heirloom-quality cashmere yarn demands care and craftsmanship at every stage. Considering knitting performance, feel, pilling and lifespan.
The T&D mill is on the banks of Loch Leven in Scotland, and for good reason: the water’s natural purity and softness helps to open up the cashmere fibres, resulting in wonderfully consistent colour, and the Todd & Duncan handle for which they are renowned. They dye their fibre before it’s spun – a gentle process that gives a superior colour result and finished handle.
Their dyes are environmentally friendly, so the water they use can be cleaned and returned to Loch Leven once dyeing is complete.
Our melanges and solid colours are world-renowned The secret lies in our meticulous blending. Nothing here is automatic; they watch every individual fibre, and manually adjust their specially-designed machines to create speciality colours.
Here, their yarns truly come alive, with each roller covered with their custom specification of card wire in order to maintain the integrity of the precious fibre.
This time-intensive stage is designed to get the very best from the fibre and the colour, and achieve an exceptionally high level of card slubbing.
All their yarns are spun on modern mules. This means long draws for a more level yarn during spinning. Compared to the alternatives, it’s a slow process, but yields an exceptionally rounded and voluminous yarn.