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Mongolian Cashmere
Cashmere wool
is wool obtained from the Kashmir goat. The name derives from an archaic spelling of Kashmir. It is sometimes incorrectly applied to any extremely soft wool, similar to Champagne being used to describe any sparkling wine.

Classification of the Cashmere
Cashmere wool is classified as a specialty hair fiber.

Primary uses of Cashmere
Cashmere is used in men's and women's clothing. One of the most notable applications of cashmere is the highly regarded cashmere sweater.

General characteristics of the Cashmere
Cashmere is characterized as luxuriously soft, with high nap ability and loft. It is noted as providing a natural light-weight insulation without bulk. Cashmere is extremely warm (in order to serve its original purpose of protecting goats from cold mountain temperatures.) Fibers are highly adaptable and are easily constructed into fine or thick yarns, and light to heavy-weight fabrics. Appropriate for all climates, a high moisture content allows insulation properties to change with the relative humidity in the air.

Natural colors
Gray, brown and white.

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Source of the cashmere fiber
The Cashmere (Kashmir) or down goat is the source of the wool that becomes cashmere fiber for clothing and other textile articles. The goat (Capra hircus Laniger) is a mammal belonging to the subfamily Caprinae of the family Bovidae. The goats produce a double fleece consisting of the fine, soft undercoat or underdown of hair commingled with a straighter and much coarser outer coating of hair called guard hair. In order for the fine underwool to be classified and used as cashmere it must be de-haired. De-hairing is a mechanical process that separates the coarse hairs from the fine hair and after de-hairing the resulting "cashmere" is ready to be dyed to color and converted into yarn, fabrics and garments.

Geographic origin
The goats reside predominantly in the high plateaus of Asia with the most significant populations being found in the northwestern provinces of China (Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Tibet), Mongolia, Iran (Kerman and Khorasan provinces)and Afghanistan. Many nations in that area rely on cashmere as a luxury product that is exportable for high profit, including the significant supplier countries: China and Mongolia.

Today, little is supplied by the Kashmir State of India, from which its name is derived. The cashmere products of this area first attracted the attention of Europeans in the early 1800s.

Cashmere Gathering process
Specialty animal hair fibers including cashmere are collected during the spring molting season when the animals naturally shed their winter coat. Depending on the weather and the region, the goats (in the Northern Hemisphere) molt over a period beginning as early as March and as late as May. In China and Mongolia, the commingled mass of down and coarse hair is removed by hand with a coarse comb that pulls tufts of fiber from the animal as the comb is raked through the fleece. The long, coarse guard hair is then typically clipped from the animal and is often used for brushes, interlinings as well as other non-apparel uses. As a result of this combing process, the collected fiber has a higher yield of pure cashmere after the fiber has been washed and dehaired. Animals in Iran, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Australia are typically shorn of their fleece resulting in a higher coarse hair content and lower pure cashmere yield.

Production of Cashmere
China is the largest producer of raw cashmere and current estimates of production put their annual clip at approximately 10,000 metric tons. Mongolia produces somewhat more than 3,000 tons annually with Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, India and Central Asian Republics producing significant but lesser amounts. In total the annual world clip is estimated to be in excess of 15,000 but less than 20,000 tons. After the natural animal grease, accumulated dirt and coarse hairs have been removed from the fleece creating "pure cashmere" it is estimated the refined quantity is only about 6,500 tons. Pure cashmere then can be dyed and spun into yarns and knit into sweaters, hats, gloves, socks and other apparel items or woven into fabrics then cut and assembled into garments such as outer coats, jackets, pants, scarves, blankets and other highly luxurious and desirable items. Fabric and garment producers in Italy, Scotland, England and Japan have long been known as market leaders in cashmere although recent trends have seen a growing production from countries that actually produce the fiber like China and Mongolia.

Cashmere Annual yield
Up to 500 grams of fiber per goat, with an average 150 grams of underdown.

Types of Cashmere fiber
Virgin -
New fiber that has not been processed in any way, or has been made into yarns, fabrics or garments for the first time.
Recycled
- Fibers reclaimed from scraps or fabrics that were previously woven or felted and may or may not have been used by the consumer.

1. The Issue
The cashmere industry in Mongolia is facing many challenges. These challenges range from outside forces such as globalization, the market, and trade. Inside forces such as the environment and the government are also affecting the cashmere industry in Mongolia. All of these forces are threatening the cashmere industry as well as the culture and future happiness of Mongolians. A look these factors will give an understanding of what is at stake here.

2. Description
The following description section will explain the life of herders, the history of Mongolia, Mongolia's culture and the importance of cashmere to Mongolia's culture, how globalization is and can effect the cashmere industry in Mongolia, the trade issues that Mongolia is facing, and environmental impacts on the land and cashmere industry.

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Cashmere
Cashmere is one of the softest, warmest, and longest lasting materials on the market today. Cashmere fibers become softer as it is worn more. Cashmere is said to be eight times warmer than sheep's wool, and about that many times softer. Cashmere is also one of the most expensive cloth on the market today.

Cashmere originates from Kashmiri goats found in the Himalayas. Cashmere wool comes from the downy undercoat that grows on goats from midsummer to winter. The quality varies from goat to goat. The long hair on goats protects the cashmere down from the elements. It is removed each spring by shearing or gradual combing of the goats hair. Goats produce about three to eight ounces of cashmere per year. The average single ply women's sweater requires approximately ten ounces of wool, which is equivalent to about three or four goats. The quality of cashmere wool is measured by its length, texture, and the diameter of the fiber. The quality is affected by the climate, and nutrients that the goats consume. The climate and geography of Mongolia is especially suited for herding goats because they thrive in harsh dry mountainous climates. The highest quality of wool is found in these climates. Goats cannot grow the downy coats that produce cashmere in moderate climates.

A Day in the Life of a Herder
In order to get a good understanding of the cashmere industry, it is necessary to explain the process by which cashmere is brought to the market. This process starts at the herder. For a herder, life can be very hard. The following is a story that I learned from an elder herder and his wife in the Darhat Valley in Mongolia on May 27, 1997. This couple had 16 kids, 7 of which died at birth. Most of their children are herders and live in the same area as their parents. They have one son who lives in Ulaanbaatur and is a middleman. Another son is a teacher in Richenlumbe, which is a small city in the Darhat Valley.

They have camped in the same spot for about ten years now. There are a total of three gers that camp together in that same spot. A ger is a traditional nomads tent, or home. Within a ger camp, there can be grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. In one of the gers in this camp there are eight people who live there. The amount of time herders stay in a spot depends on the weather and vegetation growth each year. They may move to their winter/spring camp in late March to May if the weather is bad. During the winter, the family often slaughters two big animals and ten little ones. Big animals consist of horses, camels, and cows. Small animals are sheep and goats.

The couple have over 300 animals. They sell their animals and raw materials to middlemen most of the time and hope they get cash from this. Usually, they have to trade and barter in goods to the middleman for flower, sugar, rice, and other staples. The middleman, or traders come in the fall because that is when herders slaughter the animals for winter goods. In October to early November, they make skins and hides. During May to June, they remove the cashmere from the goats, and from late June to early July, they remove the wool from the sheep.

Trade in Cashmere Products
The transfer from a Socialist economy to a capitalist economy led to a crash in the market. Mongolia is in the process of rebounding from this crash. Mongolia is the second largest producer of cashmere in the world, second only to China. Trade problems with China and globalization are exacerbating the cashmere crisis in Mongolia for a number of reasons, all of which will be discussed below. Mongolia produces about 3,000 tons of cashmere per year, about 21 percent of the world market. Prior to Mongolia's transformation to a capitalist society, cashmere in Mongolia was processed at home or sent to Western countries for processing. Today, more than half of the raw cashmere in Mongolia is exported to China. This not only worries Mongolia's manufacturing industry but Mongolia as a whole. The processors are concerned because they are now only operating at about 50 percent capacity due to the large amounts of raw cashmere going to China. Since half of Mongolia's 2.5 million people raise the goats that make cashmere, there is an urgency to fix the cashmere industry in Mongolia. Another concern is mix breeding for the goal of quantity not quality, which has led to a decline in the quality of cashmere.

Why is there a crisis today in Mongolia? The world supply of cashmere raised considerably in the 1990s, but the world demand for cashmere has fallen. Part of this lack in demand is due to the recession in Japan, who as a result is not purchasing as many cashmere products. The prices of cashmere have fallen due to rising supply and lowering demand. To prop up the price of cashmere, the Chinese government is buying cashmere at an immense rate in Mongolia. Since the Chinese government is buying large amounts of cashmere in Mongolia, it is pulling the supply of raw cashmere out of Mongolia. This hurts the processing plants. To counter this trend, the Mongolian government after the transformation put an export tax on raw cashmere. This export tax does not work very well due to smuggling. In 1996, it was estimated that of the 1,000 tons of cashmere sold to China, all but 16 tons were smuggled. Therefore, collection of the export tax is a major concern. The 30 percent export tax of raw cashmere was put into place to discourage the extreme flow of raw cashmere into China. Preceding the transformation, exports were discouraged with a ban on the sale of raw cashmere.

There are a few options that herders in Mongolia have for selling their raw cashmere. Herders can sell their products to the Chinese, to Mongolian traders, or directly to Mongolian processing plants. Mongolian herders would rather sell to Mongolians rather than to China, but many can not because the Chinese pay more for raw cashmere than Mongolian traders and processors do and they pay in cash. Many of the buyers are unable to get cash because the cost of borrowing is extremely high, therefore the Mongolian buyers can only exchange goods for raw cashmere. The processing plants in Mongolia are going under because they do not have enough goods to run at capacity due to Mongolian herders selling their cashmere to China. Other Mongolian herders take their cashmere to the Chinese border themselves, or sell to those who do.

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Environment
Mongolia has an abundance of natural resources. The environmental problems that Mongolia faces are caused by natural forces and human impact. An example of a natural force is a drought. A drought in Mongolia is called a zud. A zud is caused by a harsh winter followed by a very dry summer. The zud last winter killed hundreds of thousands of animals. Human impacts cause problems such as desertification, mining, logging, waste, and air pollution which threaten the livelihood of the country. Protection of the biodiversity and national parks are also a concern. Other concerns include sustaining the mineral, forest, and water resources.

Threats to the biodiversity of Mongolia and therefore future growth are: overgrazing which leads to desertification, over exploitation of animals and plants, pollution, soil erosion, and loss of land to oil and mining. Too often, development programs forget that the ecological health of the grasslands are vital to agriculture. When the ecology of Mongolia is not protected, it threatens the whole pastoral lifestyle that is inherent to the culture and happiness of Mongolians. Another problem is that current laws need to be clarified and enforced in order to protect the environment. There also need to be effective mechanisms set up for inspecting, regulating, taxing, and collecting fees.

Desertification is the largest environmental threat to the cashmere industry in Mongolia. Many herders are losing their connection with the land, and over-grazing is one result of this loss. Over-grazing leads to desertification. Almost 30 percent of Mongolia's territory has the conditions necessary for desertification to occur. One percent of Mongolia is severely effected by desertification, three percent is considerably effected, 21 percent is effected to a medium extent, and 75 percent of Mongolia's land mass is slightly effected by desertification. About 13 percent of desertification is due to nature and the other 87 percent of desertification in Mongolia is caused by humans. Over the last four decades, the area of land covered by sand has increased 8.7 percent. Desertification has affected 30 percent of pasture lands in Mongolia. Pasture lands account for a total of 80 percent of Mongolia's land mass. The population of goats (where cashmere comes from) is a problem because goats destroy grasslands and soil. These environmental problems are caused to a large extent by the very thing that Mongolians make their living by doing. Globalization may lead to a worsening of this problem because of the need to produce more and more products and also because the connection to the land is lost.

Product care

Caring for your cashmere, camel wool and yak garment
Cashmere and camel/yak wool are one of the rarest fibers in the world. Knitwear made from these precious & delicate fibers are luxurious to wear but require a little more care and attention than products made from other wools. We recommend that you wash garments after they have been worn 3 or 4 times. Ideally, garments should be dry-cleaned, but they can by hand-washed by using cleaning products specifically made for cashmere or wool care.

Handwash instructions
Garments should be hand-washed in lukewarm water with soap flakes or liquid soap. Care should be taken not to rub or twist the garment as this may cause pilling. After washing, rinse the garment in cool water until all the soap is removed, squeezing gently without wringing. Squeeze away excess water in a towel. To dry, leave the garment to dry; naturally away from direct heat and sunlight. It is important not to spin or tumble dry. When dry, iron lightly on a cool setting using a damp cloth or steam. Wash and store all cashmere and camel hair sweaters inside out. Always wash each garment separately.
Following these instructions, your cashmere & camel hair garments will look and feel good for many years to come.

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Pilling
After wearing your new cashmere and camel hair garment for the first few times you may find small balls of fiber forming on the surface. These small balls or 'pills' are caused by some of the loose fiber tangling together as areas of your garment are rubbed during wear. This pilling is not indicative of inferior quality - it is an inevitable consequence of the careful processing of this very fine fiber.

Pills can be easily removed by hand or by using an electrical piller or fabric shaver. Fabric shavers are easy for removing pills on a flat knit, but they should not be used on knits with naps, textures or lofty surface. You will find that, removing the pills in this way, the garment will actually consolidate & soften in handle & touch.

Like fine wine, cashmere will improve with age if cared properly.

Dehaired cashmere
The indigenous Mongolian cashmere goat yields cashmere fibers with an average diameter of 14-17 microns which is considered the finest in the world. The length of these cashmere fibers reaches 38-40 mm on average, which along with its micron places the Mongolian cashmere at the top place in the world.

The abundant variety of plants growing in the wilderness of the Mongolian high plateau, and the severity of the climate contribute towards the softness, warmness and fineness of Mongolian cashmere.

Cashmere is combed from the belly of a goat by local herders and graded according to color and fineness. Then it goes through primary processing resulting in the highest quality dehaired cashmere from Goyo.

Camel wool
Mongolian Gobi desert is a mysteriously untouched land of unbothered nomadic lifestyle, picturesque mountains, sandy dunes and broad plateaus.  This ancient site of inland sea is a cradle of unique natural scenes, and a treasure chest of unique creatures and dinosaur fossils. Its beauty is idyllic and unparalleled. Yet the harshness of the land, the extreme hot summers and cold winters, toughens the life of every living creature. However, one of the most unique and gentle creature, the Bactrian camel, is perfectly suited for the life in the Gobi desert. This rare and endangered animal produces one of the warmest wool in the world.

The GOYO’s best-kept secret processing technology allows us to produce the finest and softest camel wool products in the world.

Yak
Tibetan wild yak is the original stock from which the present domesticated yak originates. The yak lives on the high altitude areas in Mongolia. To insulate them from the harsh winters with snow and extremely low temperatures, yaks have a long shaggy fleece. The yaks wear both long and thick coarse hair, and short and soft fibers. These fibers are used to make the yak wool, after it’s been combed or shed from yaks.

The fibers come in four different colors - grey, brown, black and white. These fibers are very fine which make the yak wool very soft and light, it feels like a gentle breeze on your skin. But still the yak wool will keep you warm, just like the shaggy fleece does for the yak.

Knitwear
From pullovers to cardigans and onto hats and scarves, knitwear is art, imagination and devotion. Cashmere garment can be feminine, sporty or provocative. It gives pride and freedom to those who wear it. Because it takes five months, about 2 to 3 animals and hard work of many to produce enough cashmere for a single sweater to arrive at a store near you. But it is worth it. No other substance combines warmth and softness to such perfection that you want to stroke it just for pleasure. A one ply cashmere sweater is two or three times as warm as a wool jumper of similar weight. And Mongolian cashmere is the finest. We try to make the best out of this fine material. Therefore, we pay close attention to the design and quality. We work closely with domestic and foreign designers in bringing new and creative ideas, and ultimately creating products that exceed customer expectations.

For export sales, we do custom ordered garments, labeled with specific retailer or designer labels. Our flexible product prototyping allows our customers to create unique designs with their desired specification and technical requirements, and test products before ordering.

Yarn
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibers, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and rope making.

Spinning
Spinning is an ancient textile art in which plant, animal or synthetic fibers are twisted together to form yarn. For thousands of years, fiber was spun by hand using simple tools, the spindle and distaff. Only in the High Middle Ages did the spinning wheel increase the output of individual spinners, and mass-production only arose in the 18th century with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. Hand-spinning remains a popular handicraft.

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Hand spinning

Tibetan spinning wool (1905)
The origins of spinning fiber to make string or yarn are lost in time, but archaeological evidence in the form of representation of string skirts has been dated to the Upper Paleolithic era, some 20,000 years ago. In the most primitive type of spinning, tufts of animal hair or plant fiber are rolled down the thigh with the hand, and additional tufts are added as needed until the desired length of spun fiber is achieved. Later, the fiber is fastened to a stone which is twirled round until the yarn is sufficiently twisted, whereupon it is wound upon the stone and the process repeated over and over.

The next method of twisting yarn is with the spindle, a straight stick eight to twelve inches long on which the thread is wound after twisting. At first the stick had a cleft or split in the top in which the thread was fixed. Later, a hook of bone was added to the upper end. The bunch of wool or plant fibers is held in the left hand. With the right hand the fibers are drawn out several inches and the end fastened securely in the slit or hook on the top of the spindle. A whirling motion is given to the spindle on the thigh or any convenient part of the body. The spindle is then dropped, twisting the yarn, which is wound on to the upper part of the spindle. Another bunch of fibers is drawn out, the spindle is given another twirl, the yarn is wound on the spindle, and so on.

The distaff was used for holding the bunch of wool, flax, or other fibers. It was a short stick on one end of which was loosely wound the raw material. The other end of the distaff was held in the hand, under the arm or thrust in the girdle of the spinner. When held thus, one hand was left free for drawing out the fibers.

A spindle containing a quantity of yarn rotates more easily, steadily, and continues longer than an empty one; hence, the next improvement was the addition of a weight called a spindle whorl at the bottom of the spindle. These whorls are discs of wood, stone, clay, or metal with a hole in the center for the spindle, which keep the spindle steady and promote its rotation. Spindle whorls appeared in the Neolithic era.

Industrial spinning
Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibers, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery and ropemaking. Modern powered spinning, originally done by water or steam power but now done by electricity, is vastly faster than hand-spinning.

The spinning jenny, a multi-spool spinning wheel invented circa 1764 by James Hargreaves, dramatically reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a single worker able to work eight or more spools at once. At roughly the same time, Richard Arkwright and a team of craftsmen developed the spinning frame, which produced a stronger thread than the spinning jenny. Too large to be operated by hand, a spinning frame powered by a waterwheel became the water frame.

In 1779, Samuel Crompton combined elements of the spinning jenny and water frame to create the spinning mule. This produced a stronger thread, and was suitable for mechanisation on a grand scale.

In the 20th century, new techniques including Open End spinning or rotor spinning were invented to produce yarns at rates in excess of 40 meters per second.

Goyo's yarn
Noble yarns made from highest quality cashmere and worked by Goyo’s skillful expert hands create a sense of reassuring serenity and quality like no other.

Yarn quality defines garment quality. Hence, we strive to make every string and every bundle of our cashmere and wool yarn to be of the highest quality. Currently we offer cashmere yarn counts of 2/24 to 2/32 and wool yarn counts of 9Nm to 16Nm.

Characteristics
Cashmere is characterized by its soft fibers. It is noted as providing a natural light-weight insulation without bulk. Fibers are highly adaptable and are easily constructed into fine or thick yarns, and light to heavy-weight fabrics. The natural colors of cashmere are various shades of grey, brown, light-brown and white. Grey, brown and light-brown colors are unique colors and are rarely met in nature.

Production
Pure cashmere can be dyed and spun into yarns and knit into jumpers (sweaters), hats, gloves, socks and other clothing, or woven into fabrics then cut and assembled into garments such as outer coats, jackets, trousers (pants), pajamas, scarves, blankets, and other items.

Nowadays people call cashmere fiber as "specialty" and "luxury" fibers.

Altai Cashmere

Altai Cashmere History
Altai cashmere is a subsidiary of the Altai Holding LLC, which is one of the most successful business groups in Mongolia. The Altai Cashmere Company was established in 1991 as a supplier of raw and dehaired cashmere for the world market.

The new processing factory was built in 1995 and a high quality washing and dehairing equipment made in Great Britain was installed and the cashmere production has started. Since then we have been successfully expanding our business activities, producing high quality dehaired cashmere fibers and natural, soft and luxurious cashmere garments.

Almost hundred percent of our dehaired cashmere and eighty percent of our knitted products and garments are exported to the England, Italy, Japan, Germany, France, South Korea and the United States.

Dehaired cashmere is the main raw material in the production of cashmere products. Finest quality cashmere should have middle micron fiber 14,5-16,5 length 38-42 mm and coarse haircontent no longer than 0.15-0.25 percent.

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About Gobi Company

The Gobi Company was first established in 1981 with the technical and economic assistance of the Government of Japan. It is fundamentally an export-oriented Enterprise for the processing of goat cashmere and camel wool in addition to the production of semi-finished and finished products for the local and international markets. By the decree of the Government of Mongolia in 1993, 25% of the Gobi Company was privatized, and in December 1994, it became a newly organized share holding company with 75% government ownership.

Quality
Quality checks cover every aspect of the manufacturing process - from the raw material procuring and sorting through to production, packaging and distribution. Gobi Products are manufactured according to the guidelines of the State Standard Organization which is a member of the international member of International Standardization Organization. In addition, Gobi Corporation has earned the distinctive International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification, recognizing compliance to the international quality standard and demonstrating the company's commitment to total quality assurance.

Human Resource
Over 1,400 qualified and highly skilled persons who have graduated from the state universities and specialized colleges in Japan, The Russian Federation, Germany, Italy, Czech, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria work for the company. Of the total workforce, 80% are young women. The average age of our workers is 25 years. Every employee within the Gobi Corporation's organizational structure receives specialised training in additional to intensive induction training. There by leading to employees being at the cutting edge of the cashmere industry.

Gobi in the World
The Gobi Corporation markets and distributes 80% of its products to the retailers and distributors of department stores, boutiques and other outlets throughout the world. The remaining 20% of its total products are retailed and distributed through its shopping centers in Mongolia. In essence the Gobi Corporation embodies the following qualities-a plethora of design capabilities, fast response time, competitive pricing structures and strong market awareness. The company is more than capable of responding to the needs of it's key customers due to it's enhanced flexibility and also extensive foreign connections.

Production Capacity

The raw material procurement
The raw material procurement is achieved by means of:

  • Supply from traditional suppliers based in province;

  • Direct purchase from domestic raw material markets based in Ulaanbaatar;

  • Direct purchase from the suppliers who visit the company

The Primary production
The primary production consists of hand sorting, scouring and de-hairing production and pressing in bales. Having an annual capacity to process 1000 tons of cashmere and 200tons of camel wool, the Gobi Corporation has become one of the five largest cashmere processing companies worldwide.

All quality of animal originated raw materials such as cashmere, camel and yak wool as well as angora is sorted by fiber's color, quality and fineness manually at the factory.

The scouring production is capable of processing 300-400kgs of wool and cashmere per hour, using "Futabo" machines made in Japan. The annual de-hairing process capacity averages 300- 350 tons of de-haired cashmere and wool, utilizing 27 sets of "Torigoe" machines made in Japan.

Mongol Nekhmel
Mongol Nekhmel Joint Stock Company was established in 1934, as one of the branch of Industrial Production that was established during the USSR period. It is the first equipped production of Mongolian industry that based on Fabric Production.

The factory and the production type were changed and expanded for many times from its first dedication that were only the production of hot washed wool, cloth and felt including: felt boots since 1936, wool textile products since 1942 and soon it became independent.

Since 1960, the factory became able to produce 1 million meters of textiles in favor of People’s Republic of China and began producing various types of wool blankets, cloths and felts.

Thus, the factory exported 30 percents of its total products to the USSR, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, North Korea, Romania, and Hungary. The factory also supplied its remaining 70 percents of products to the domestic market demands of laborers and herdsmen. Between 1973-1987, the factory has renewed its equipments by modern equipments from the USSR, Germany, England, Belgium etc. Consequently, the production capacity reached 1.35 million m2 fabrics and factory has become able to fully utilize its capacity by the end of 1980’s and its workers reached 800.

Since 1992, the factory was privatized and formed as ‘Mongol Nekhmel’ Joint Stock Company. The annual outputs have sharply decreased year by year, during the transition years from the socialist economy into the market economy. We even completely stopped our production between 1999-2000. During this hard time, the administration of the factory has done some management changes and as the result we have started recovering our activities since 2001, the beginning of this new millennium. Currently, the factory has only 2 workshops of knitting and processing lines and was expanded to have a fullline structure of wool washing production with cleaning workshop, knitting, processing, coloring, spinning workshops and its equipment was renewed for many times. Now we are capable to produce the blankets, cloths, towels, neckwears etc. that are made of wool and cashmere. We also have branches that produce wool strings. Previous experience on similar projects

The company used to be the only Mongolian factory that supplied the domestic market demands by blankets, cloths, wool cloths, and army clothes materials and exported its 30 percents of production to former Socialist Republics.

Although there are few new productions established after a transition to the market economy, our factory still remained as the only production that was capable to fully produce wool and cashmere by our full-line equipments. Other factories still lacked some equipment for a full processing stage.

Today, we are producing the products of some Mongolian brands such as Goyo, Altai Cashmere by their order through our knitting, processing workshops.

Although some sales channels have been opened to us, we could not successfully supply all 21 provinces of Mongolia and we only supply some of the foreign countries. The main reason of this disadvantage is caused from our ineffective management policy that is focused only on the factory expansion like renewing the old equipments, the factory premises maintenance etc. Thus, we spent MNT 1 trillion on those issues and could not resolve the issues to compensate a lack of current assets and, therefore, could not form the financial sources.

Currently, we are able to produce and supply our products as a wholesale to 21 provinces of Mongolia and to export them to some developed markets including Europe, America, and an emerging markets in Asia.

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Mongolian commercial banks have a poor credit-granting capability. In addition, the situation is complicated due to the high interest rates on bank loans. As raw materials of wool can only be gained in a very short season between April to June in Mongolia, one needs to purchase these seasonal materials on wholesale-basis. This causes any company to apply for a credit from banks. Each year, banks have to approve loans worth MNT 0.8 to 1.00 billion to cover the credit demand. If all conditions are created, the local factory will be able to produce yak wool and camel wool, fine and uncombed sheep wool and cashmere worth MNT 4 to 6 billion and to earn a profit of MNT 0.8 to 1.5 billion. This will enable it to self-finance its own manufacturing in the future.

We conclude that there is a big market for our finished products should the manufacturing is organized as discussed. We are striving to realize our main objective to boost the local production to a higher level. Should the trade environment improve between Mongolia and Russia, we will be able to deliver 10 to 20 thousand tons of textile to the Siberian markets. For instance, if we receive orders from 10 buyers for 2000 throws and blankets (made of yak and camel wool, fine/uncombed sheep wool or cashmere) each, we will be able to fill the orders only with 30 to 40 percent of our annual production which will have a total capacity to deliver 38 to 40 thousand meters of products annually. Therefore, we are confident that there is a market for small-sized manufacturers like us. Moreover, our company and Montextile Holding in which the company holds a significant stake has the ability to create the favorable conditions needed for the sale of the products to foreign markets.

To secure a reliable market, we need to improve the overall quality of our finished products, to expand the knitting capacity and to significantly boost the annual textile output. To meet these targets, we need the latest state-of-the-art manufacturing technology. Once we are able to improve our wool processing capacity using the locally available raw materials, we have potential markets for our finished products available in Japan, the USA and the Republic of Korea. The purchase of proper manufacturing technology will result in creation of our own textile production allowing us to earn an additional annual profit of MNT 3.0 to 3.5 billion and to recover the manufacturing cost within a fairly short period.

Ability to work Since the acquisition of the 71 percent stake in Mongol Nekhmel on time and within budget by the current management on June 20, 2001, the company has set up structures needed to modernize and expand the production, to improve technology and to undertake the following projects. Prior to the new management, the company had only one workshop for knitting and processing and possessed only one knitting (3.1 to 5.1mm) and two combing machines.

The accomplishments based on the modernization projects that were implemented:

Purchase and installation of a Chinese-made complete line for cleaning and washing wool and cashmere raw materials

Purchase and installation in the knitting facility of 4 units of knitting equipment TP-520 (made in Italy), a jacquard machine TP-520 and a new yarn spinning equipment.

  • The finishing facility acquired new equipment for dehairing/combing, drying and shortening from the PR of China, for combing and brushing from the Russian Federation, German-made equipment for textile cutting and combing, and machinery for shortening, washing, polishing and coloring from Italy. Investment: USD 500.000.
  • The spinning division was installed by Kyowa complete production line purchased in Japan.
  • Setting up of a jointly owned production facility with the acquisition of a complete Japanese-made combing and spinning line capable of delivering threads 24/2-28/2. Investment: USD 600.000.
  • Purchase in Japan of 6 units of textile-processing equipment and construction of the first part of textile factory. Investment: USD 4100.000.
  • Set-up of a new dyeing facility with the installation of a complete line for wool and thread dyeing. Investment: USD 450.000.

Total investment: USD 1 250 000.00

Goyo
GOYO LLC was established on the foundation of a former primary fiber processing company Mongol Amicale later MCCWC (Mongolia Cashmere Camel Wool Company). The company has started knitting high quality cashmere, camel and yak wool garments 14 years ago using 50 years of vast knowledge and experience inherited from Amicale Industries Inc, a former parent company of Mongol Amicale. The main investor is MC
S group ( www.mcs.mn ) number 3 tax payer in to Mongolian budget.

Currently, the company is a vertically integrated manufacturer. All stages of production starting from sorting, scouring, dehairing, spinning, knitting and finishing is all done under one roof enhancing GOYO’s flexibility to produce to its customers’ specification easily and to react quickly to the requirements of designers and customer sampling.

Our products are sold internationally. We are one of the biggest Mongolian dehaired cashmere exporter to England, Italy, Japan and other regions where the worldwide recognized fashion labels using our materials for the top class cashmere garment production. Also we export our pure 100% high quality cashmere, camel wool and yak wool yarns and garments to countries such as Russia, CIS countries, Germany, Denmark, East European countries and Japan both by own GOYO brand or other labels.

The factory’s annual processing capacities are 500 tons of raw cashmere and camel wool, 250 tons of de-haired cashmere and camel wool, 180 tons of yarns and approximately 300,000 pieces of high quality cashmere and camel wool garments, which is expected to be increased continuously.

GOYO’s manufacturing facility is equipped with the most advanced and specifically designed technology from US, UK and Italy. The dehairing machinery is the finest in Mongolia.

The company is consulted by a staff of experienced and highly qualified experts directly involved in production and design. It also has made use of technicians and consultants from the traditional centers of cashmere industry.

The company’s processing of cashmere and other fibers such as camel and yak wool includes operations such as:

  • Initial processing line – sorting, scouring and dehairing (cashmere, camel and yak wool);
  • Spinning line – blending, carding, spinning, winding;
  • Finishing line – knitting, sewing and finishing

The GOYO has been numerously recognized by the government of Mongolia for its hard work and competence and has been awarded as the “Factory of the Year”, “Best Brand of the Year”, “Enterprise of the Year Grand Prix”, “Light Industry Best Product” the largest Trade Show organized in Mongolia, “Top 100 Company” and “Best 99 Products” from the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

  • Traditional fashion

 

 Fermel
Founded in 1982 and privatized in 1994, Eermel (Evseg TM) is on its way to becoming a strong competitor in the world market of quality cashmere and camel wool products. Today, it is the second largest manufacturer of Cashmire in Mongolia, after Gobi Cashmere Industry.

Presently, Eermel has over 600 workers and has capacity of washing 500.0 tons and de-hairing 90.0 tons annually, making it highly efficient in key segments of Cashmire production. The company now has four production lines of textile, knitting, sewing and quilting, and produces more than 380 different types of end-products available for customers to purchase at prestige stores throughout Mongolia. The company exports dehaired cashmere to Switzerland, China, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan and the USA, and exports knitted yarns to Japan, Italy, China, United Kingdom and Mexico. Russia continues to be the largest recipient of Eermel Cashmire exports.

In addition to Cashmire, Eermel is Mongolian trading company that trades in coal, cobalt and copper and is also an importer of consumer goods to Mongolia. 50 percent of Eermel’s shares are owned by the everyday workers of the plant.

The company has been selling public shares since November 28, 1992 with the initial price of 100 MNT per 1 unit of stock.

Felt making in Mongolia
The most important animals in Mongolia are the five hoofed animals of Cow, Sheep, Camel, Goat and Horse. From these a Mongolian herder can obtain most of the resources they need to survive - clothing, housing, food, tools, games and even fortune telling! Of all of the animals the sheep is the most versatile and produces the dairy, meat and wool that are the cornerstone of survival in the harsh climate.

Mongolia often calls itself the ‘Felt Nation’ and this fitting tribute only touches on the importance this material has held to the people. Its versatility, warmth and strength means it can be found as boots, hats, gloves, a cover for the car engine, a bag, a rug and much more. Yet its most important contribution has been to provide simple and effective insulation to the traditional tent (ger). This goes around and over the wooden ger frame as large rolled felt pieces and the whole is then usually covered with a fitted white cotton cover. These felt pieces are made approximately 2cm thick. While in summer one layer is enough for the tent, in winter (as temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees C) it is more common to use 3 or 4 layers.

Making fine felt
While the usual Mongolian technique works best for producing large sheets of pressed felt it is not suited to thinner or shaped felt as used in clothing such as hats or gloves. In this instance the wool is first carded into a soft wadding using a hand cranked spiked drum. It is dyed at this stage using a variety of natural or manmade dyes. Using lots of soapy water the coloured felt is put inside a pillow case or similar and hand rolled to create a small flat sheet. This felt sheet can then be moulded over a hat block or other object and manipulated into the desired shape. To add extra detail (such as flower or pattern decorations) small pieces of wet felt are often hand pressed into the main object.  

Once dried, felt holds its shape very well and - being a tight weave - is relatively showerproof. Also because the dye is added early in the construction and goes through several rigorous washing processes, the colours do not bleed out or fade. This means you can be confident that your bag or boots from us will stand the test of time. Even better still you know you are wearing a unique fully handmade item - a difficult thing to find in this day and age!

  • Traditional fashion

 

Current situation

Mongolia has 32.4 thousand tons of raw wool. 22.0 thousand tons (68.2%) of it is sheep wool, 6642 tons (20.5%) goat wool, 1330 tons (4.1%) camel wool, 1200 tons (3.7%) horse shed hair, and 1140 tons (3.5%) of it is cow shed hair. Around 91.7% of the sheep wool is coarse; around 30% of it is fine wool, and the remaining 2000 tons of it is average.

In the Mongolian cashmere manufacturing market, there are 54 companies, 6 of which are domestic and 48 foreign investment. Due to the demand for cashmere exportation, there are numerous primary processing factories with simple scouring technology. 26 of the joint- factories are owned by persons from the People\'s Republic of China, and remaining 10 companies are USA, Japan, Italy, UK and Switzerland owned. 9 of these factories are knitting factories, and 44 of them are primary level manufacturing factories. Five of them are in rural areas and 48 of them are in Ulaanbaatar.

During the first 10 months of this year, the wool and cashmere sector accounted for 5.6% of the total industrial manufacturing at a value of 123.3 billion tugrugs. This amount shows a 9.3% decrease compared with last year. The total sales of cashmere products has reached 121 billion tugrugs with 97.1 billion (80.2%) of it from export.
In an effort to streamline, companies reduced their workforces by an average of 14.2%. There are currently 4174 employees in this sector.

The dominant manufactured products are:

  • 39.9 tons of yarn processed to primary level showing a 59% increase as compared with last year.
  • 466,100 knitted products were produced. 68.6 thousand of these were exported, showing an increase of 6.5% compared to the previous year.
  • 33.9 thousand meters of camel wool blankets were produced. 1470 of the total were exported showing an increase of 32.4%.
  • 100.0 thousand meters of felt was produced with 9.5 thousand of it finished into felt boots. An increase from the previous year of 2.6-3 thousand more finished boots. In the current year, approximately 20 domestic felt processing factories were established. As a result, the use of sheep wool, felt manufacturing, and felt product sales increased remarkably.
  • 8.8 billion tugrugs of domestic investments were channeled into finishing, spinning and knitting by Mongolian leading companies such as "Gobi" Shareholding company, "Goyo" LLC, "Altai Cashmere" LLC, "Sor Cashmere" LLC, and "Khanbogd" LLC.

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