Frequently Asked Questions
I originally came to Mongolia in 2010 as a Peace Corps volunteer, and lived in a smaller city, Darkhan, for 2 years. After leaving the Peace Corps, I still wanted to stay involved with Mongolia, and started a fashion label creating and selling Mongolian cashmere clothes. (You can still see the Kickstarter campaign I made for that label in my history, but you’re definitely going to cringe a bit!)
My background is in finance and business development, not fashion, so the endeavor was hard for me from the start. For a few years shops were selling our items in cities all over the world, including Tokyo, NYC, London, and Paris. I learned a ton about manufacturing here in Mongolia and also about the fashion industry, but in the end, it didn’t quite work out. We stopped making new lines in 2015, but I’ve still been living and working in Mongolia, waiting for the right projects and partners to keep promoting Mongolia and its incredible products.
After moving back to Mongolia permanently 2014, I’m currently going through my 5th Mongolian winter! I work teaching English to make a living, and use my free time to develop ULA + LIA. My biggest goal in life is to be able to focus on my own business exclusively, and expand ULA + LIA into a lifestyle brand that showcases the incredible raw materials and workmanship that can be found in Mongolia.Last updated:
First and foremost, I’m raising money to make the minimum requirements for spinning. Any profits or surplus funding will go directly into inventory to continue providing yarn to customers after the campaign.Last updated:
All of our fibers come from free-range animals raised by traditional nomadic herders in Mongolia. The unique, bitterly cold Mongolian winters force these animals to produce super warm fibers to sustain them through the winters. In addition to being soft, Mongolian fibers tend to be longer than most comparable fibers in other regions of the world. Longer fibers make stronger yarn that is more resilient to pilling, which will make your soft, warm, lovely items last.Last updated:
Not at all! Animals are brushed, not even sheered, when collecting their wool. Sheep are sheered, but still aren’t hurt at all when collecting their lovely wool. Herders also wait until the spring when the animals naturally start to shed their fibers so the animals aren’t left in the cold.Last updated:
I suggest using a gentle, wool friendly detergent (e.g. woolite) and hand washing. Through our manufacturing process, the fibers may still carry some oils that are used to make the best yarn possible. By washing the fibers, you can also loosen the fibers and yarn a bit to maximize their natural softness.Last updated:
For our main goals, we are starting with natural colors. For cashmere, we will be offering the Natural Taupe, and then the Natural Cream for a stretch goal. For yak wool, we have Natural Dark Chocolate and then a Natural Milk Chocolate for our color options. For camel, we are offering the Natural Sandstone.
For cashmere, we will be offering stretch goals to add Crimson, Heather Gray, Charcoal Gray, and other colors as we hopefully grow. Let me know which colors you are interested in, and I will do my best to have them made. These items will also be in my inventory, so having the colors most highly requested by you guys is important to me.
For camel and yak, we will only be offering the natural colors. Due to their darker natural colors, the fibers are much more difficult to dye and require a much higher level of processing and bleaching to accept colors. The natural lighter cashmere does not require the bleaching and processing necessary to accept dye, which keeps our fibers fluffier, softer, and longer lasting, even when colored.Last updated:
As a short answer, our cashmere and yak wool shouldn't cause any reactions for those with wool allergies. Camel wool may cause the same allergies as sheep wool.
For those interested in a longer answer, get comfortable!
On the pictures I have of the goats and the yak on the campaign, you can see the difference of wools between what's on their backs and what's on their bellies. The really fine, soft, wispy fibers you can see on their bellies is cashmere (on the goat) and yak down, or cashmere, or something else on the yaks. It should really be called yak cashmere, but cashmere legally has to be from a goat, so we still call it yak wool or sometimes yak down.
The process is really the same for both animals, in that you brush their bellies and chins, and then separate the thick guard hairs from the cashmere/down, leaving only the softest fibers. This is different from sheep's wool where the animal is sheered and the entire fleece is used.
I also say that to get into wool allergies. Some, albeit a very small % of people, have a true wool allergy. Specifically, they are allergic to the lanolin (or oil) that is found in wool. People with a true lanolin allergy will get a runny nose, break out in hives, sneeze, etc. The same type of response you'd get to cats if you were allergic. Camel wool also has a very high content of a coating similar to lanolin, which will cause reactions to those with true wool allergies. That being said, the lanolin also contributes to the qualities in camel wool that make it so durable and great for active people.
However, most of the people that have reactions to wool just have a reaction because the fibers are too coarse and rough, and aggravate the skin.
If it's the latter, a lot of people that are wool sensitive do not have sensitivity to cashmere and yak down because the fibers are much softer and finer, and don't prickle or aggravate the skin.
For true wool/lanolin allergies, lanolin only comes from sheep, so cashmere and yak wool don't have any lanolin and are both considered to be hypo-allergenic and appropriate for those with sheep wool allergies. That being said, some people that have super sensitive skin still find even cashmere uncomfortable on bare skin, so everybody has their own preferences.
In terms of thickness, yak wool is only slightly thicker/more course than cashmere, but both are well under the thickness that starts to cause aggravation and itchiness. Camel wool is going to be much closer to sheep wool in composition and coarseness, so I’d assume those with sheep wool allergies would also experience the same with camel wool.Last updated:
YES! Just add the price to whichever reward you select, and you will have a chance to select multiple rewards during our survey after the campaign ends. If the extra weight bumps you up a shipping class, you will be able to add the extra money to account for that as well.Last updated:
I wanted to give a little more shipping info, especially for my backers not in the U.S. I know shipping is a bit expensive compared to the cost of the rewards, so I wanted to break down how the shipping classes work and the costs for multiple rewards. Hopefully that can make the rewards more feasible for some of you guys!
For example, a 300g package is about $25 to countries outside of US/CA, but a 32oz/900g package is the same exact price ($25). Because of that, shipping will be the same price for the pre-funding special by itself, or if you add a 400g pack (720 total grams). So, if you are interested in getting more than one reward, don't worry about paying double for shipping! $25 for 300g might sting a bit, but maybe makes more sense at 400 or 500g.
I'll be using backerkit for fulfillment, so I'll be sure to set up shipping classes for multiple rewards that ensure everybody gets the cheapest shipping prices possible. If it's hard to calculate now, you can also add more to cover shipping after the campaign ends in backerkit. I guess I just wanted to let you guys know that shipping will get cheaper after combining rewards, they won't just add together!
Here are some more classes for my international backers if you guys are curious:
Up to 32oz/900g - $16 for Canada, $24 everywhere else
Up to 48oz/1350g - $26 for Canada, $36 everywhere else
Up to 64oz/1800g - $38 for Canada, $58 everywhere else.
Shipping will also be cheaper to combine for US backers. Here are some classes that will help for combined weights:
Up to 16oz/450g- Varies (caps at $8)
Up to 32oz/900g- $10
Up to 48oz/1350 - $12
During my first campaign, I made mistakes with shipping prices that ended up really squeezing my margins and ultimately made me miss the opportunity to build an inventory after the campaign. I’m doing my best to avoid all those issues this time around and make sure this project will be sustainable! Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about shipping.Last updated:
Don't see the answer to your question? Ask the project creator directly.Ask a question