Victorian processor seeks industry funding for natural fibre dryer

Terry Sim, October 28, 2022

Charles and Trisha Esson.

AUSTRALIA’S largest specialty cashmere and other natural fibre processor has resorted to a unique crowdfunding campaign to build a dryer to add value to its new more sustainable vertical scouring line.

Cashmere Connections at Bacchus Marsh recently commissioned an innovative vertical scour that uses less power, water and heat, but also needed costly opening equipment and a willow card.

The family-owned business run by Charles and Trisha Esson was started in 2003 in response to the lack of processing facilities in Australia to value add to the Australian cashmere clip. The business has evolved to meet the needs of its specialty fibre clients and now offers scouring, carding, topmaking, blending and dehairing.

Now with tonnes of cashmere, alpaca and specialty sheep breed wool awaiting scouring, the business is seeking pre-processing and product commitments of up to $50,000 from investors to help build a dryer that will speed up fibre preparation for storage, shipment and further processing.

The ReadyFundGo campaign will run until November 28 this year and currently has pledges totalling $17.045.

Mrs Esson said the current vertical scour is too slow for the demands of cashmere, alpaca, mohair, coloured wool and rare breed wool clients. Other scouring options for small natural fibre producers are limited, with Australia’s major wool scourers having large minimum lot requirements.

“Industry needs it.

“It is really is to fill a gap in the market,” she said.

“People are screaming out for it, the scouring is just taking too long.

“We have a backlog of people waiting to get stuff scoured,” Mrs Esson said.

“It’s a variety of fibres that can’t be scoured elsewhere.”

Mrs Esson said the business had been relying on cashflow to build the new vertical scour and install waste treatment equipment.

Supporters of the crowdfunding campaign will get processing “rewards”, including processing packages and products, she said.

Click here for more details about early stage natural fibre processing and the crowdfunding campaign.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Martha Peach, October 30, 2022

    Hello, It seems that your need is a general need among wool growing countries and I am very interesed to know what progress you have realised and what equipment you have found best for your needs. Thanks so much for reading my message and I look forward to hearing from you. Martha Peach, Fibershed España.
    Editor’s note: I suggest you contact Cashmere Connections directly Martha or follow the crowdfunding link in the story to where there is extensive information on the company’s processing capacilities.

Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -