Yak yarn is spun from the dense, insulating down wool of the Central Asian yak, a longhaired bovine herd animal that has developed a warm, layered coat to survive extreme environments. The exceptionally fine yak down fibres have a fawn or brown colour, and with a diameter comparable to cashmere or superfine merino, they are equally smooth and soft.
Yaks are longhaired bovine herd animals that live on high-altitude grazelands on the plateaus of Central Asia. To survive the extreme environments, where winter temperatures can reach below -40°C, yaks have developed a warm, layered coat for seasonal protection.
Their characteristic shaggy, coarse guard hair has traditionally been used by local communities in Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia to make ropes and tents. The mid-layer consists of softer and finer but very strong fibres that can be woven into rough fabrics. Closest to their body, yaks have a dense, insulating down coat that, if not dehaired, will be shed naturally in the summer months. It is this down wool that is spun into knitting yarn.
The exceptionally fine yak down fibres have a fawn or brown colour, and with a diameter comparable to cashmere or superfine merino, they are equally smooth and soft. Warmer than merino wool, measured by weight, yak yarn can be knitted into lighter-weight yet warm garments. The airy texture of the yak fibres absorbs and transports moisture away from the body, and the material is also naturally anti-bacterial, which means a yak garment can be worn for a longer time without washing.