122044-015ProductWool & Yak Jacquard Jumper
Once a catchall term for the hardy woollen cloth worn by Highlanders, ‘tartan’ now refers to the distinctive plaids that have identified Scottish clans for thousands of years.
Ancient Celts probably brought tartan to the Scottish Highlands between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE. Over time, tartans were woven specially for different castes – kings had seven stripes and peasants had only one. Colours were added, patterns grew more complex, and families and clans began using unique tartans to identify ancestry and announce fealty.
Tartans are actually complex twill weaves, but rather than using identical warp and weft patterns, tartans use slightly different fibres and colours to create individual patterns. Twill’s strength and cold- and water-repellent qualities made it well-suited to the rough, outdoor living of Highlanders.
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.
Supplier Fujian Wanjiamei textile clothing
Based in the city of Quanzhou – which lies on the coast between Guangzhou and Shanghai – the Fujian factory designs and manufactures high-quality heavy knits. The company was founded in 2006, and its 1,500 employees are skilled in yarn winding, knitting panels, linking and special workmanship techniques – like advanced embroidery and traditional intarsia knitting by hand. With a number of quality and environmental certifications, Fujian reduces their waste and emissions by employing a better utilisation rate of raw materials. They are crafting heavy-knit pieces for ARKET, using all of their advanced skills – including embroidery and hand knitting.