Used by nomads for centuries, but only known to the rest of the world recently, yak fibre is a rare and refined substance. The small number of local herders in Nepal, Mongolia, and Western China, and the yak's small fibre output makes the wool a sparse commodity. However we chose it as the quality and benefits it provides match Our Values.
The unique fibre’s benefits are many. Yak wool is incredibly breathable, soft, stretchy, and moisture wicking. Although the sum of these truly sets it apart, as it regulates temperature naturally better than any other substance. When it’s hot, the ventilation provides cooling. When it’s cold, the insulation provides warmth. Yak wool is more breathable than merino, soft as cashmere, and resilient as camel.
Far from being just a little more breathable than merino, yak is 66% more breathable. The benefits only continue from there, as it is 20% warmer. It is distinctly more durable, and just as anti-bacterial. If this weren’t enough yak wool averages 15% softer, without being scratchy like merino wool.
This material is hard to come by however as the production per yak is exotically low. Yak down fibre is the soft inner coat of the pelt, whereas yak hair is the coarse, thick outer coat that nomads use for tents and rope. Shedding twice a year, a yak provides around 2 kilograms of its coat. Half of that is yak wool fibre. This means a yak sheds enough in a year to produce only 6 Classic Scarves. In other words, not a lot.
The benefits and rarity make sense, as yaks are the only domesticated mammal to live at an altitude over 15,000 feet. In these harsh cold conditions, where it can drop to -40C, the yaks need a unrivalled coat of wool to survive. In the most uninviting living conditions the yak offers the finest fibre, to make the finest apparel.