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Underrated Fiber Series: Yak Wool

by Justin Thomas •

Yak wool or down is a very warm fiber that’s also lightweight and soft. It’s a more affordable alternative to the rare qiviut (musk ox down).

Yaks are primarily raised by nomadic Tibetan and Mongolian families. Their wool is combed (not shorn) once per year in the springtime when the animals shed their winter coat.

Some advantages of yak wool:

  • Yak wool is 66% more breathable and 40% warmer than merino, weight for weight
  • Wicks moisture efficiently and allows sweat vapor to escape from your skin, so you won’t overheat or feel clammy
  • Naturally anti-bacterial fabric smells fresher longer
  • Feels soft like cashmere – and there’s no itch

The major producers of yak wool clothing are: Kora, Khunu and Handcombed.

Update 2019

I now have an article that lists the Best Yak Wool Clothing.

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