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Yak Wool - the Warmth of Merino combined with the Luxury of Cashmere
The vast majority of the global population of yaks live in China, followed by Mongolia. They have evolved into being amazingly well-adapted to the extreme and inhospitable conditions of the Himalayan mountains.
The yak can literally mean the survival of some nomadic tribes. Not only does it provide both food and drink, in its meat and milk, but it is also a primary means of transportation for goods. In addition, it supplies fuel in the form of dried dung, which is used for heating and its wool woven into clothing, blankets and ropes.
Yaks naturally shed their winter coat in the springtime and it is during this season that the nomads collect the wool through combing. For this reason, it doesn´t achieve anything like the yield of wool from sheep. Given where
the yak lives, it is no surprise that clothing made from yak wool is
considered as warm if not warmer than merino wool, one of Australia and New
Zealand´s favourite fabrics. Perhaps less expected is the fact that yak wool creates a material comparable to cashmere in its soft and luxurious feel. Yak wool is frequently combined with other wools and yarns to create a variety of new, durable, soft and exceptionally warm materials. Bamboo and merino are two of these.
Genuine yak leather is the best material on the market for long lasting exceptionally durable outdoor gear. Ecco waterproof shoes have been designed to last. Yak leather will last up to three times longer than genuine cowhide leather and it looks good too. More and more products are becoming available in yak leather.
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Amazingly, yak hair, yak wool and yak products are entering the market in all sorts of arenas. If you would ever have thought that a professional clown would prefer to use a yak hair wig, then you would have been right. They are hand-tied, ventilated, thick and full of hair and washable.
Locally, items ranging from socks to blankets are sold in wonderful vivid colors and yak wool is the staple material used for keeping toasty and snug in temperatures which are scarcely imaginable. Enthusiasts of yak wool also rate the breathability of the clothing, which wicks away moisture and this in turn helps to avoid rentention of odours.
Internationally, though, we are yet to catch on fully to the benefits of this versatile and incredibly insulating wool. It is undoubtedly more expensive than other wool products, but it can create about as warm a material as you are likely ever to come across in your life.