We Love Yak!

We Love Yak!

If you read high-performance activewear labels lately, you might notice a new fiber used in clothing designed to be a warm base layer. Yak fiber is the newest thing to hit the market—except it isn't new. Yaks, and the fibers they produce, have been used for hundreds of years across Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and parts of China. Yaks are bovines, cousins to cattle, and they help cultivate fields, fertilize soil, and produce milk, hair and fiber, meat, and leather.   

As Fine as Cashmere

Yak down is the undercoat grown for winter protection against brutally cold temperatures. At 15-19 microns in thickness, the extremely fine fibers are hollow, trapping air and contributing to yak wools' outstanding insulation properties. That's why yak wool is 30% warmer than sheep wool. Cashmere fibers are similar in thickness, varying between 14-21 microns thick.

More Limited in Availability

In spring, yaks shed the down, which is combed and gathered by hand before the animals are sheared for the rest of their wool. An adult yak produces between 300 and 700 grams (10-24 oz.) of down per year—which isn't much. That's why you're more likely to see yak fiber blended with wool or cashmere. Long, coarse fibers from the yak's outer coat are used for making tent insulation, blankets, and rope.

Perfect for Pillows

We recently had the opportunity to procure surplus 100% yak throws, which are being upcycled for DandyLion pillows. We love yak for lots of reasons. Softness is paramount. Every DandyLion pillow must pass a "face test" before it leaves the studio, and yak makes that easy. Yak wool is light and breathable—1.6 times more breathable than cashmere or lambswool. It's also highly resilient and resists pilling better than cashmere. And not that we advocate using a pillow as a sponge, but yak absorbs liquid like nobody's business while retaining antimicrobial qualities that resist odor.

Yak fiber also supports our commitment to sustainability. Unlike goats (including Kashmir goats used for cashmere production) that pull vegetation out by its roots, yaks are efficient grazers that don't destroy grazing land. They sustain family livelihoods throughout Asia, enabling us to enjoy a naturally sustainable luxury fiber. The yak throws—soon to be pillows—trace their provenance to the Hangai mountains in Mongolia, where the yak down industry supports herder families, local cooperatives, knitters, and weavers.


Enjoy the luxurious feel of yak. Coming Soon.

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