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Thanks to our amazing herder families and their beloved yaks, we are able to share with you nature’s finest yak cashmere. We love this stuff. It’s hands down (or rather feet down) one of the very best fibers available for outdoor apparel. It’s softer, warmer and more breathable that traditional wool, cotton or synthetics. It’s just fan-freakin-tastic.
YAK CASHMERE? WTF IS YAK CASHMERE?
You heard that right -- 100% genuine Mongolian yak cashmere. Absolutely no knockoffs. No imitations. No substitutions. People sometimes refer to it as yak wool but that’s not completely accurate. True yak cashmere is actually the fine wool that grows closer to the yak’s body, but we don't mind if you call it yak wool. Check out some of these other sites if you'd like to learn more about the difference betwen yak wool and cash cashmere or find out
HOW IS YAK SUPERIOR TO MERINO WOOL, COTTON AND SYNTHETICS?
The most super obvious way is the luxurious softness that merino can't even compare to. If that wasn't proof enough, the performance and comfort properties of yak cashmere dominate merino wool hands down. We might be partial though. We'll let the science speak for us.
- It adjusts better to high heat and humidity and can be comfortable in literally any climate.
- Naturally hollow fibers allows it to capture and retain 40% more warmth than merino.
- Yak cashmere’s superior heat properties allow the socks to be lighter weight.
- By weight, yak cashmere is 7 – 8x warmer than merino which means you're getting more heat out of lighter weight garments. That's science, not witchcraft.
- 30% greater breathability means better heat regulation during any type of activity.
- Better moisture wicking capabilities means faster drying and no damp swamp foot.
- Natural UV protection.
- Anti-microbial and odor resistant which means no stank unlike synthetic fibers and cotton.
- Naturally water resistant means that less chance that splash in a puddle or spilled iced coffee will soak those precious tootsies.
- Naturally smooth fibers when viewed under a microscope as opposed to the jagged merino wool fiber. This means a softer fabric with less chemical treatment to soften.
- Naturally dye-free. Yak cashmere comes in a variety of shades of brown, gray, black and white but it can be dyed other colors.
- Naturally resists wrinkling and static.
ARE YAK AND MERINO SHEEP THE SAME?
No. Not even a little bit. Yaks are 2000 lbs worth of lumbering toughness built for some of the most rugged landscapes on the planet. Merino sheep are much smaller and more frail. Check out more about yaks here.
WHERE DO YOU GET YAK CASHMERE?
Yaks obviously, but we assume you mean what part of the world? Our yaks don’t have any frequent flyer miles so they tend to be homebodies and stay in Mongolia. Yak cashmere is only available from a few select places on the planet like Mongolia, Tibet and Nepal. These regions are perfectly suited to the yak. They live at a much higher altitudes ranging from 8,000 feet – 18,000 feet. The temperatures there can get as cold as -50° Fahrenheit in the winter and as high as 104° Fahrenheit in the summer.
Compare that to merino sheep. They can be found in many regions of the world but most commercial merino world comes from Australia and New Zealand at around 3,000 feet. The temperatures there only get down to only -4° Fahrenheit.
HOW DO YOU GET YAK CASHMERE?
We ask really nicely. When that doesn't work, we comb rather than clip. The process is more involved and takes longer, but it is significantly less stressful and painful. This means our yaks are back out in the open steppes grazing no worse for wear.
On the other hand, merino sheep wool is harvested in an industrialized, assembly-line fashion of sheep shearing which creates a mentality of speed with less regard for animal welfare. This leads to an alarming amount of stress, injury and sometimes death of the sheep.
WHY CAN'T YAK CASHMERE GROW FASTER?
You try growing your hair out on demand. It’s hard. We’ve tried.
We let the yaks grow their coats naturally, without our interference which produces finer, softer fibers. We gather the yak cashmere to coincide with their natural molting cycles. Because a yak is combed rather than sheared, the yield is lower. No way are we shearing a yak. It doesn’t like it.
Yak cashmere is only available at select times during the year. Once it's gone for the year, it's gone until the next season! Nature doesn't follow any of our schedules nor does it really care about our fashion needs. We're happy to work in balance with the natural cycle of things.
WHY NOT JUST GET MORE YAKS?
One of the things we stand for is respect for the land. Natural yak habitats are very fragile and we support living in balance with what the land can properly sustain. Because of this, we don't want to encourage an over-burdened level of farming to the environment. It's harmful to the land, the people, the animals and in the end you because you get a sub-par product.
Unlike merino, yak herders keep yaks in the family for the whole life of the yak. They use it for milk, work, fuel, clothing, transport and when it finally passes, for food.
***Socks Can be returned within 30 days up of delivery of the item, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Feel free to reach out. We're here to help.
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Our products are produced only in limited runs and are extremely seasonal. Once they’re gone, they may not be back! Sign up for our newsletter to stay updated as new products, sizes and colors become available.
Happy Yak - Manufactured & designed in Mongolia and Bend, Oregon