Categorized as a luxury fibre the Yak has seen no increase of popularity in comparison with other luxury fibres such as cashmere.
Some sources blame the name Yak for the decline in popularity.
The Yak, also named Bos grunniens, is a domesticated animal found in the steppe regions of the Himalaya, Tibet.
The Tibetan people use the yak for beasts of burden, meat, milk, fibre and also use it for their skin.
The fibre’s natural colour’s varies. The domesticated Yak’s hair’s can be found in brown and light yellow colours. The small amount of Yak that can still be found in the wild can be dark brown and black. In order to produce lighter shades, one will have to bleach the fibre, which will cause its texture to change.
The sheep and the yak fibres differ, the fibre length of the yak is smaller and much smoother.
Consisting of 3 components, the Yak hair has a course outer guard hair, a woolly centre partand a fine down undercoat. The soft fine down undercoat is the most desirable part of the hairs and is removed by combing.
It is said that the quality of this hair is between the cashmere and camel hair, therefore it is often used as a substitute to cashmere as it would work out more economical.
Because of the positioning of the hair (between cashmere and camel hair), this hair has never been produced on a large scale. Rather the Yak wool has been used as an interesting alternative to yarn crafters, knitters and weavers.