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Yak Wool: A Fiber With 7 Enduring Benefits

Yak wool's exceptional breathability, warmth, moisture-wicking, elasticity, and durability make it a standout choice.
July 20, 2023
By Oliver Charles

Khullu, the soft down wool of yak, has a rich history dating back thousands of years when it was first transformed into clothing. Even in today's modern world, knitting, and weaving enthusiasts continue to embrace this iconic natural fiber.

With countless materials available to pick from, there are a few reasons yak wool is special and why it's remained popular for centuries.

In this blog post, we'll explore some of the benefits that make wool a preferred choice for clothing and why we decided to make yak wool sweaters.

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How Yak Wool Helps Regulate Body Temperature

First and foremost, yak wool is a versatile fiber suitable for all-season wear. Its breathability allows it to keep you at the perfect temperature without trapping moisture. This means that even garments made with thin wool yarns are comfortable to wear in the summer.

Thanks to its moisture-wicking properties, wool doesn't trap sweat, eliminating unpleasant odors. Furthermore, the inherent dryness of wool also discourages bacterial and mold growth. Consequently, yak wool sweaters can go longer without washing compared to other garments, without developing a lingering smell.

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Yak Wool Is Biodegradable, Unlike Synthetics

Just like humans grow hair, yak grow wool. On average, a yak can yield around 3 pounds of down each year. Yak produce 5x as much soft wool as cashmere goats.

Yak wool is a renewable resource that relies on the grassy plains of the Tibetan Plateau, sunlight, and, of course, the mighty yak.

Yak wool is biodegradable, making yak khullu an environmentally friendly choice for clothing. Synthetic clothing like polyester alternatively is made from plastic and is not biodegradable, which causes them to sit forever in landfills and also leach microplastics into the environment.

While you may not think of yak wool as a workout material, yak wool's breathability and elastic quality makes it suitable for a wide range of garments.

With proper care, wool clothing can stretch without losing its shape. That’s part of what makes Oliver Charles All-Season Sweater great. I can roll up my sleeves, and they won't significantly loosen when I bring them down. 

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Yak Wool Is More Durable Than Cotton

Durability is another remarkable characteristic of yak wool. Its unique structure makes it even more robust than natural fibers like cotton. For centuries, wool has been transformed into garments that stand the test of time.

However, the extraordinary durability of yak wool takes this concept to new heights. When cared for properly, a yak wool sweater can last a lifetime, becoming a cherished heirloom passed down through generations.

The longevity of a yak wool sweater can be attributed to the unique properties of yak wool itself. The fibers possess exceptional tensile strength, allowing them to resist wear and tear even under demanding conditions.

Moreover, yak wool boasts natural elasticity, enabling it to recover from stretching or deformation without compromising its integrity. This characteristic ensures that the sweater retains its original shape and fit.

From its robust structure to its versatility and other desirable properties, yak wool stands as a testament to nature's remarkable craftsmanship and its ability to provide us with materials that are both functional and timeless.

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Advantages of Yak And Merino Wool Over Cashmere, Shetland, And Mohair

In today's market, when it comes to selecting the perfect wool for various applications, the choices seem endless. However, amidst the myriad of options available, yak wool and merino wool have proven themselves to be timeless and classic choices.

Renowned for their exceptional qualities, these two types of wool continue to set the gold standard in terms of performance, ease of care, comfort, and sustainability. In comparison, other wools, such as cashmere, shetland, and mohair, often fall short in one or more of these essential aspects.

Yak wool and merino wool stand out as the go-to choices for those seeking a superior combination of performance and functionality. Both types possess remarkable insulating properties, ensuring optimal thermoregulation even in the harshest hot or cold conditions.

When it comes to ease of care, yak wool and merino wool shine brightly. These wools are known for their natural resistance to odors, dirt, and wrinkles, reducing the need for frequent washing and making them incredibly low maintenance. This advantage not only saves time and effort but also contributes to the longevity of wool garments. With minimal care requirements, yak wool and merino wool products retain their quality and appearance for an extended period.

In terms of comfort, yak wool and merino wool surpass other alternatives. They boast an exceptional softness and fine texture, which feels gentle against the skin. Both types of wool are known for their breathability, allowing moisture to escape and ensuring a dry and comfortable wearing experience. Whether used in base layers, sweaters, or blankets, yak wool and merino wool provide unparalleled comfort, making them ideal for individuals with sensitive skin.

Sustainability is an increasingly important consideration in today's world, and yak wool and merino wool proudly exemplify eco-friendly choices. These wools are derived from natural and renewable sources. Yak wool, sourced from the soft undercoat of the yak, is a byproduct of the animal's natural shedding process. Merino wool is obtained from the merino sheep, which are bred specifically for their high-quality fleece. The sustainable nature of these wools aligns with the growing demand for environmentally conscious products and promotes ethical practices within the fashion industry.

On the other hand, other types of wool, such as cashmere, shetland, and mohair, fall short in comparison to yak wool and merino wool. Cashmere, while highly prized for its luxurious feel, lacks durability, is not eco-friendly in its current form, and isn't easy to care for. Shetland wool, although known for its warmth and insulation, may not offer the same level of softness and comfort as yak wool and merino wool. Mohair, derived from the angora goat, can sometimes be coarser and less insulating than its counterparts.

When it comes to selecting the perfect wool, yak wool and merino wool stand out as timeless and classic choices. With their exceptional performance, ease of care, comfort, and sustainability, these wools continue to set the gold standard in the industry. While other wools may have their merits, they often lack one or more of the essential qualities that make yak wool and merino wool the preferred options for discerning individuals seeking the utmost in quality and functionality.

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Reasons Yak Wool Has Been Used For Centuries

When it comes to selecting the perfect wool, yak wool emerges as an extraordinary fiber that deserves recognition and appreciation. With its unique qualities and remarkable performance, yak wool has earned a special place in the world of textiles.

One of the most notable aspects of yak wool is its exceptional warmth and insulation capabilities. The harsh and extreme environments in which yaks thrive, such as the high-altitude regions of the Himalayas, have shaped their wool to possess unparalleled thermal properties.

The fibers are naturally fine, soft, and densely packed, allowing them to trap air efficiently and provide optimal insulation in cold climates. This inherent warmth makes yak wool an ideal choice for sweaters designed to keep you cozy and comfortable during chilly winters or outdoor adventures in frosty conditions.

Beyond its insulating prowess, yak wool offers an excellent balance of breathability and moisture-wicking properties. The unique structure of the fibers allows air to circulate and moisture to escape, ensuring that you stay dry and comfortable even during active pursuits or in fluctuating weather conditions. This breathability helps regulate body temperature and prevents the accumulation of sweat, making yak wool garments suitable for both mild and intense activities.

Moreover, yak wool can be sourced in a sustainable and ethical manner. Yaks are domesticated animals that have been a vital part of the local communities in the Himalayan region for centuries. The wool is typically obtained through a process called "combing," where the loose fibers are collected from the yaks during their natural shedding season. This ensures that the yaks are not harmed, and the wool is obtained in an environmentally friendly manner without causing any undue stress to the animals.

Yak wool's exceptional feel, breathability, warmth, moisture-wicking, flame resistance, elasticity, and durability make it a standout choice for those seeking high-quality and functional wool garments.

Its unique attributes, coupled with its sustainable sourcing, contribute to the enduring appeal of yak wool as a remarkable fiber. The next time you wrap yourself in a yak wool garment, take a moment to appreciate the incredible qualities that make it a truly extraordinary choice.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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