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Yak wool

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Sacred and sustainable: Yak wool

The "Roof of the world", what other name could one give to the highest plateau in the world set and protected by the Himalayan mountain range (most of which are considered sacred: and this already says a lot about tradition and mysticism that hovers in this wonderful strip of land).

The Himalayas, an ice warrior who watches you from above, scrutinizes you, teaches you. Where it is possible meet the "Tibetan ox", the yak, and the wonderful wool that is obtained from this friendly beast.

Yes, because if you go to Tibet and venture into the valleys by trekking, the meeting with the yak it is almost mandatory.

The friendly Tibetan ox has now become practically a pet (the specimens that live in the wild are very few now) and is a fundamental source of sustenance for the inhabitants of the villages throughout the Tibetan plateau.

Here is a very nice video to make you understand the relationship between humans and him yak:

The Tibetan nomads they live in perfect harmony with yaks and sherpas cannot do without the strength these animals make available in a rugged and difficult landscape.

But what is fundamental for the Tibetans is the fact that the Tibetan ox it is a sacred animal and then untouchable until his death of natural causes.

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Yak wool

Have you ever tried sleeping under a blanket made from yak wool? Trust me, it is a fantastic experience. Softer than many other wools and extremely soft (the filaments of this fiber have dimensions between 16 and 20 microns).

Thanks to the fineness of the filaments, yak wool turns out to be as soft as cashmere.

But the very interesting part is that, thanks to the respect that the Tibetan “drokpa” (nomadic) tribes have for their beloved ox: yak wool it is obtained from a soft brushing often carried out by the women of the villages with handcrafted wooden brushes with fairly spaced teeth.

The optimal period is late spring / early summer, i.e. when the animal naturally loses its hair. The best and softest wool is that of the belly.

The animal does not undergo any violent or annoying treatment, indeed, very often yak he almost seems to have fun during his hairdo and seems to establish a very intimate relationship with the person who is "stroking" him with the comb: these are scenes to be seen live because they enchant.

Tibetan man combs a yak to get its wool

A good part of the hair falls off spontaneously, but what is used to make the yak wool is obtained from the hairstyle.

In any case, the Australian sheep would make false cards to avoid the terrible practice of mulesing and to be treated gently as it happens for the yakbut on the other hand, becoming a sacred animal is not such a simple process.

Another wonderful experience is to visit the textile “ateliers” that the villages create for the realization of their artifacts in yak wool: tailors at the foot of Everest where smiling ladies work with handcrafted wooden looms, with enviable dexterity.

La yak wool is a natural fiber, and has shades ranging from very dark brown to a lighter brown (so be careful when we are faced with yak wool with colors too distant from these shades).

There are examples of white yaks but they are quite rare. According to local beliefs, seeing a white specimen in a herd is not a good omen, while seeing two in the same herd is an excellent sign.

Sherpas strongly believe in this "color combination" and are sometimes able to stop for days after seeing a single white specimen, delaying the ascents of reckless western climbers: here another particularly burning topic could open up related to the waste that these expeditions leave. on their path.

But we are already seeing some interesting initiatives in this regard: we mention the creation of works of art made with the waste that shipments leave in this splendid landscape.

La yak wool it is therefore a clear e strong example of textile sustainability. As long as we manage not to make it become a "luxury" material for some nefarious brand, this wonder of nature will continue to be a real heritage of peoples rich in tradition and culture.

Our friend yak he lives pampered, respected and revered.

A trip to Tibet is always something that one should dream of in life (then in the end it doesn't matter to do it for real, but already dreaming about it is a good step forward).

Characteristics of Yak Wool

Fabric Quality: The qualities of the fabric may vary based on its blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.
  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying
Ecological Characteristics: The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.
  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic   N
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class   B
Textile Certifications:: The certifications that can be assigned to the fabric, but which vary according to different factors: manufacturing company, fashion brand, blending.
Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

This card can only be found on www.vestilanatura.it

Yak wool clothing

At the moment there are few brands that make yak wool clothing.

While always sponsoring the cruelty free fashion, yak wool, such as organic wool, are an exception. In fact, we believe these materials are sustainable from both an environmental and an ethical point of view.

So we look forward to seeing some brands (but not too many) using the yak wool to make jackets and coats.

Buy Yak Wool products

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

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Washing of fabrics

How do you wash the Yak Wool?

The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using environmentally friendly detergents.

To wash uak wool effectively without damaging it, it is advisable to follow a series of recommendations, specific for this type of yarn, which is extremely delicate and tends to fel easily if treated with high temperatures and with the wrong products.

Washing yak wool by hand is the most appropriate operation for this fiber; in fact, although modern washing machines have special programs for wool and delicates, in practice it is almost impossible to keep the fibers intact with the typical movements of the washing machine drum. For this reason, hand washing is the recommended procedure, if the size of the wool products allows it.


First, fill a basin with slightly warm water and add, optionally, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or an ecological detergent containing lanolin, a natural component of wool.

At this point, immerse the garment in the basin and, if necessary, add a little cold water. After leaving the garment to soak for about a quarter of an hour, gently massage it with your hands; subsequently, rinse with cold running water, until the foam of the detergent no longer emerges, which in any case must be poured very sparingly.

A very important precaution is to never wring organic wool garments and let them dry on a flat surface by placing them on top of one or more towels, which will be used to absorb excess water.

Machine wash

In the event that it is necessary to perform a washing in the washing machine, even if the program indicates a short spin and limited revolutions, it is advisable to end the cycle before it starts or, if it is a yak wool blanket, proceed to a short and controlled spin.

Even in this case, it is essential to spread the garments flat, placing them horizontally on a towel, on the drying rack and in an airy room. During the summer, if you want to hang the yak wool garments outside, absolutely avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


Want more information on Yak Wool? Ask your questions using the form below.

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Our answers:

Where can I buy yak wool?

Vesti la natura has created a table with more than 40 sustainable materials, their respective applications in the textile sector, and their suppliers (even for small quantities). To access the table we ask you to donate a small financial contribution to our association. Click here for more information.

Is yak wool cruelty free?

Yak wool is not cruelty free (vegan) as it remains a fiber of animal origin, but at least it does not cause violence on animals. Shearing is a fundamental operation for the health of wool animals, but it depends on how it is carried out: usually with violence and intensively on wool animals that live their lives closed in very narrow spaces. This is what happens in intensive farming. Or, thanks to the spread of organic farms, shearing can be done in a non-violent way on wool animals that live their lives freely in the pastures. There is a big difference between these two farming methods, so even though we could never define yak wool as vegan, we can still call it cruelty free as there is no violence to take it.

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