Why yak wool?
PUBLISHED: 12:45 09 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:45 09 November 2015
Yak wool is a largely unknown, but a very special fibre.The wool produces soft, breathable, durable and non moulting products. Maya Crafts offers a range of beautiful shawls and scarves, bed and sofa throws and winter blankets made from this superb wool.
WARMTH: Living at such high altitudes, the yak’s coat has developed to block wind, shed snow and store body heat, so it is naturally the warmest clothing material on the planet.
STRENGTH: Yak wool is as strong as camel hair. The strength of yak wool comes from the high levels of amino acids contained within the fibres.
SOFTNESS: Yaks produce two kinds of hair.The downy under layer is extremely soft and ordinarily sheds once a year in the spring, meaning it can be collected without having to shear the yak. The outer layer is long, strong and waterproof and used for making ropes, human hair extensions, clown wigs and fly fishing lures!
Maya Crafts uses wool from domesticated yaks so that it is a sustainable use of raw materials and they can vouch for their good living conditions.
Contrary to popular belief, yaks have little to no detectable odour when maintained appropriately in pastures or paddocks with adequate access to forage and water and the wool is naturally odour resistant.
A love story in Nepal
The owners of Maya Crafts first came across yaks when trekking in the Himalayas, Nepal, and fell in love with their docile nature and beautiful thick coats.
They are an integral part of mountain life, used for transport, milk, protein, dung for fuel and wool.
Once a year, in the spring time, they naturally shed their winter coat. With the help of brushing, the wool is collected, hand-spun, hand-dyed and hand-woven into blankets, shawls and throws.
Each one is unique in design and texture, bringing with it some of the spirit of the yak.
“Very rarely do we get two the same and that is what we love about them!” said Ferne Brewster of Maya Crafts.
“We have a wide range of sizes, designs and colours ranging from natural, un-dyed shawls in fawn, beige, brown and white to pastel and bright colours.
They are popularly used as shawls, bed and sofa throws or simply a warm winter blanket. They have also been bought as beautiful pieces of textile to transform into curtains, wall hangings, rugs and bags.