Badma Yarns sources yak wool directly from producers in Mongolia, and conditions the wool in Switzerland, in one of the best Swiss spinneries where every step of the process is looked after in an old-fashioned way and the tradition of Swiss perfectionism is present all over the place.
This high-quality yarn is made using only the downy undercoat of baby yaks no older than a year old, in late spring. Baby yaks are combed, never shorn. They actually like combing as they prefer to get rid of this warm down as the weather gets hotter. Adult yaks are usually semi-wild, and do not let herders comb them.
Yak is a very special yarn to work with. It blooms like no other after being washed, more and more with each subsequent washing. Due to the length of fiber, yak yarn produces no pilling despite heavy wear. This is the yarn for frugal knitters who knit for warmth and durability!
We recommend not knitting too tight with that yarn as it blooms after washing: the down needs some space to expand. Due to that, you can use less yak yarn than merino yarn for example, for the same kind of garment. Our 4-ply yak yarn can be comfortably knit on No. 4 or No. 5,5 needles.
The thickness of baby yak fiber is comparable to that of cashmere, it ranges between 15 to 18 microns. A human hair can be anywhere 60 to 180 microns thick.