The yak is the only one bovid with multiple and extremely dense fur coat. The hair coat of the yak is composed of strong, long top hair, coarse fibers and fine spinnable underhair, which is also called fine wool or down hair. It can be gained between 0.3 and 3 kilograms of coarse hair and 0.4 to 0.6 kilograms of fine wool a year from one yak.
After the winter the fine underhair is carefully combed out for collecting the fibers. Wherein only belly and lower part hair of the animal are combed out. Neck, back and the whole upper part are not considered. Only yak-underhair can be used for our fine and soft yarn quality.
The first step then is sorting, coarse hairs are removed and the material is sorted by the color and fineness. The fibers are classified then by colors. There are around 60% dark brown, 30% light brown and just 10% white fibers. The rare white ones are especially valuable because they are easy to dye.
The fine and soft underhair have to be separated from the coarse overcoat hair after the washing. To assure the highest quality the fibers undergo this procedure several times. The gained fibers of the adult animals have a length of 34-36 mm and a size range of 18.5 microns. The finest Royal Alpaca fibers compared to this have a fineness of 19.5 microns. Thereby our yak yarns are even finer than alpaca yarns. During the first two years of life the fineness can even range from 16 and 17 microns and are designated as Super Yak or Baby Yak. The annual fiber harvest of a single animal can amount to ca. 500 grams with an average of ca. 200 grams of the fine underdown. Therefore, and because small farms take great care of the animals, certainly not very favorable price of the yarn can be definitely justified. Sources: