Yak Down

Yak Calf And Child

Yak Fiber

The fiber used in Reywa yarns is the down under-layer of a yak’s winter coat. With a diameter of 15-20 microns, it is comparable to cashmere in softness while being 10-15% warmer than merino wool. Naturally hypo-allergenic, it remains warm even when wet. Natural breathability helps the body regulate its heat, keeping the wearer warm in the cold and cooler when temperatures rise.

Yak down is extremely rare, with each animal producing an average of only a kilogram of fiber annually. In comparison, a tiny German angora rabbit produces approximately the same amount! The rarity of yak down and the remote corners of the world in which it is found add immediate value to this lovely fiber.

The Yarn

Yak down yarns can be difficult to spin due to the extremely short staple length of the fiber. But, Reywa’s professional spinners know what they are doing, producing lovely, gently spun yarns that maximize every drop of the fiber’s natural softness.

Reywa yak down yarns have a wonderful handle when knitting. They glide effortlessly through the fingers and work up wonderfully soft projects. Our 100% yak down yarns bloom beautifully with wear, slowly creating a halo of warmth which is truly unique to this wonderful fiber.

Most of all, when knitting with Reywa yarn the customer has the added benefit of a fantastic story. Each purchase of Reywa yarns enables us to put money back into Tibetan communities. Whether it’s in student sponsorships or grasslands preservation, each skein of yarn sold, each hand knit project finished, results in tangible impact in the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Other Uses for Yak

While Reywa isn’t likely to start importing it any time soon, yaks also produce a much larger amount of coarse guard hair which Tibetan nomads use regularly. Woven into dark bolts of cloth, the guard hair is most commonly used to construct the traditional tents of nomad dwellings. It’s also used to make ropes, saddle bags and other tack for the animals of nomad herds.

Additionally (in case you’re wondering!) yaks produce all sorts of good things to eat. The milk and milk products from yaks form the primary stable of Tibetan diets. Butter and yogurt are constant presences in nomad homes, and yak meat makes nutritious and tasty meals as well.