Yakking about Yaks

In case you didn't know, we've got a fun Handwoven haiku contest going on at Weaving Today, and the grand prize is four beautiful skeins of yak and yak-blend yarns from Bijou Basin Ranch. In honor of this contest—and our love for yak yarns—this week's BeWeave It is devoted to the mighty yak.

Two Yaks
Photo courtesy of Bijou Basin

It is thought that yaks were first domesticated in the Himalayas around 3,000 years ago, and they have remained an important part of life there ever since. To those living in the Himalayas, yaks are a source of meat, milk, labor, transportation, and fiber.


Nomadic tent
A traditional nomadic tent
made from yak fiber.

Yaks produce two different types of fiber. The outer guard hair is long, course, and strong, so it is used to make saddles, rope, and other such items. The fiber sought after by most weavers, knitters, and the like is the wonderful, soft down. The down is combed out rather than sheared off. It is wonderfully warm and superbly soft. 


The fibers felt very easily and so it's not uncommon to find Tibetan, Nepali, and Mongolian crafts made with felted yak. This durable fabric makes excellent slippers and other durable goods. 

So if this BeWeave It has you yearning for some yak fiber of your own to play with, make sure you check out our Handwoven haiku contest to potentially win some of your own!


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