The Story of the Yaks Wool

 

Nomads call them the “Mountain King”. Even domestic yaks are quite wild, but they have an unshakeable humble attitude towards their masters.

Yak herders live in altitude during every season, because their lung naturally looks for the freshest air and mountain waters. Yaks are really a mountainous creature. They become active, stronger, and well-nourished when staying in the highest peaks. As nomads do not milk their yaks during the winter, herders man usually take their yaks to even higher areas in order to help them grow and make them feel happy.

While doing that, herdsmen also enjoy the infinite freedom just to follow their yaks’ road in the high altitude. They stay one to three months in this way, moving through the mountains and come back to their home full of joy.

Due to the geographic location and severe climate conditions, the Mongolian Yak Down is known to be the finest, longest and softest compare to the ones in China, Nepal and other parts of the world. Far from the Oceans, high in altitude and chilled by coldest Siberian winds from the north, Mongolia is extremely dry and cold in winter. Due to these harsh conditions, domestic Yak develops the most resistant and warmest down hair, under their wool. From all domestic animals, Yak down is the premium. Pure yak down is one of the “Mongolian Noble Fibres”.

 

Mongolian handicrafts fair trade Yaks Wool

Mongolian handicrafts choose Yak wool as our speciality because yak is the eco-friendliest of all domestic animal. Their pasture land is untouched and rich in many natural substances. Even the yak’s milk is the most delicious. Yak cheese and yoghurt have much more calcium and richer in many substances compare to any other domestic animals.

Yak always graze the top of the grass, meaning that they always leave the grass to re-grow. Yak is the most conscious animal for Nomads concerning their environment.

Yak down is soft like cashmere while maintaining the strongest elasticity. Cashmere is sublime, warm and luxurious, but lacks lanolin to provide elasticity. That is why cashmere clothing is impractically delicate.

The most sublime Merino wool is sheared, meaning that the animal is shaved rather than gently combed. That is why Merino wool is not soft like pure yak down and cashmere. Even though Merino wool is durable and stretchy, it is not as warm as yaks down.

The secrets of having the most premium wool are combing, de-hairing and finishing. Mongolian nomads gently comb their yak, camel, goats and sheep with full of compassion and unexplainable praising. Once this process is finished the wool is delivered to the de-hairing facility in Ulaanbaatar, there the raw wool is sorted by color, washed and de-haired. We don’t use any chemicals and dye. These natural colors radiate and keep the most mystic language.

A number of independent tests have shown yak wool is between 10 – 40% warmer by weight than equivalent merino wool. Yaks live at extremely high altitude in Mongolia, Tibet Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

“Wearing pure wool is like having an “alive entity” on us, therefore treat it with respect and thanks its ether radiation.”

Organic Sheep Wool Handicrafts

 

The magical geometry in each natural fibre proves that all of this is the conscious work of mother earth. One of these beautiful creations is wool. Nomads observe their raw wool with great respect as it is a  divine gift from their “sky” (mother earth). Even Mongolian traditional script speaks of raw sheep wool. They realise the sacred and artistic shape in it. That’s how the art of Mongolian calligraphy and traditional scripts were born. Mongolian nomads praise their wool in their songs and poems. They sing and dance around their raw wool and praise their raw wool before processing it into clothes or other products.

We consider it as an entity using the word “Ilch”. In Mongolian  “Ilch” means the ether, an ultra-dimensional energy is present. In order to keep this “ether” or “ilch”, we don’t colour the wool or use any chemicals for processing. We use hairs that animals shed naturally once or twice a year. In the spring, nomads comb their domestic animals. This means the animals are ready for the hot summer with a lightweight coat. Combed wool is selected for clothes and handicrafts. Sheep wool is the most important animal fibre used in textiles, clothes, yurts and handicrafts in Mongolia since their origin.

 

Mongolian handicrafts fair trade Pure organic sheeps wool

 

Mongolian handicrafts  treats wool cloths and handicrafts as traditionally and with the greatest respect as the nomads do. I want Mongolians to keep their traditional wool processing and their organic custom.

One of the biggest economic powers, neighbouring China, impacts harshly on our pure and organic wool traditions. For many years I have been working with Mongolian local cooperatives and every year it breaks my heart to see the quality of handicrafts decline. This is because Chinese synthetic or nylon handicrafts are becoming so popular. Mongolian traditional handicrafts are mixed with synthetic wool in order to compete with the market. Some people in Mongolia are not even conscious of it and I try and educate them about their traditions and about using pure, organic wool for clothes and crafts even if it is more expensive than those synthetic or nylon ones. I am also trying to be more active on spreading the message of “Buy less and convert ourselves back to the natural fibres” to everyone.

Organic, pure wool is environmentally preferable (as compared to petroleum-based nylon or polypropylene) as a material for carpets, clothes, slippers and all type of handicrafts as well, particularly when combined with a natural binding and the use of formaldehyde-free glues. I only work with the finest wool for our slippers, wool clothes and handicrafts. Even without much knowledge, our customers will notice the virgin quality of our organic and pure sheep wool products. Using wool products supports local farmers and nomads throughout the world. Wool is a sustainable resource.

 

Mongolian handicrafts fair trade Pure organic sheeps wool

 

Characteristics of our pure, organic sheep wool and felted sheep wool are:

  • Resilience, elastic, durable, breathable and warm.
  • Naturally regulates temperature. Mongolians can use their wool in winter under -40 C and in summer when its + 20 once. Pure, organic sheep wool regulates temperature well.
  • They have the ability to easily absorb moisture and also to release moisture thereby always maintaining a perfect balance.
  • It’s hypoallergenic as dust mites don’t like wool. Dust mites are the major cause of allergy and asthma suffering. They prefer hot humid environments that are more common in synthetic products.
  • When wool is organic, fine and pure, it does not itch.
  • Pure wool is fire resistant. When subjected to flames, pure wool will just smoulders and extinguishes itself.
  • In general, all types of pure wool are capable of absorbing up to a third of their dry weight in moisture. Besides keeping the skin dry, this quality also naturally inhibits mildew.
  • Compared to cashmere, sheep wool products last longer, and by usage it becomes softer.
  • Pure wool also has natural anti-microbial properties because bacteria tend to be attracted to smooth positively charged surfaces like those of synthetic fibres rather than the scaly surface of wool. Most synthetic fibres actually increase body odour because they create a breeding ground for bacteria. Sweat itself has no odour, but over time bacteria develop and create unpleasant odours. Pure sheep wool reduces the opportunity for odours to develop because it quickly absorbs sweat and evaporates it into the air. Unlike synthetic fabrics, wool does not retain odours and will freshen just from airing out.

 

Mongolian handicrafts fair trade Pure organic sheeps wool