A Unique Fabric Development Programme
Unlike some outdoor clothing brands, we don't buy our fabrics - we make them. It takes years to develop and perfect each fabric until it is production ready. To achieve the performance and comfort we seek, we continue to control each and every step in the process starting from the raw wool.
We buy the wool ourselves from Tibetan communities to ensure its origin and quality, and we develop our fabrics and our clothing using the same fanatical attention to detail. Each new fabric undergoes extensive laboratory testing and long-term wear trials with our team of mountain athletes and kora adventurers.
The secret to Yak Wool's incredible comfort and warmth are:
Yak wool is FINE, trapping air between the multiple fibres to keep you warm
Yak wool is HOLLOW, trapping air within the fibre, to further increase insulation
Yak wool is SUPER FLEXIBLE! Flex means comfort against your skin as the fibres adapt to your movement
Yak Wool is STRONG therefore we can spin and knit it into durable, lightweight fabrics using a looser knit, which allows for greater air flow and water vapour (sweat droplets!) permeability.
Yaks have evolved their fine super-wool in order survive and thrive in the high-altitude Himalayas. At 4000-6000ms altitude they face cold temperatures and the threat of adverse weather on a daily basis. Their fine layer of inner wool protects them and enables them to cope with the harsh winter months.
Our fabrics are tested for countless other real world settings: on the long-haul journeys to distant locations, and on thousands of cumulative hours of training runs, hikes, rides and skis.
According to the tests carried out in independent laboratories, this fabric is weight-for-weight:
- 40% warmer than merino;
- 66% more breathable;
- 17% faster at transporting water vapour away from the skin.
Just like merino, it’s naturally odour-resistant, while its softness has been compared to cashmere. While merino sheep live at around 1,000 metres above sea level, yaks live in a more challenging environment. They endure hail, ice, wind and rain at 5000 - 6000 metres altitude.
A study by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sport & Exercise Science has shown that when exercising in low temperatures, base layers made with Hima-Layer™ Shola maintain core body temperature better than synthetic or merino base layers. During the test, researchers measured the surface temperature of the test subjects' skin to see how much heat they were losing while running. The test subjects who wore yak wool lost an average of just -3.5˚C, compared to a -6˚C drop when wearing merino and -8˚C when wearing polyester.
The less energy you burn to stay warm, the more you can dedicate to movement. So if you plan to exercise in cold conditions, kora base layers are your best choice.