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Yak wool 101

Why choose yak wool?

Yak wool is hollow, allowing for air within the fibre to increase insulation. It is also very fine, trapping air between the multiple fibres to keep you warm. Yak wool is highly flexible, which means it is comfortable against your skin since the fibres bend and adapt to your movement.

A looser knit allows for better air flow and moisture management, keeping you cooler in warmer weather and drier too. These natural properties allow for our Hima-Layer™ fabrics to perform incredibly well in a variety of conditions.

What makes yak wool so special?

Yaks have evolved their fine super-wool in order survive and thrive in the high-altitude Himalayas. At 4,000-6,000m / 15,000ft-20,000ft 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 independent research shows that, weight-for-weight, pure yak wool fabric is 40% warmer, 66% more breathable and 17% faster at transporting moisture away from the skin than a pure merino wool fabric. That's why we use yak wool as a hero ingredient, and by combining both wools with other specialist eco-friendly ingredients we have maximised the effectiveness of our pieces.

How does yak wool help?

Just like merino wool, yak wool is naturally odour-resistant, while its softness has been compared to cashmere. Its natural properties help with temperature regulation and the less energy you use to stay warm or cool down, the more you can dedicate to movement.

Why have I not heard of yak wool's performance benefits before?

The truth is that until we began researching into yak wool and creating prototypes to test ourselves in 2011, we had no idea about its properties or if these could be adapted for human active use! Since then we have developed a range of performance yak wool fabrics and we have only just got started.

Yak wool has been used by Tibetan communities for centuries. However, yak wool stopped being used in clothing by these local communities when more durable and cheap options became available to them in the 20th century. Since that time fluctuating demand has seen yak wool used domestically in China as well as in markets in Central Asia such as Russia. At various times, it has been used by high fashion houses of Paris; however this demand has not been constant or large in scale.

Design and Test Team

The importance of community is not just for our herders and nomads on the plains. At kora we believe the best results come from sharing experiences and knowledge and turning the best bits of that into something exciting and original.

Led by product creator Piers Thomas, our kora fabrics and base and mid layer pieces are meticulously discussed, designed, crafted and produced. Each seam placement and use of stitch has a reason and every piece is scrutinised for fit and function. When our pieces are ready, they are tested by the best adventurers adventurers who have with us on our kora journey for over 10 years.

Learn About Our Collections

Each of our collections are fantastically soft, breathable, moisture wicking, naturally odour-resistant and fast drying. Our product design team have created technical blends to further enhance yak wool’s properties by making use of merino wool and specialist fabrics, which make each collection ideal for different uses all year round.

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