Yak Fiber Study

Updated: Feb 15

by Kat Tylee

Little Hawk Yarns Yak Study

After having the opportunity to judge yak fiber at the National Western Stock Show in 2020, I went searching for definitive information about yak fiber characteristics. There was little to be found, other than a few articles stating that yak down fiber runs between 15-19 microns and often compares the fiber to cashmere. That was it – no distinction between colors, breeding, gender, environment, nutrition, or animal health. The wool and cashmere industry benefits from research dating back to 1911 or earlier. The lack of information on yak fiber made me realize that someone needed to collect the data, and I decided to be that someone. In order to do that, I need fiber samples, and I have designed a scientific study to develop the data on yak fiber. Specifically, the goal is to do a four-year study (2020-2023) to measure the diameter and to obtain a full histogram of the fiber of at least one hundred yaks from the yak herd in the United States. This is the information that is needed if we are to be able to compare yak fiber with the fiber of other fiber-producing species. It is the fundamental marketing information needed in order to successfully market yak fiber.