The mYak yarn story originates on the Tibetan Plateau, 4,000m above sea level. Here, yaks and cashmere goats are raised in the semi-wild by nomadic people, according to thousand-year-old tradition and in harmony with the delicate ecosystem of the high altitude grasslands.
mYak is owned by Paola and Andrea, who came across the beautiful fibre from the baby yak while living and working in Tibet. mYak sources the raw material that guarantees this community the possibility to continue to live and work on their legendary land, and they also guarantee to buy the fibre at a price higher than at market. It is from here that our certified, traceable, and sustainable chain starts. The raw material is the soft undercoat of baby yaks and Tibetan cashmere goats.
After the long Tibetan winter, baby yaks and cashmere goats start to shed their precious undercoat, which had kept them protected from extreme temperatures. Baby yaks are not sheared; their down is combed after their first winter, right before it would shed spontaneously on the grasslands at the start of spring. A completely natural change of coat—this is why mYak yarn can be considered a vegan fiber.
Once the down is collected, it is cleaned manually and separated from the waste – the rougher hair - which is used to build the nomads’ tents. At this stage the down is sent to a local laboratory where it undergoes dehairing, which thoroughly separates the finest down from the waste. At the end of this process only 30% of what has been collected will be used to make the yarns. The rejected 70% is used by the Tibetans to construct their tents and for mattresses that are donated to monasteries. mYak is working on a project that aims to use this discarded material to also produce insulating panels for homes to fight the extremely cold Tibetan winter temperatures and save energy for heating.
The fibre is then sent to Italy where the Tibetan undercoat becomes a precious yarn. Here the yarn is spun using carded spinning, generally reserved for the most precious yarns, at small spinning workshops in the Biellese area, at the foot of the Alps between Piedmont and Switzerland, where textile culture is of centuries-old excellence.
To respect the environment and to safeguard the natural properties of the fiber, the yarns do not undergo depigmentation. In this way, the authentic natural color is preserved, without affecting its original properties and without treatments that would require polluting agents. Carded spinning allows the yarn to achieve an incredible softness and tactile pleasantness, ideal for knitting and crochet.
mYak aims to combine sustainability, social responsibility, quality, and technology to create a unique experience that will change your way of thinking, creating, and knitting.