Yaks are native to Tibet and survive in the high altitude parts of the country.
Yaks can either by killed for their hide, or the shaggy hair can be shorn and used as wool. Once the hide has been extracted, it can be processed like any other leather. The leather produced is very similar to that of cattle as the yak is similar to the bull or ox.
The leather that is produced from the Yak is usually a by-product of the meat Industry. Yaks also provide Milk, much like other cattle. By 1990 a real effort was made to stabilise and increase the population of Yaks.
Today Yaks are an endangered species and the hunting and killing of them is severely restricted, if not completely illegal in many places. The population of Yak decreased rapidly during the time between the middle ages and the 1970’s. By 1970 the Yak was thought to be almost extinct .
Properties of Yak
- Large hides so larger garments can be produced
- Warm to wear
- Strong, durable leather is produced
- Very thick
- Can be hairy but this is usually removed
- Comfortable to wear
- Can be either dyed or left its natural colour
- Lasts 5 times as long as fabric
- Resistant to sun and heat damage
- Leather is quite often full of imperfections because of the hard lives they lead
Uses of Yak in Fashion Past and Present
- Was used by the locals in Tibet to make clothing
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