Yak Wool Base Layers are new addition to Kora Range

The New Kora Yushu Collection of Yak Wool Base Layers

The new Yushu Collection from Kora features a wide range of Yak Wool Base Layers for men and women.

The new range promises to provide exceptional warmth, softness and breathability. Corespun panels increase strength and durability in high-wear areas.

Introducing the “Hima-Layer”

The “Hima-Layer” Yushu fabric is knitted out of 60% premium Yak wool with 40% superfine Merino. It weighs in at just 240 grams per square meter.

As a natural performance fiber, there’s simply nothing that outperforms yak in terms of breathability and thermoregulation, and Yushu is designed to be the essential base layer that meets the needs of anyone from the most demanding athletes to those working from home.

Kora founder, Michael Kleinwort

Thermal properties aside, “Hima-Layer” must surely be a contender for best pun based textile brand name of ’21… But I digress.

Why Yak Wool?

Have you ever seen a chilly yak? No? Neither had the founders of Kora, which got them thinking.

When it comes to high performance wool, Merino is the name that typically springs to mind. Why is Merino wool so much better at insulating than other sheep’s wool? Because the sheep are evolved to live at higher altitudes where the conditions are colder.

Yaks live at considerably higher altitudes, and are exposed to the most extreme of weather conditions. It stands to reason that their wool should have some pretty impressive heat holding capabilities.

Kora decided to test this theory, and according to testing carried out by independent labs the Hima-Layer fabric is gram for gram:

– 40% warmer than merino;

– 66% more breathable;

– 17% faster at transporting water vapour away from the skin.

Pretty impressive results if they’re to be belived!

Kora explain that these heat trapping, moisture wicking properties are due to the facts that Yak wool is:

  • FINE, trapping air between the multiple fibres to keep you warm
  • HOLLOW, trapping air within the fibre, to further increase insulation
  • FLEXIBLE, Flex means comfort against your skin as the fibres adapt to your movement
  • STRONG therefore can be spun using a looser knit, which allows for greater air flow and water vapour permeability. 

Ethically and Sustainably Sourced

Kora is a UK based company, but they have partnered with the Kegawa Herders’ Cooperative, a collective of more than 90 families in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.

They buy the wool at a set mid-market rate to offer price certainty, and in addition pay a stipend of 10%. Founder Michael Kleinwort makes frequent trips to the Tibetan plateau, and to their partner factories that make the clothes, to ensure all workers are being fairly treated.

The Yaks are also treated with care and respect. In the spring, the yaks begin to moult their soft wool underlayer for the summer.  This is a natural and painless process for the animals. The herders collect the loose wool and bring it to market. No shears involved!

Yak Wool Base Layers

The Yushu Collection of Yak Wool Base Layers

The Yushu Collection is named after the Himalayan home of Kora’s Yaks: the Yushu prefecture sits at 4800m of altitude on the Qinghai Tibet plateau.

It features a range of long sleeve tops, leggings and shorts, plus a hat and tubular scarf.

All available in any colour you like as long as it’s black. Joking aside, they do have some nice detail on the sleeve, a reference to mountains and prayer flags:

The price range is definitely towards the higher end of the spectrum, even when compared to other known brands using Merino wool, with the tops and leggings costing between €100-120.

They do offer a 30 day money back guarantee however, if you’re not 100% satisfied with the products, so it seems they’re confident that the price is justified.

You can check out the full Yushu Collection here.