The production process
Yaks produce two types of fiber: coarse outer hair and a fine down fiber that grows before the onset of winter as additional protection against cold. The down fiber is shed in early summer if not harvested and shedding is greatest from the belly of the yak and less from the back and rump.
Fine down fiber or cashmere is collected by herdsmen during the spring molting season in May when the yaks naturally shed their winter coat. The mixed mass of down and coarse hair is removed by hand with a coarse comb that pulls tufts of fiber from the animal as the comb is raked through the fleece.
The other raw hair of our products is camel hair. Hair may is collected by shearing, combing or by collecting fiber shed naturally during the six to eight-week molting season in late spring. Fallen hair is normally gathered by hand.
The yak mixed mass and camel hair is collected directly from herdsmen by the local cooperatives, who are the member of Company’s network in the Bayankhongor and Arkhangai provinces, located in the central, western and north western mountainous areas of Mongolia. Further the Company’s staff collects row materials from the cooperatives. Then the collected down and hair delivered to the Company’s factory for sorting them by color (classified into 4 natural colors) and quality. The sorted materials are delivered to Gobi Company (the largest cashmere producer in Mongolia) located in Ulaanbaatar City (the capital city of Mongolia) for washing. The washed down hair are delivered back to the de-hairing factory of our Company for de-hairing.
For the fine down fiber to be sold and processed further, it must be de-haired. De-hairing is a mechanical process that separates the coarse hairs from the fine hair.
Most companies will run a batch of raw yak fiber through the de-hairing machines four or five times, losing some 2/3 of the bulk in the process. However we insist on an extraordinary seven or eight de-hairing passes. This results in a drawdown of 75% of the original mass. The exquisite 25% that remains is known in the trade as “tops”. Accordingly from 100 kg raw down we got 25 kg pure fine hairs or cashmere only, where 30 kg of end product is essential for other producers in Mongolia.
After the yak down tops are spun into yarn and knitted into garments, Bodio’s best-in-class finishing techniques assure a final product with an almost unimaginably soft “hand”.
The Bodio’s yak down is completely natural and comes in the basic three colors yaks themselves come in: dark and medium brown, and the light grey or platinum shade that is one hundred more rare than cashmere.