Thursday, 23 March 2017
Huntsman's Yak Hair Hopsack
A Noble Yarn
Huntsman of Savile Row provides suiting options in a hopsack fabric made from Mongolian yak hair. The yarn for the fabric is produced by Tengri.
Mongolian herders comb the underbellies of thousands of free-roaming semi-wild yaks to harvest the hair once a year. The buzzword here being sustainability.
London-based producers Tengri spin an undyed yarn from the hair that is a soft as cashmere, yet strong and naturally odour and water-resistant. The result is Khangai Noble Yarn, a high quality yak hair yarn that has a rare natural silver colour. A natural dye is introduced to provide an option on the fabric in ever wearable blue.
The yarn is woven into a loosely woven hopsack in a mid-weight 3.5 ounces by R. Gledhill of Delph, Yorkshire. (A mill not to be confused with Mallalieus of Delph, Lancashire — War of the Roses and all that. I remember shops in Manchester not accepting payments from Yorkshire Bank. They have long memories up there. I also remember fondly a jacket in lambswool cloth woven by the Lancashire Mallalieus. Must see what they're up to soon.)
Yaks are rather parsimonious with the amount of high-quality belly hair they can provide, much as they undoubtedly love having their bellies combed — as we all do. As a result, the fabric can only ever be produced in limited quantities. This is where you have to entrust a tailor like Huntsman to work their magic on the raw materials. Exhibit A being the jacket under construction with this fine fabric in the top photo.