Hand Woven Yak Blankets

Why Yaks?

Yaks are a crucial asset to Nepali culture and everyday life. Being ¾ covered by the Himalayan Mountains, Nepal is located amongst some of the highest and roughest terrain in the world. This is where yaks come into play! Their thick coats and adaptation to high elevations allow them to climb up to 20,000 ft. including over rough terrain.  Their massive bodies weight up to 1200lbs., stand up to 6ft. tall at the shoulders, and can carry up to 220 lbs. These super-mammals are what make travel and trade possible throughout Nepal and across borders.

Not only are yaks important for transportation in Nepal, they also provide everyday necessities for the livelihood of Nepali people. The idea of holistic living is important to the people of Nepal, and to us! They use yaks and yak by-products in every way possible. Hair is woven into yarn to make tents, rope, handbags, shaws, and blankets! Hide is used for boots. Meat provides added protein for their diets. Milk is made into butter, yogurt, and cheese. Horns and bones are used as ornaments, and fresh blood is often used to cure diseases.

In mountain mythology, yaks were often messengers of the gods. Yaks are usually raised in groups of 50-300 and the wool is combed once a year in the spring when they shed their winter coat. Yak herders are semi-nomadic and the number of yaks in a man’s herd represents his wealth. This is a big investment for them and important piece of property as they provide essential every day services and the bodies  are used in a variety of ways once they die. Nothing is left to waste and that’s something to be proud of.

Yak Blankets are softer and warmer than merino wool and more durable than cashmere. It is made up of breathable fibers that allow it to absorb moisture and then release it. They make for great couch throws, wraps, decoration, or a good conversation starter! Feel free to help spread the word about the yak blankets, the story behind them, and how your money will go directly to the Saprinu. The idea of yak blankets being made by the community, for the community is sole reason why we are pushing these blankets. Their unique look and comfy feel  are just an added bonus!

To put things into perspective….

Just $10 provides a student with a school uniform that can last them several years. $50 can buy about 35 books for the school library. There are few books available in remote areas of Nepal and the school library is the first to provide these materials in surrounding areas.   $150 can send a child to school for one year including tuition, uniform, books, and supplies! By purchasing a yak blanket for the cost of $45 or $60 would be a huge contribution to Saprinu and the education being provided.