If you’re considering buying a yak wool shawl, be it for yourself or as a gift, it is important that you know the difference between real wool and synthetic varieties. Both these products are popular, and for good reason! Their versatility and coziness has resulted in great demand. Check out the following tips that should help you make the right choice.
1. Price: A 100% yak wool shawl is never going to be cheap. You should expect to pay around $100 to get your hands on one of these attractive accessories. If you see wraps advertised for less than this amount, there is every chance that what you are buying is the synthetic variety, these are available at almost half the price of the genuine woollen yak shawl.
2. Feel: The down of a yak is not a typical wool. It has different properties than that produced by sheep or goat. The real natural fabric is actually surprisingly coarse and yes it is also somewhat itchy, not as much as sheep’s wool, but nevertheless it can cause an allergic reaction in some sensitive people. The synthetic form is called cashmilon, this is a type of acrylic that has been created to mimic the warmth and softness of yak wool, but is devoid of the itchiness.
3. Colour: The typical color of yak wool is a dark shade. It is for this reason that the majority of shawls made from this fibre are brown, grey, or black. Those made of cashmilon come in a variety of colors, almost every combination of shades conceivable. If you want a bright and bold colour you should opt for a synthetic shawl.
4. Availability: A genuine yak wool shawl is not as easy to find as you may think. Those designs that are commonly sold on the streets of Himalayan towns by Tibetan people are usually not the real thing. Genuine yak wool shawls are not available widely, though they are found in Himachal Pradesh and Nepal, but be aware even in these places most stores with “yak wool” signs will actually have the synthetic variety. These cheaper shawls are made in the same regions and do help provide employment to a large number of people, thus playing an important role in the economy in parts of Nepal and India. A purchase of any shawl from this region helps the local economy.
5. Labels: What’s in a label? All consumers should be clear that a label can often be misleading. There is a manufacturer of synthetic yak wool shawls who uses a tag that says “Tibet – 100% Yak Wool”! This is an entirely misleading label, and one that has fooled many people. As consumers we should never take such labels at face value, especially if the product itself seems to be available at a relatively cheap price.
At the end of the day, both the synthetic and authentic shawls have their own pros and cons. Wool still has a better image than synthetic fibre, but consider that cashmilon shawls are available in a greater variety of colours and styles, are non-itchy and washable, and better value for money.
To find out what designs and colours of shawls are available for purchase online today, check out the One Leaf store at www.oneleafcreations.com/shawls-and-wraps/ Get a 10% discount during checkout with the coupon code “bestdeal”!