High Country Critters

Breeders since 2001! IYAK/WHYC registered, NO Hybrids, tame & gentle yaks

What I Look for in Fiber

Pen Show Yak Fiber Judging at the NWSS (2019)

Evaluation scoring of individual yaks is based on fleece characteristics growing on the animal at the time of judging. Characteristics are expected to meet a level of standard to ensure quality fleece production for utilization.

Fleece is evaluated on Fiber Diameter (fineness)/Trueness to Breed, Fiber Length, Fleece Uniformity, Coverage, Fiber Differentiation, Color and Style/Crimp.

I. DIAMETER (Fineness)/Trueness to Breed (25 points)

Judging criteria is based on the fineness of the Down Fibers and Trueness to Breed for other fiber types.

  1. Down fiber should be fine with an AFD (average fiber diameter) of less than 18 microns.
  2. Mid Type Guard Hair should exhibit noticeable difference from the down fiber and be of an AFD greater tan 18 micron
  3. Outer Coat is the most coarse and should be easily distinguished from Mid Type Guard Hair with an AFD greater than 50 micron

II. LENGTH (10 points)

Judging criteria is based on uniformity of length within each fiber type.

  1. Down is measured in relaxed state and should be no less than 1 1/2 inches
  2. Mid Type Guard Hair should be no less than 2 1/2 inches in length
  3. Coarse Outer Coat should measure 5 inches or more

III. UNIFORMITY (20 points)

Judging criteria is based on the uniformity of the fiber presented in the sample.

  1. Down fiber diameter should exhibit minimal variation in a given sampling and be consistent between each harvest location. The more uniform the down across the animal, the more valuable the harvest.

IV. COVERAGE (10 points)

Judging takes into account fiber coverage across the entire animal.

  1. All harvest sites (neck, should, side, rump) should produce
  2. The down fiber should be present in all sites and of consistent quality.


Judging is based upon ease in distinguishing fiber types as they relate to Trueness of Breed.

  1. Mid Type and Coarse Guard Hair should be easily differentiated from down fibers.

VI. COLOR (5 points)

Judging is based on uniformity of color as well as brightness in the down across the animal.

  1. Color may be white, golden, grey or brown or black.

VII. STYLE (CRIMP) (10 points)

Judging is based on extent of the crimping throughout the down with higher value being given to fibers expressing staple formation and strong definition.

  1. Individual fibers should exhibit noticeable crimp or curvature.

Thursday, August 4, 2022