Camel Hair

Camel hair has two qualities; the relatively coarse outer hair and the inner down fibre. The outer hair is coarse and can be up to 37 cm in length with a diameter of 20-120 microns. The inner down fibre produced by animals in hot desert climates tends to be coarser and sparser than from those living in a more temperate climate. The inner down fibre varies from 19-24 microns and varies between 2-5 and 12.5 cms in length. Only this fibre is used in yarn production.

The fibres are collected by shearing and by combing and collection during the moulting season. When camels mount they don't lose all the hair at once, but lose it over a period of six to eight weeks. The hair is sorted according to shade and age of the animal. Colour varies from reddish to light brown. White fleece is most valuable but is quite rare.

Fabrics made from camel hair are usually left in the natural state or dyed to a darker shade of brown. The inner down fibres are used to make fine wool for overcoating, top coating, sportswear and sports hosiery. The outer coat hairs are used to make felt for the Mongolian yurts or tents and for the herdsmen's winter coats. Camel fibre has characteristics of conductivity, softness and strength.

The best fibre is found in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. Technology in countries such as Australia is improving production of the fine fibre.