Happy humpday, folks! Imagine: an animal fiber that is both humanely and sustainably harvested that makes incredibly thermo-regulatory outerwear!
“Harvesting camel hair is done by hand, and the best quality is said to come from the nomadic households of Mongolia and China’s Inner Mongolia. The fiber is also collected from camels in Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, New Zealand and Tibet but is considered inferior in quality and softness. Camel hair is also often blended with extravagant cashmere, obtained from the fine-haired cashmere goats, for a highly luxurious material sought after by high-end apparel manufactures and designers.
The inner down is the hair used for textiles, and is combed or shorn away during the 6-8 week long molting season every Spring. The hair readily falls off the camel and was typically harvested by “trailers” that were assigned to follow camels during molting season and collect the fallen hair along the trails. With humane values in mind, the humps on the camel backs are not shorn as they protect the animal through temperature regulation during the summer months. Adult camels produce only 10 to 20 lbs of fine inner fleece annually, varying in color from light brown to red, while the finest and softest white camel hair is obtained from baby camels.”
Furthermore, “because of its natural temperature regulating properties, camel hair (sometimes also called camel wool) is the ideal material for any type of apparel application. There is a hollow space in the center of the fiber that acts as a vacuum, insulating cold or hot air depending on the temperature. The coarse fiber is also extremely waterproof, which is why the Mongolian herdsmen use it for coats and the outer layers of their yurts.”