Last modified on
October 7, 2015
100% CAMELHAIR: Baby Camel and Natural Blends
There are two types of camel: the Dromedary (single hump) and the Bactrian Camel (double hump). Both are native to the dry and desert areas of Asia and northern Africa. The name "camel" comes via the Greek "kámēlos" from the Arabic "jamal" or the Hebrew "gahmal", all meaning "camel". - Reference: Wikipedia.org
Camelhair is the soft warm inner down of a Bactrian camel with a fiber structure similar to cashmere.
Bactrian camels have two coats: the warm inner coat of down and a rough outer coat, which is long and hairy. Camels shed their fiber in clumps consisting of both coats. One camel produces about 5 pounds (2 kg) of fiber annually. The down is usually 1-3 inches long with a micron count of about 15-22 microns. It has a staple length of over 2 inches, which is quite long for camel. Camel wool has unique characteristics of heat conductivity, softness and strength, and it does not felt easily. - Reference: Peace of Yarn
Camel&339;s Down can be used alone and spun into yarn for knitting, but it is most often combined with fine wool for overcoating, topcoating, sportswear and sports hosiery. Because of the beauty of the natural colours, yarns and fabrics containing camel’s hair are usually left in the natural camel color or are dyed a darker brown. The camel fiber colours
range from pale reddish to light brown. Chinese camelhair tends to be lighter in shade and finer than Mongolian camelhair. White (off white, cream) fleece is the most valued. Camel fiber is light-weight and extremely soft. As it is known, a 22 oz. of camel fabric is as warm as a 32 oz. of woolen fabric. - Reference: Wool Fabrics
In the Gobi, the camel serves multiple purposes. Camels are able to provide milk even during periods of extreme drought, and they are strong enough to carry everything, including a kitchen sink. And of course, there is the fiber. The outer hair, which is coarse and spun into yarn for making rope, is called male hair. The soft, inner coat, which is used for making felt and clothing, is called female hair. Of late, there is a growing demand in the export market for baby camel. The camel population is still critically low and there is currently no interest in breeding them for fiber. Will the ship of the desert survive? Find out »
FYI: Feral Camels are pests in Australia. With few natural diseases and no natural predators, the population of this humped beasts is expected to reach two million by 2020. One camel emits an estimated 45 kg of methane a year - the equivalent of a metric tonne of carbon dioxide (a passenger car emits about 5.2 metric tonnes annually). - Source: Maclean's, June 27, 2011.
Frequent Question: Is baby camelhair yarn rough and course?
FYI: Camel's down is a soft and warm inner down of a Bactrian camel with a fiber structure similar to Cashmere. Camels' wool is not sheared. It is collected from the hair, which is naturally fallen in spring. Camels can also be combed by hand with a coarse comb to obtain the hair - the similar way used for cats, dogs, minks, some breeds of angora rabbits, and our other furry friends. Please note that camels' down does not felt easily!
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