Camel Hair

How is Camel Hair fabric made?

Camel hair is the fibre obtained from the Bactrian Camel. This type of camel is native to Turkey, China and Siberia. The main producers of Camel hair fabrics are Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Australia and Russia.

Camel Hair Manufacture

Camel hair must be collected by either shearing, combing or collecting the hair. All of these processes are totally safe and do not harm the Camel in any way. Camels take about 6-8 weeks to moult fully, so to speed up the process shearing is used frequently. Once the camel hair has been collected it must then be sorted to remove the coarse, inflexible guard hair which makes up the outer protective later, so that only the hairs form the under, downy hair. The fibres are then washed so that all the dandruff and vegetable matter is removed. The softest camel hair comes from the underbelly of the camel. Once the hair has been cleaned the fibres can be spun into yarn.

Camel hair fibres are usually blended with other fibres to enhance the properties. The highest qualities of Camel hair are 100% pure virgin camel hair, which means that the fibres have never been used or processed before. The more the fibres are recycled, the more the quality decreases. Camel hair can be blended with nylon to create a fabric suitable for hosiery and other knitted products. Camel hair fabrics can either be knitted, woven or felted to create an end fabric.

Properties of Camel Hair fabric

  • Strong, lustrous and smooth
  • Warm and Lightweight
  • Best Qualities are pure Camel hair, other grades are blended with wool, which still make a very high quality fabric and much lower qualities are blended with synthetic fibres
  • Expensive
  • Usually left it’s natural colour which is a pale beige colour
  • Dyes really well though so can be various colours
  • Should always be dry cleaned or hand washed, even if just a tiny percentage of the fabric is made of camel hair
  • Supplies warmth without adding extra weight
  • Thermostatic properties
  • Camel Hair keeps the wearer warm in the cold and cool in the warm. This is because of the animal in originates from, and the fact it must endure extremes of both temperatures
  • Sensitive to Chemicals, more so than Wool fibres
  • High Nap ability

End uses of Camel Hair

  • Coats, jackets and other outerwear
  • Oriental Rugs
  • Fabric Coatings
  • Blazers, Skirts
  • Hosiery
  • Knitting Yarn
  • Knitwear
  • Blankets
  • Sweaters
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • The Coarse outer fabric is used in industrial textiles such as machine belts and cloths.

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

3 thoughts on “Camel Hair

  1. Kelly – I have a beautiful 100% camelhair blazer that I can no longer wear. I’d like to try and felt it to make wool balls for the dryer. I’ve done this with old wool sweaters but none were camelhair. Please tell me if it will work with the blazer fabric. If it won’t work, I’ll donate the coat to charity. Many thanks.

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