Camel hair is considered to be a luxury fibre in its de-haired form with a micron count of 17-19. The Bactrian (two humped) camel produces an undercoat of soft strong fibre and a coarse outer coat of strong fibre. The animal sheds its hair every year and this is collected by the herdsmen. The fibre from the soft undercoat is prized for use in coatings and other fabrics. This is obtained commercially in a carding process, known as de-hairing. This process is slow and expensive.
The resulting fibre can then be used 100% or in blends with wool. The fibre has similar properties to wool and is warm in cold weather. The fibre is a white to light natural fawn colour in young animals and darker and coarser in adults. It can be lightened by mild bleaching, but this can detract from the soft feel of the fibre. Therefore baby hair is more prized than adult hair and commands a much higher price. The main producing areas are China, Tibet and Mongolia. Worldwide markets have used this fibre for many years in luxury garments.
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