Non Conventional Fibres Association

Camel hair

Zoological information

  • Camels are desert animals belonging to the family of the Camelidae grey. 
  • There are two types of camels one of which has two humps is known as Bactrian Camel (Camelus Bactrianus) and the other has one hump called as Dromedary Camels (Camelus Dromedarius). 
  • The average life cycle of a camel is around 40-50 years.

Habitat and Fibre production

  • The Bactrian Camel mostly lives in the Gobi desert present in East Asia.
  • Whereas the Dromedary Camels occupies the arid regions of the Middle East, Northern India, and Africa.
  • The camel hair is collected not by shearing but sheds instead. 
  • Each camel can produce 2-3 kg hairs per year.
  • The camel hair is usually willowed to separate maximum dirt, dust, and other particles and then dehaired (separating unwanted/damaged hair) to obtain finer hair.
  • China, Mongolia, Iran, Tibet, Russia, Afghanistan, Australia, India, and New Zealand are the countries producing camel hair.
  • Most hair is collected through the Bactrian Camels as they produce softer and finer fibres. 

Table 1. Physical & mechanical properties and chemical composition of areca nut fibres

Physical & Mechanical Properties

Guard hair

Secondary hair


375 mm

25-125 mm


20-120 µm

19-24 µm

Linear density


19-24 µ


2-2.5 gm/den



Moisture regain


Chemical Composition

Sand & Dust







  • The camel hair provides excellent insulating properties, being warmer and comfortable in winter.
  • It gives warmth and comfort to the wearer.
  • It is more sensitive to chemicals than wool.
  • Its strength is similar to that of wool, and it is light in weight, resilient and durable.
  • It is naturally water-repelling. There are two types of hair collected from the camel: guard hair, which is stronger, coarser, and not flexible, and undercoat, which is finer, shorter, and softer.

Fig.1 SEM Image of Camel Hair


  • Camel hair creates products such as knitwear, jackets, scarves, sweaters, blankets, rugs, gloves, caps, robes, etc.
  • Camel hair is usually blended with fine wool to make overcoating tops, sportswear, sports hosiery, etc. 
  • A blend of nylon and virgin camel hairs is used to prepare hosiery and knitted products.
  • Worsted yarn is also made using these hair fibres for making press cloth used for extracting oil from seeds.
  • The long guard hair is sometimes blended with fine wool to make upholstery, waterproof coats, flippers, carpets, etc.
  • Blends of camel hair with polyester staple fibres/silk waste and fine wool are used to create a wider range of knitwear, blankets, and rugs.