Global Camel Wool Production
The annual wool production from the camel is around 60,000 thousand tons (only the wool of Bactrian camel is recorded), and approximately 17 % (3000 tons) comes from the first fleece (baby camel wool) that is ready at the age of 1.5 to 2 years of age (with a max percentage of cashmere).
The wool production
As Bactrian camels live in very cold habitats, they have heavy, dense, and long fibers to protect them from extreme cold. In summer the wool shed naturally. The wool gets coarser with advancement in age. The wool production per year is different based on the sex and age of the camel.
- Mature male camel produces up to 9 kg of wool per year
- A mature female camel produces up to 5.5 kg of wool per year
Camel wool consists of the following types;
- Cashmere (14.3 to 23 microns fineness)
- Intermediate (31.0-45.7 microns fineness)
- Guard hair (63.3-73.7 microns fineness)
Mongols nomads divide camel wool into 3 categories Based on the wool quality (not based on different sex or ages). The wool is categorized as baby, male and female wool.
- Baby wool synonym Toron wool (maximum of cashmere wool comes from baby camels). It comes from baby camels less than 3 years old. Usually, the wool comes from baby camels, and from the head, neck, hump, and front legs are rated as Torom wool.
- Male wool (harvested from the knee neck, and hump top, which is long and brittle). A camel yields about 1.5 kg of “male” wool per year.
- Female wool (soft wool consisting of coarse cashmere and semi-hair). The finer, “female”, wool is from the rest of the body. The fiber that comes from the camel’s sides is best for spinning yarn. The older a camel gets, the less “female” fiber it has. A camel yields about 3.5 kg of “female” wool per year.
Season of Shearing and Processing of Camel Wool
Bactrian camel wool is sheared annually, especially in Mongolia, in spring (Tsagaan Sar, the Mongolian lunar new year). The camel wool begins to shed, hence the shearing is done before it shed naturally.
Camel wool goes through many stages of processing, such as sorting, scouring, cleaning, spinning, weaving, and knitting before it becomes a cozy warm sweater or blanket. Transforming camel wool into its final product is a sophisticated technology requiring time and skills.
Bactrian camel wool products and their availability
A wide selection of garments and blankets made of 100% pure camel wool is available in the Mongolian market. A technology to mix camel wool with sheep wool makes the products light and durable. Travelers and those living in cold and high mountain regions of the world highly value camel wool products.
Camel wool is as special as camel milk is unique
Camel wool is soft and free of allergies, it keeps the
wearer warm when the weather is cold, and pleasantly cool when it is warm. It has a range of earthy natural colors, from white, cream, beige, and brown to black, and is ideal for dyeing. Camel wool, especially baby camel wool is not only highly demanded inside the country but in other regions of the world as well, especially the US.
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