Badma Yarns sources camel wool directly from producers in Mongolia, and conditions the wool in Switzerland, in one of the best Swiss spinneries where every step of the process is looked after in an old-fashioned way and the tradition of Swiss perfectionism is present all over the place.
Camels of two types are known: one-humped - dromedaries and two-humped - bactrians. Dromedaries are widespread in Western Asia and Africa. In Central and East Asia: in Mongolia, North China, Kazakhstan, the Caucasus, bactrians dominate - they are the main suppliers of wool to the world market. Bactrian is an animal weighing 450-500 kg, the main feature of which is two high humps covered with a dense layer of thick wool, which reliably protects from sudden temperature fluctuations, strong winds, sand and dust storms.
Our camel wool is obtained from the down of adult animals. Adult camels grow a thick layer of down each autumn, and shed all of it in spring. All of this down grows together with guard hair, and it is quite difficult to comb an adult animal given its size. Herders prefer to shear this wool, and then separate down from guard hair by hand. Usually, there are 4-5 cycles of such treatment to make sure only the softest down gets spun into yarn. Quantity of adult camels producing wool is still rather small, less than cashmere goats and much less than merino sheep. Their wool is known for exceptional warmth and durability: clothes for polar travellers and space explorers are insulated with this wool.
The wool of the camel species is hollow inside, which is why it insulates so well. Also, camel wool is more than twice lighter than sheep wool and much stronger. Therefore, things made of camel wool are more versatile and durable. Your knitted pieces will last a long time. It will be also very light and warm. The unique warmness of the camel wool is dry, which is why this wool is so much used for warming belts, socks and knee pads. Camel wool is less expensive than cashmere, so it is suitable for thrifty knitters.
We recommend average knitting density for the camel wool as it opens after washing: the down needs some space to expand. Our 3-ply baby camel yarn can be comfortably knit on No.3,5 to No.5 needles.
The thickness of camel fiber it ranges between 19 to 21 microns which is the same thickness as superfine merino (being much warmer in comparison). A human hair can be anywhere 60 to 180 microns thick.