So, what’s so great about wool?

Well, wool in general is pretty sweet because of all of its healthful properties.  I mean think about it.  These animals had all that time just hanging out in their environment, evolving to survive in it comfortably.  Then, humans came along and started breeding these cute little fellas to get even better wool off them them.  This fantastic material has been brewing for millenia!

One of the most important properties of wool is that it is fantastic at regulating temperature.  This not only means that it keeps you toasty in the winter, but also that it can keep you cool in the hot temperatures as well. Wool can really be worn all year round.

Second, even though wool can hold up to a third of its weight in water, it wicks the moisture away from your skin.  Case in point: this one time, a whole bunch of us fell in the ocean in November and even though everybody else was freezing, my feet were actually a little warmer because I happened to be wearing my camel wool socks.  True story.

Finally, there’s a whole slough of sweet benefits.  Wool is naturally water-resistant, repelling moisture vapor through its fibers and making it resistant to rot, mold and mildew. Its unique structure doesn’t allow odor buildup, which is why its often used for extreme activities and cloth diaper covers.  If you are kind of stinky, wool is a great option for you.  Fun fact: I’m on day 4 of the same pair of camel wool socks as I write this. Wool is also hypoallergenic

Okay, sure.  But why camel wool?

OH! Got it.  Camel has all the great benefits of wool, and then some.

Camels produce longer fibers than sheep, which results in a more durable finished product. Mongolian camels are known to produce even longer fibers than their southern born counterparts, due to living in colder climates, hence producing a more durable material.

Camel wool threads are hollow, which keeps the products lightweight but ultra insulating.

And you may be wondering, “Isn’t wool itchy?” Well, some wool is itchy, my dear, but you’re in luck right here.  On average, camel wool fibers are finer than most merino wool, which results in a softer, more delicate feel.

Tell me more about these camels.

Bactrian camels are native to the Gobi dessert, which is some of the most hostile terrain on the planet.  Hot days and cold, cold nights and no cell service.  Hence, they’ve got some awesome fur to help regulate their body temperature. Still no cell service, though.

Mongolian nomads have been using Bactrian camels for centuries to aid in the seasonal moving of their homesteads.  They are not intensively reared and spend their whole lives really roaming the land in the Mongolian steppe.  Wool is collected from the camels in the Spring during their natural molting season, and traditional hand-gathering methods are still commonly used.

Don’t you have anything that’s not… brown?

We don’t! It’s all brown! Rather, it’s all camel-colored.  While its possible for camel wool to be dyed, that process would require bleaching and dyeing, both of which can use harsh chemicals.  Not only do we not want that rubbing up against our skin, we also don’t want to take more from the earth, only to put some nasty stuff back into it.  Keeping camel wool its natural color helps keep things simple and our planet happy. Plus, it’s a pretty gorgeous brown, yeah?

Okay.  That all sounds pretty great.  But why are you guys so happy?

We get happy when the world around us is happy.  For us, this means that we promote the use of natural, quality materials so that we can take from the earth carefully and minimally.  We source our products for their high wool content and lack of harsh dyes or chemicals, use environmentally-conscious packaging and shipping materials, and do bicycle delivery when possible. The world around us includes making the people around us happy by providing gear that is comfortable, healthful, and long-lasting.  Also, we get happy by donating 10% of all website sales to MercyCorps, a Portland non-profit dedicated to saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places, including Mongolia.

Rad.  Well, I just put in my order.  How am I supposed to care for it all?

Do as I say, and not as I do, my friend.  I wash and dry my camel wool socks with the rest of my laundry, and even though they outlive my other natural fiber socks, I could have extended their lifetime by following some key advice.

Wool repels dirt, so it naturally stays on the outside of the fabric and can usually be wiped away.

If you must wash, use cold water and a mild soap. Lay flat to dry.

Avoid heat as it may remove lanolin from the fibers and can damage the structure, resulting in broken fibers and decreased durability.

What if I have more questions?

We would love to hear from you!  Feel free to write to all@happycamelwool.com.