A hard life generates this luxury - hard for the animals and harder still for the nomadic herders who care for them. In the Mongolian Gobi desert and the Altaic Mountain stepps, the herders face eight months of winter and temperatures of 80o (F) below zero. In this extreme environment, camels develop their luxuriant undercoats with long guard hairs to deflect the elements.
Nomad yarns from Mongolia are hand spun on drop spindles. Bactrian camels, one of the oldest species on earth, provide the raw material. Their down is finer than alpaca and soft as casmere. In earthy shades of brown, beige, black, white, and hues of creamy gold, natural camel yarn has exquisite cloud-like loft and superb tensile strength. With handling, it "blooms" into a rich and lustrous surface which never pills and, unlike wool, it is non-allergenic.
They yield their precious down by dropping it into shaggy clumps. It is also harvested by herders pulling or cutting; then, processed by hand. Until recently, the only outlets for the hard-working herders was trading with Chinese truckers for food and supplies or attending the July border-opening with China's Inner Mongolia, where fiber could be exchanged at extrremely low prices for currency. Nomad Yarns opens the U.S. market by providing a new outlet, and by helping the herder women form cooperatives through which their talent, skill, and unique hand-spun yarns can flouish in a market-driven global economy.
For more details about the life of Mongolian herders, products and availability, and where you can purchase our yarns, please follow the links to explore this site.