Camel hair garments date back centuries, and are even mentioned in the Bible. For the last hundred years, however, the material has been associated almost exclusively with overcoats and blazers. This orthodoxy can be traced back to the polo coat, originally a belted, buttonless camel robe used by polo players to keep warm between matches in the early 1900s.
With all due respect to this gentlemanly pedigree, we wanted to use such an impressive material in a way that better reflects how we dress today, while paying homage to its athletic roots. Enter Noah’s Baby Camel Hair Hoodie, a strikingly elevated version of a contemporary classic.
Baby camel hair comes from the calves of Bactrian camels, the majestic, double-humped breed chiefly found in the Gobi desert, whose downy under-fibers are collected during the spring molting season. One of the reasons for the rarity of camel hair, in addition to the animals’ small population, is the humane, sustainable methods used in its harvesting. The hump coverings, which protect the camels from heat as well as cold, are left intact. Though there is minimal shearing involved, much of the hair is simply picked up from the ground after it molts in large clumps.
In addition to their extreme fineness and softness, baby camel hair fibers are uniquely thermostatic--their hollow centers allow them to trap surrounding air and keep it from penetrating through the fabric. It’s this quality that allows Bactrian camels to endure both the extreme cold and punishing heat of their native habitat. It also means that, in addition to being functionally waterproof and windproof, baby camel hair can shield you from the winter elements without causing you to overheat the second you walk indoors.
Noah has sourced our baby camel hair fabric from Loro Piana, the famed Italian mill known as the world’s premier manufacturer of various luxury wools. Even if you’re familiar with materials like cashmere or alpaca, baby camel hair almost has to be seen and felt to be believed. It’s astonishingly soft and sleek, with a drape that is substantial without feeling heavy. It’s accommodating to dyes, giving this year’s black version noticeable richness and depth. We’re excited by its unique mix of refinement, hardiness and wearability, and hope you will be too.