What is a Camel Hair Coat?

Sheri Cyprus

A camel hair coat is an outwear garment made from the hair of the double-humped Bactrian camel. The coats may be made only of camel hair or may also have wool added. Men’s camel hair sport coats and women's longer coats are classic fashion looks.

Camels shed about 5 pounds of hair every spring.
Camels shed about 5 pounds of hair every spring.

A camel hair coat of any kind looks equally perfect with jeans or fancy evening clothes. These are also excellent coats for the office and exemplify the popular business casual style. A classic, polished look for men is to layer a camel hair sport coat over wool trousers, a button-front shirt and wool sweater. Women can look movie star glamorous in a full length camel hair coat worn with an elegant silk scarf.

Camel-hair coats are made with the humped animal's hair, but sometimes with added wool.
Camel-hair coats are made with the humped animal's hair, but sometimes with added wool.

If you want a natural fiber coat that you can wear anywhere, a camel hair coat is the ideal choice. Most such coats don't have a lot of detail and have just slit pockets and buttons down the front. A few versions are belted and some camel hair coats have hidden inside pockets. Collars are usually notched or rounded, while the sleeves may be set-in or else raglan, which is a one piece sleeve.

Camel hair coats are available in many neutral colors. They aren't usually dyed, but are the natural colors of the camels' hair which ranges from light, reddish-brown to black. Golden tan is the classic color of a camel hair coat, but there are shades to compliment every person's skin tone.

Much like getting wool from sheep, the camel need not be killed to get its hair. Camels shed, or molt, each spring. Each camel sheds about 5 pounds (2.268 kg) of hair every spring and this shedding, or molting, takes up to a few months to complete. Hair can also be removed from the camel by shearing it. Once removed and/or collected, the camel hair gets separated into coarse and fine varieties and is cleaned before being spun to be knitted or woven into cloth.

The softest camel hair is from the underbelly area of the camel, while the hair on the rest of the camel is quite coarse. Wool blended into camel hair makes a much softer cloth than that of pure camel hair. The woven or knitted camel hair, with or without wool added, is then used to make camel hair coats.

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Discussion Comments


what type of belt could I wear a round a full length camel coat?


I've always thought that black camel hair coats were really nice looking.

It's funny the things you remember, but I had an elementary school teacher who had the prettiest petite camel hair coat, and ever since I saw hers, I've wanted one for myself.

Even now that I'm older, I still think they look gorgeous...maybe one day I'll actually get one!


So I have a question for you -- how do I choose a plus size women's camel hair coat without looking like an enormous camel myself?

I love the way that camel hair looks and feels, but every time I try one on it seems like I turn into a big lump of tan.

Can anybody tell me what the best cut is for a bigger gal who wants a camel hair coat?

I would greatly appreciate it!


@anon64224 -- Ooh, no. Don't ever wear a camel hair coat in the rain unless you want to actually smell like a camel.

My dad had one of those long mens camel hair coats, and he once wore it out in the rain -- it was atrocious. When he got home, not only was it all matted and messy-looking, but it smelled so bad that he had to get it dry-cleaned.

Wet dog has got nothing on wet camel fur.


Can you wear a camel hair coat in the rain?

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