specialty hair fibre

specialty hair fibre

▪ textiles
      any of the textile fibres obtained from certain animals of the goat and camel families, rarer than the more commonly used fibres and valued for such desirable properties as fine diameter, natural lustre, and ability to impart pleasing hand (characteristics perceived by handling) to fabrics. Specialty hair fibres obtained from the goat family include mohair (q.v.), from the Angora goat, and cashmere (q.v.), sometimes referred to as cashmere wool, from the Kashmir goat. Common goats yield the less-valuable goat hair that is used mainly in low-cost felts and carpets manufactured for the automobile industry. Fibres obtained from animals of the camel family include camel hair (q.v.), mainly from the Bactrian camel, and guanaco, llama, alpaca, and vicuña (q.q.v.) fibres, all from members of the genus Lama.

      Specialty hair fibres are gathered by hunting or domesticating the animals for their pelts or by periodic collecting of fleece from live animals. Most of the fibres are low in the crimp (waviness) and felting (tendency to mat together) properties associated with the sheep fibre normally called wool (q.v.). In the United States, however, the Wool Products Labeling Act (1939) allows the designation of such fibres as “wool” in fibre-content labels.

      Like wool and the finer, shorter fur fibres, hair fibres grow from the epidermis of the animal, forming the characteristic coat, and are composed chiefly of the protein substance keratin; their chemical properties are similar to those of wool. The animal is usually covered with two types of fibre. An outer coat of shiny, stiff guard hairs affords protection from the elements. The undercoat, or down, composed of short, fine, soft fibre, provides insulation against heat and cold. Short, coarse, brittle hairs, called kemp, may be intermingled with both types of fibre. Separation of the downy fibre from other hair may be achieved by combing or by a blowing process that causes the heavier fibre to fall away. Such operations may be repeated several times to minimize coarse-fibre content.

      Long fibres with fine diameter and light colour are usually the most desirable and expensive. An exception is vicuña, valued for its fairly dark cinnamon-brown colour. Specialty hair fibres, costly because of their rarity and the processing they require, may be used alone in luxury fabrics for fine garments. They may also be blended with wool or other fibres to enhance appearance or texture, imparting softness or special effects. The coarse guard hairs are frequently blended with wool to impart lustre.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • camel hair — ▪ animal fibre       animal fibre obtained from the camel and belonging to the group called specialty hair fibres. The most satisfactory textile fibre is gathered from camels of the Bactrian type. Such camels have protective outer coats of coarse …   Universalium

  • mohair — /moh hair /, n. 1. the coat or fleece of an Angora goat. 2. a fabric made of yarn from this fleece, in a plain weave for draperies and in a pile weave for upholstery. 3. a garment made of this fabric. [1560 70; var. (by folk etym.) of earlier… …   Universalium

  • alpaca — /al pak euh/, n. 1. a domesticated South American hoofed mammal, Lama pacos, having long, soft, silky fleece, related to the llama and believed to be a variety of the guanaco. 2. the fleece of this animal. 3. a fabric or yarn made of it. 4. a… …   Universalium

  • cashmere — /kazh mear, kash /, n. 1. the fine, downy wool at the roots of the hair of the Kashmir goat. 2. a garment made of this wool. 3. a yarn made from this wool. 4. a wool or cashmere fabric of plain or twill weave. Also, kashmir. [1815 25; named after …   Universalium

  • Cashmere — Cashmerian, adj. n. /kash mear /, n. Kashmir. * * * Animal hair fibre forming the downy undercoat of the Kashmir goat. The fibre became known for its use in beautiful shawls and other handmade items produced in Kashmir, India. The fibres have… …   Universalium

  • Business and Industry Review — ▪ 1999 Introduction Overview        Annual Average Rates of Growth of Manufacturing Output, 1980 97, Table Pattern of Output, 1994 97, Table Index Numbers of Production, Employment, and Productivity in Manufacturing Industries, Table (For Annual… …   Universalium

  • police — /peuh lees /, n., v., policed, policing. n. 1. Also called police force. an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws. 2. (used with a pl. v.) members of such a force: Several police are… …   Universalium

  • Industrial Review — ▪ 1994 Introduction       The period since 1990 was proving a difficult time for the older industrialized economies, which had suffered from prolonged recession at home, and also for the previously centrally planned economies of Eastern Europe… …   Universalium

  • drawing — /draw ing/, n. 1. the act of a person or thing that draws. 2. a graphic representation by lines of an object or idea, as with a pencil; a delineation of form without reference to color. 3. a sketch, plan, or design, esp. one made with pen, pencil …   Universalium

  • Hemp — This article is about industrial hemp. For its psychoactive variant, see Cannabis (drug). For the biology of the plant, see Cannabis. For other uses, see Hemp (disambiguation). The variety of appearances for cannabis. Only C. sativa (left) is… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”