In addition to premium yak down, Bodio’s also deals in the finest camel wool: the coat of the Mongolian baby camel. For export, Bodio’s makes shawls, sweaters and scarves from Mongolian baby Bactrian camel wool.
“Camels are my favorite animals,” says Bodio. “They inspired me to get into this business.”
The Bactrian camel with its two humps — filled with fatty tissue, not water as popularly believed — is native to Mongolia and the parts of China that border the vast Gobi desert. (The dromedary camel is the one-humped one. It lives elsewhere.)
Mongolian camels contend with extreme climate fluctuations, enduring winter temperatures as low as -40 celsius (exactly the same in Fahrenheit), to plus 40 degrees Celsius in summertime (104 Fahrenheit). It’s no surprise their skin is black to resist sunburn.
In Mongolia, baby camels are designated as either “Botog” (up to one year old) or “Torom” (between one and two years old).
All of Bodio’s baby Bactrian camel wool is sourced from offspring in this age range, but primarily from the “Toroms”, whose hair is longer and contains more down. Besides, the vulnerable infant “Botogs” — despite their astonishing softness — need their coats more than Bodio’s customers do!
There is camel wool. And then there is Bodio’s Mongolian baby camel wool.