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How to choose doll hair fiber length (what is staple length)

When we pick a fiber type for doll hair, it is worth remembering that not all staple lengths are created equal. While artificial fibers can, in theory, have any length imaginable, natural ones - with the notable exception of silk - differ in that regard. When you take a bundle of natural fibers with your both hands and try, delicately, to pull it apart on one side, at some point the strands will begin to separate, thus revealing their nature-given length (called staple length). For an easier estimate, the pulled out clump can be stretched on a surface of contrasting color and measured. Single fibers will, of course, have varying lenghts, but an average is calculated (in inches or centimeters) for all processed fiber types. That is the limit of your doll's hair length if you choose a particular fiber.

A notable exception to that rule is silk. It is a filament fiber and not a stable fiber, which means that it is continuous, like synthetic fibers.

Below, we list the staple lengths (in centimeters) for the most popular natural fibers in the world:
– abaca: 100–300 cm
– coir: 15–35 cm
– cotton 0.32–6.35 cm
– flax: up to 90 cm
– hemp: about 25 cm
– jute: about 2.5 cm
– ramie: up to 190 cm
– sissal: up to 120 cm
– alpaca: 5–10 cm
– angora: 6.5–9.0 cm
– camel: 2.5–7.6 cm
– cashmere: 4–20 µm
– mohair: 12.7–17.8 cm
– wool: up to 90 mm

As for silk, its usable length can be as great as 900 meters!