Raw materials became scarce during World War One, which forced industries to find substitutes. For this reason oil was extracted from fruit kernels, pulp and nettles were used as the basis for textiles while hair from horses and cattle was used for felting. To produce urgently needed transmission belts, Germany requested women to collect the hair from their hairbrushes. The German Women’s Hair Collection of the Red Cross in Magdeburg used numerous posters and flyers – such as this one – to call for donations. Collection bags were distributed. The Red Cross then sent the donations to the appropriate companies for reprocessing.
Collecting German women's hair - acceptance of hair and distribution of collecting bags - women's hair is an important war raw material
Deutsche Frauenhaar-Sammlung - Haar-Annahme und Sammelbeutel-Ausgabe - Frauenhaar ist ein wichtiger Kriegsrohstoff