Originally worn as a hunting trophy and made exclusively from hair from the chamois' lower neck, Gamsbärte are today manufactured on a large scale from various animals' hair and are commonly sold by specialized dealers and also at souvenir shops.
A Gamsbart is made by enclosing the lower end of the tuft of hair in a setting of metal or horn that allows the upper end to spread in a brush-like fashion. Traditionally, hairs are selected for a dark color at the lower end with a very light tip. The size and diameter of the Gamsbart are important signs of the wearer's pride and manliness.
Traditionally, Gamsbärte are exclusively placed on hats worn by men; however, recent developments in dirndl fashion have seen Gamsbärte added to various places on female dresses.