© 2015 Elsevier B.V.. Hematite-bearing red beds are renowned for their chemical remanent magnetization (CRM). If the CRM was acquired substantially later than the sediment was formed, this severely compromises paleomagnetic records. To improve our interpretation of the natural remanent magnetization, the intricacies of the CRM acquisition process must be understood. Here, we contribute to this issue by synthesizing hematite under controlled 'Earth-like' field conditions (≲100 μT). CRM was imparted in 90 oriented samples with varying inclinations. The final synthesis product appeared to be dominated by hematite with traces of ferrimagnetic iron oxides. When the magnetic field intensity is ≳40 μT, the CRM records the field direction faithfully. However, for field intensities ≲40 μT, the CRM direction may deviate considerably from that of the applied field during synthesis. The CRM intensity normalized by the isothermal remanent magnetization (CRM/IRM@2.5 T) increases linearly with the intensity of growth field, implying that CRM could potentially be useful for relative paleointensity studies if hematite particles of chemical origins have consistent properties. CRM in hematite has a distributed unblocking temperature spectrum from ~200 to ~650 °C, while hematite with a depositional remanent magnetization (DRM) has a more confined spectrum from ~600to680°C because it is usually coarser-grained and more stoichiometric. Therefore, the thermal decay curves of CRM with their concave shape are notably different from their DRM counterparts which are convex. These differences together are suggested to be a potential discriminator of CRM from DRM carried by hematite in natural red beds, and of significance for the interpretation of paleomagnetic studies on red beds.