Spotlight on Yarn: Mohair
• 100% natural product from Angora goats
• Unusual fibre structure means Mohair has unique properties
• Fibres range from 23 – 38 microns
• Shrink resistance
• Moisture transfer
• Lustrous yarn
• Extremely lightweight
Mohair is a very beautiful, luxurious and incredibly durable fibre that is produced from the hair of Angora goats. Angora only comes from Angora rabbits. It is one of the warmest natural fibres known to man and one of the most versatile.
The story of Angora goats is incredibly old, they are even mentioned in the Bible. They take their name from Ankara, an ancient Turkish city where they originated along with Angora rabbits and Angora cats. Although the goats were farmed for their fibre from early times, it was not until the 16th century that export of the goats was permitted. Angora goats can now be found all around the world.
Mohair is a typical wool-like textile fibre in that it is a protein fibre. However, it has a smooth cuticular scale pattern on the surface that imparts lustre and it has low felting capacity. Meaning that this scale is different to the wool fibre scale and consequently is not 'itchy'. It is typically described as silk-like feeling.
Generally shorn from the animals twice a year, mohair grows rapidly at about 2 cm per month. The fibres range from 23 microns in mean diameter at the first shearing to as much as 38 microns in older animals. The wide range of uses of mohair fibre is a result of the range of diameter of the fibre produced. Mohair from young goats (kid mohair) is used in knitwear, from intermediate age it is used in suiting materials, and the stronger 'fine hair' types are used in coating and rug manufacture.
Mohair as many special properties not found in other types of wool. It has hollow fibres that do not conduct heat like wool and so it provides good insulation, even when wet. Mohair can be twisted and bent without damage to the fibre; making it the most durable of animal fibres. In fact, Mohair is stronger than steel of the same diameter. Mohair fabrics shrink much less than wool because mohair's smooth fibres do not felt. It can be stretched up to 30%, the inherent elasticity means your Mohair piece will spring back to shape. Consequently, mohair garments resist wrinkling, stretching, or sagging making them perfect for travelling. Mohair easily absorbs and releases moisture, moving perspiration away from the skin. It is comfortable to wear in cold and hot weather. One of mohair's most important qualities is its ability to take dye and to display brilliant colours that resist fading by time or hard-wear. Due to these special qualities there is no substitute for Mohair!