It is the fleece of the Angora goat, and it’s one of the world’s most beautiful sustainable natural fibres.
Most of South Africa’s Angora goats are farmed in the Karoo area of the Eastern Cape.
Quality mohair comes in two basic styles, a ringlet shaped lock and flat wavy locks. Angora goats are shorn twice a year and are not harmed in any way during the process; Angora goats produce about five kilograms of mohair per year.
As it is a natural fibre, mohair comes in different styles and grades, and this highly desirable textile is sought after by the discerning and fashion conscious for characteristics such as warmth, lightweight, durability and beauty.
See “The Process” page to see how the mohair is processed.
The type of fibre purchased depends on the intended use of the mohair, e.g. clothing, upholstery, rugs, fibre arts, etc.
UNIQUE MOHAIR PROPERTIES
Although principal mohair characteristics are similar to those of wool, it does posses other unique mohair properties, not found in any other type of fibre:
As the most crucial characteristic of mohair, lustre is the natural sheen of the thread caused by the reflection of light. This sheen helps dyed mohair resist fading as a result of time or the elements.
Owing to its structure, mohair can be twisted or bent without damaging the fibre. This makes it the most durable of all animal fibres.
Mohair garments resist wrinkling, stretching and sagging during wear because it can spread to an average 30% over its length and still spring back into shape.
Mohair is almost non-flammable. When placed under or near a naked flame, it may wither into bead-like ash, but once taken away from the fire, the burning stops instantaneously.
As with all other natural fibres, mohair also has the property of being able to absorb and release atmospheric moisture. It can breathe, whereas human-made threads cannot.
Mohair is ideal for woven fabrics, as dust does not come to rest on slippery fibres. Therefore, shaking and brushing can easily remove any dirt from such materials.
Mohair possesses extreme strength. Diameter to diameter, it is stronger than steel.