We’ve looked at different types of wool in previous posts, and this week it’s the turn of mohair. This beautiful wool is known as the ‘Diamond fibre’, due to its high lustre and inherent strength. But what else is special about mohair?
How to distinguish mohair wool?
Well, first it’s important to distinguish it from another type of wool, angora, which comes from the angora rabbit. Mohair wool actually comes from the angora goat, named after Ankara in Turkey where the goats flourished after moving down from the mountains of Tibet centuries ago. See how things get a bit confusing? Just remember: the angora goat is a large, curly-fleeced creature (from which we get mohair wool); the angora rabbit is a super-cute fluffball of far smaller proportions (from which we get angora wool).
Mohair goats are now farmed worldwide, with the main areas of production in South Africa and Texas, USA. They are shorn twice a year, then the fleece is washed, combed and ‘worsted’ spun into yarn. It is sometimes mixed with other fibres, but is fantastic on its own. Mohair wool is used in a huge range of products, from bespoke tailored suits to soft scarves, upholstery to teddy bears. The finer wool from younger goats is usually used to make clothes and wool throws, whilst the thicker wool is used for heavier items.
So why is mohair so popular and revered?
The answer lies in its properties. As the fibres have fewer scales on the external layer than sheep wool, mohair is extremely soft, which makes it perfect for people with sensitive skin or who find sheep wool a bit itchy. It is also insulating, without absorbing heat, so it regulates your body temperature. Unwanted odours are avoided thanks to its natural anti-bacterial properties, and it will wick away moisture from your body to keep you feeling fresh and warm. Elasticity is another brilliant function of mohair, as its fibres can be twisted and shaped without being damaged. Mohair is lightweight and also non-flammable unless exposed to an open flame, which has resulted in it being used in some airline upholstery. But don’t let its light weight fool you – this is one tough yarn, withstanding up to three times the rubbing of sheep wool. It also takes dye remarkably well, making it a great choice for vibrant colours.
Want to see for yourself? Snuggle up with one of our elegant mohair throws and experience the joys of this special wool.