Mohair is a fabric that is made from the hair of the Angora goat, a breed of a domesticated goat. Mohair has some special characteristics that have made it become special as compared to other types of wool from domesticated sheep. It is also referred to as a "diamond fiber" because of its shinning nature. It has some characteristics that are exceptional such as its durability; it is more durable compared to other wool. It is also flame resistant and has some moisture absorption capability. Mohair is long in diameter compared to other wool (approximately 25-45). However, the diameter of Mohair increases as the goat grows older. Young Angora goats produce some fine Mohair that is used in the manufacture of clothes while the thicker hair produced by the older goats is used in the manufacture of carpets and other heavy fabric like rugs and carpets.
Characteristics of Mohair Fiber
Young Angora goats produce the smoothest-textured mohair. This type of hair is more expensive because of its fine texture. Secondly, the grade of the mohair is determined by the fiber diameter. However, the age of the goat determines the quality and quantity of the fiber produced. Young Angora goats normally produce a fiber with a diameter of 24-28 microns while adult goats produce fiber of approximately 36-46 microns. The value of the Mohair is also determined by its softness, cleanness, and luster. The presence of foreign particles/substance in the fiber affects the quality of the mohair. The wool of Angora goat is usually white, smooth and very shiny. It is also said to contain protein keratin. Mohair has the capability of reflecting light, making it shine brightly.
Uses of Mohair
Mohair has many uses. First, since Mohair is smooth in nature it is used in the making of dolls. It is also used in making winter hats and sweaters since it can easily absorb moisture. Secondly, when blended with wool it produces high-quality blankets and lightweight garments which are always warmer. It is also used in the manufacture of products such as knitting yarn and lightweight suiting fabric. Thirdly, as mentioned above, fabric from young Angora goats are very soft and are used in clothing while the old/mature goats produce fabrics used in the production of carpets.
Top Mohair Producer
South Africa is the leading producer of Mohair followed by the United States of America. There are other large producers of mohair such as Lesotho and Australia, among others. In South Africa, mohair is produced in Eastern Cape. South Africa produces approximately 50% of the world's mohair. There are approximate of 859,000 goats in South Africa, producing 3.6 million kilograms of Mohair. Port Elizabeth is the capital of the global Mohair industry. The washing, combing, sorting, and auctioning takes place at the Port. Mohair is then sent to Texas for processing. South Africa generally exports its mohair raw or semi-processed to Europe and the Far East. China is also an emerging market for mohair. The South Africa's mohair is highly regarded as the finest and the best quality of the world.