Mohair – Angora Goat

How is Mohair fabric made?

Mohair is the name of the fibre or fabric made from the hair of the Angora goat. It is one of the oldest textile fibres still in use. Mohair is a luxurious fabric similar in desirability to Cashmere, Angora and Silk. The term Mohair was first used by the English in 1570 and is from the Arabic Language meaning ‘Haircloth.’

Mohair Manufacture

Mohair is an animal protein fibre. This means it is mainly made up of Keratin which is a protein found in hair. The fibres of Mohair are made up of scales like wool is, but unlike wool they are not fully developed. This means that Mohair doesn’t interlink as well, making it very difficult to felt.

The goat that produces Mohair fibres is shorn twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Unlike Cashmere and many other animal fibres, Mohair only has one layer of fur meaning that it doesn’t have to be sorted to remove the guard hairs. All the hair shorn is useable in textile production. Once this has been done, the fibres need to be processed to remove grease, dirt and vegetable matter and make sure the fibres are clean before manufacturing.

Once the fibres have been cleaned they are then combed and carded so that the fibres become organised, all roughly the same length and lying the same way. This improves the lustre and minimises the amount of imperfections in the finished fabrics. The fibres are then spun into yarns which can be woven into a fabric. The fabric is then finished. It can be done in many ways such as brushing to give it a napped surface or sheared to give it a smooth appearance. Chemical finishes can also be applied such as moth-proofing, stain resistance and easy care.

Properties of Mohair fabric

  • Expensive
  • Resistant to creases and moisture
  • It stretches well
  • Good insulating properties
  • Dyes exceptionally well
  • Is durable, resilient and lightweight
  • It is very warm to wear
  • High lustre and sheen
  • Mohair is often blended with other fibres to give them the desirable properties that this fibre possesses
  • Does not felt like wool
  • Nicknamed the ‘Diamond Fibre’ because of its sought-after properties
  • Resembles fine human hair
  • When dyed creates vivid saturated colours
  • Very versatile
  • Similar to wool
  • Comfortable to wear, not itchy like some hair fibres
  • Non-flammable
  • Shrink Resistant
  • Easy to wash

End uses of Mohair

  • Finer lightweight grades of this fabric from the younger goats are used extensively in clothing
  • An excellent choice for draperies and pillows
  • Heavier, coarser yarns are used in things like carpets and outerwear
  • Scarves, Sweaters and winter hats
  • Suits, Jackets
  • Small percentages of mohair are used frequently to enhance other fabrics
  • WWII Uniforms
  • Wigs
  • Rug manufacture
  • Often used as an environmentally friendly sustainable alternative to real fur

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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