Where does Mohair come from?
One of the most common asked questions we get asked here at Capricorn Mohair Socks is where does Mohair come from, or what is Mohair?
Mohair is one of the most prized natural fibres, it comes from the fleeces of Angora goats, mohair is a soft, silk-like textile. People often, incorrectly, refer to Mohair as a wool, but it is a hair, with it being this it has very different properties than the fleeces we shear from sheep.
What Is Mohair?
Some people call mohair the ‘diamond fibre’.
The diameter of the fibre increases with the age of the goat, and the thinner fibers from young goats are used more for clothing, like socks and sweaters, while the thicker, coarser fibres are used for carpets, upholstery (often used for aircraft seats), drapery fabric, and outerwear.
Mohair is more expensive than standard sheep’s wool because the production process is more involved, and as a result, it is considered a luxury fibre, similar to cashmere, but you will find Mohair is far harder wearing than Cashmere.
Which countries produce the majority of the Mohair?
Considered one of the oldest fibre textiles in existence, mohair originated in the mountains of Tibet, where the Angora goat originally lived.
The Angora goat was then introduced to Turkey in the sixteenth century, in the Turkish province of Ankara where the name “angora” comes from. Angora goats were farmed almost exclusively in Ankara until 1849, when the goat was given as a gift to a United States cotton farmer for his service helping Turkey cultivate cotton.
Today, the majority of mohair comes from South Africa, which is the largest farmer of angora goats and exporter of mohair. Other countries that are large producer of Mohair are Argentina, Turkey, and the U.S. state of Texas. To a lesser extent, Australia and New Zealand also produce and export mohair.
How Is Mohair Produced?
The shearing process on mohair farms takes place twice a year, in the spring and in the autumn. Traditional sheep just get shorn once a year, so this gives you an idea how quickly the Mohair grown on the Angora goats.
Once shown the fleece is cleaned, to get rid of any dirt, debris, and grease.Then the Mohair is spun into yarn, then in our case then knitted into Mohair Socks.
What are the main advantages of using Mohair to make socks out of?
- Mohair fibre is moisture wicking and naturally flame retardant, therefore it pulls any moisture away from your foot.
- As it has no ‘pits’ in in like wool it further holds no moisture, but it also makes it very hard wearing.
- Mohair is very strong and durable.
- Good for sensitive skin. Mohair is good for people with sensitive skin, as the wool is not as itchy as standard sheep’s wool.
- Warm. Mohair is very warm while remaining light weight and is a great insulator.
Altogether Mohair has the ideal properties for knitting socks out of.