Mohair: the Diamond fiber
What is mohair? What animal makes it? What is it good for? Learn all about the "diamond fiber" below.
Mohair comes from Angora goats (Angora fiber comes from Angora rabbits). Angora goats were originally domesticated in Turkey and became known both for the quality and quantity of the fiber they produced and their tame, friendly personalities.
Exceptionally docile, Angora goats often served as both production animals and family pets. Sheared twice a year, producing a 6 inch staple length every six months, Angora goats produce a large quantity of fiber for their size. On average, they can produce 8-16 pounds of mohair each year.
Mohair is my first fiber love. It's sheen, softness, and durability have always led me back to it as my fiber of choice. I was lucky enough to grow up learning to knit on this beautiful fluff.
Yet, mohair isn't commonly seen in the knitter world - it's a rarer fiber, with fewer knitting patterns available. I've always wondered why. As my mom always remarks, "it's an overlooked fiber, blended too often with other fibers." There just doesn't seem to be a good reason for it's neglect!
To be fair, our preference for mohair here at Kindred Yarn Co. is because we raise Angora goats. (Angora goats produce mohair. Angora rabbits produce angora fiber.) Let's just say we're smitten with both the mohair and the goats.
A few reasons to knit with mohair
Sheen: Mohair glistens. It has a certain shine to it that makes for incredible finished projects. This is because the fiber has a high luster - it reflects light beautifully.
The Halo Effect: As a mohair garment ages, the fiber gains softness and begins to loosen a bit from the ply of the yarn. This is especially the case with handspun yarns. This creates a soft halo effect. It makes scarves and cowls extra cuddly.
Drape: This fiber drapes wonderfully. Lace knitters, you'll love this.
Softness: Kid mohair is remarkably soft. In general, adult mohair is fairly soft. On occasion, you may find mohair from an older animal or with kemp that makes the fiber rougher than usual. A scratchy skein is an exception to the rule.
Color: Mohair is available in a variety of natural colors including white, auburn, brown, black, and gray. If you are looking for natural color or look, this is definitely your fiber. Few breeds of fiber animals can boast such a rainbow.
Dye Absorbent: If you love to dye your own yarn,you have got to give mohair a try. Mohair absorbs dye well and obtains a vibrant shade quickly and easily.
Fire Retardant: It's fire retardant qualities are an extra bonus. You know, just in case you ant to knit a (warm) jump suit for race car driving.
With incredible softness and drape, this fiber is perfect for cozy, indulgent, close-to-the-skin knitting projects. Scarves, cowls, and shawls are stunning when crafted with mohair.