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Durable, adaptable and luxurious, mohair is one of the most versatile fabrics available. And, of course, it’s completely natural.

Made from the hair of the Angora goat, mohair is almost as luxurious as cashmere and far more practical. It has excellent insulating properties, it is flame-resistant, lustrous and shiny. It is great for clothes made for the active as it naturally wicks moisture and resists creases. Because of these properties, it is more expensive than sheep’s wool and is prized by almost all parts of the clothing industry, from high fashion and couture companies to manufacturers of active-wear.

Mohair is a luxury product because it feels smoother than sheep’s wool. Although both are made from scales of keratin, mohair has a less defined structure so it is softer to the touch.

The largest manufacturer of mohair is South Africa, which is responsible for about half of the world’s production.

The wool can be used for anything from the most delicate of scarves to the most durable of carpets. The width of the fibres of mohair increases with the age of the Angora goat it comes from, so the finer, softer hair of younger goats is used for lighter garments.

To process mohair, goats are sheared twice a year. The hair is cleaned to remove natural grease and dirt and then spun into yarn. Because Angora goats grow uniform locks of hair there is no coarse hair to remove, as in the case of cashmere.

Mohair has been used at least since the 16th century when the word as adopted into English from the Arabic mukhayyar. The Angoran goat is thought to have originated in Tibet but it was being farmed in Turkey by the 1500s.

In the early 19th century, the processing of Angora wool imported from Turkey began in the textile mills of Yorkshire, England. Yorkshire then became the leading manufacturer of mohar products.

Until the mid-19th century, Ankara in Turkey was the main producer of Angora goats. After that, because of the demand for mohair, they were then exported throughout the world, as far as Australia, South Africa and America.

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