What is Mohair?
Mohair, prized for its brilliant colour and sheen, is known as the diamond fibre.
Mohair dates back to the biblical times and the garments of the wise men were probably made of this fibre.
Mohair comes from the fibre of the Angora goat. It is sheared every 4 – 6 months. Mohair grease is harder to remove than lanolin from wool. It requires hot water and several washings.
U.S. and South Africa are the largest producers of mohair. In Britain, coloured angora goats were imported from New Zealand. Most breeders have 10 to 30 animals and sell the fibre primarily to hand spinners and weavers.
Mohair is loved for its colour, fluffiness and light weight and durability. It is used by knitters and weavers alike, for sweaters, socks, blankets, rugs, upholstery and teddy bears and mohair yarn.
Weaving Tips with Mohair
When you weave with mohair as warp, sett it farther apart than you would with wool of a similar thickness. e.g. if the normal sett for a wool yarn is 8 epi, use a sett of 6 epi, as the fuzzy yarn needs to have more space. A close sett will cause the warp ends to tangle with each other and your loom may get locked up as you try to treadle. Also, change the shed after you beat but before you move the beater back. This helps to open the shed for the next beat.
The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn
The Whole Craft of Spinning: From the Raw Material to the Finished Yarn
The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Cotton, Flax, Hemp (Practical Spinner’s Guides)
Spin Flax & Cotton: Traditional Techniques with Norman Kennedy
The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning: Being A Compendium of Information, Advice, and Opinions On the Noble Art & Craft
The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber
The Intentional Spinner