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Mohair, The Diamond Fiber

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Mohair is silky, durable, dyes well and is known as the diamond fiber for its ability to absorb humidity and resist creasing. Who can resist a mohair wool blend or a fine mohair for knitting every other needle? Where does it come from (besides the goats, we already know Angora goats growth this luxury fiber.

Did you know that 58% of the world’s mohair is from South Africa, 90% of that from the Eastern Cape? I didn’t until I read this article: South Africa’s Mohair Mojo

Mohair SA’s Review 2005 manual puts South Africa a full 45% ahead of its biggest production rival, the US (13% of world production). They are followed by Lesotho (10% share of world production), Turkey and Argentina (both with a 5% share), Australia (3%), New Zealand (2%) and “other” (4%).

There are many stages in mohair production: the grower, the broker, the processor, and then the end user.

In South Africa, mohair is largely handled up to the washing and combing stage (processor). “A total of 95% of SA production is exported in raw or semi-processed form,” Loots says. “Semi-processed mohair is exported to all destinations, including Europe, the UK and the Far East.”

South Africa’s product output peaked in the 80′s with 12 million kilograms abut is now 3.5 to 4 million kilograms annually.

We are lucky when we can get some to knit up or buy a length of Ermenegildo Zegna fabric from Michael’s Fabrics.com (highly recommended)!

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About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

One response »

  1. I used to know someone who raised Angora goats, and I bought a lovely mohair/wool blend from her to spin. It made really nice, warm gloves and a hat. As you noted, it does dye beautifully, and is extremely lustrous.

    Reply

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