Did your mother ever tell you that something would curl your hair with surprise? That might have made you look like this Angora goat.
You might not guess it to look at him, but this guy’s hair is worth so much it’s often referred to as the “Diamond” of fibers. And nope, it’s not angora (good guess, but that comes from Angora rabbits rather than goats)—it’s mohair.
Mohair definitely makes the list of luxury fabric fibers, thanks to its exceptionally soft feel, its stellar insulation, its ability to wick moisture away from the body, and its natural elasticity and durability.
If you are a connoisseur of fine fabrics, you probably already know these basic facts about mohair, so what could be left to surprise you?
Let’s Talk History: The Traveling Goat
The Angora goat (well, not this particular specimen, but his breed) has made its way over the centuries from its origin in Tibet to the mountains of Turkey. Mohair is said to be one of the oldest fibers adapted for textile use, and its name actually came from an Arabic word translating to mean “choice.” It is certainly still the fabric of choice for many stylish people around the world.
Its use spread through Europe as early as the eighth century with imported raw fibers, but the goats themselves stayed put in Turkey until more than a thousand years later. By the mid-nineteenth century Charles V finally brought the goats to Great Britain, where they were frequently crossbred with standard goats, in an attempt to increase production of mohair.
Exports of goats in other directions, usually to be crossbred with the native species of their destination countries, has spread production all over the globe. Interestingly enough, the leading producer of mohair these days is South Africa, closely followed by the American state of Texas. Check out SAMIL Natural Fibres – Mohair from farm to yarn video below.
Why This Goat Wins Popularity Contests
The widespread exporting and cross-breeding of the Angora goat for mohair production is an indication of just how high the demand for mohair has continued to be over the centuries. Compared with “regular” wool, mohair is super soft, durable, absorbent, and lightweight, making it the perfect component of everything from scarves and sweaters to socks and high-end suits.
Most often, manufacturers create a blend between mohair and wool. For the end user (for example, you in a mohair blend suit) the combination of textiles creates the perfect fabric experience. It is soft, not too shiny, holds a crisp crease and rings in at a reasonable price: for most people’s taste, pure mohair is both too shiny and too pricey. A mohair suit also keeps its value, given that its durability keeps a suit seeming crisp and new even after long wear.
And in addition to all its practical attributes, that is often the bottom line: mohair simply looks great. Even with the introduction of newer textiles like Guanashina, a blend of the world’s three most expensive fibres and even fabrics with precious gems and metals (fragments of diamonds and threads of gold), mohair remains the luxury fabric of choice for many high-end professional bespoke tailors.
Mohair has been a textile of choice from “ye olde days” of English royal courts to the 1960s “Rat Pack” singers like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and on through the years. Make that on through the centuries.
Trying Out a Mohair Suit For Yourself
Your first mohair blend suit should probably come with a warning: namely, that you may not ever want another suit fabric once you have experienced this one. Nothing beats mohair for its feel, OR its look.
It drapes perfectly and resists wrinkles while holding its creases. Its light weight makes it perfect for warm weather wear, and its absorbent nature makes it comfortable even in humidity (of the weather variety or the human variety).
We can create a bespoke suit that suits your every need, and makes you look like a million (without costing that). Woven in a rich color, mohair blends have a richness of tone and iridescence that make them stand out in a crowd. Even a well-dressed crowd!