Mohair is the fiber produced by the Angora goat, whose name derives from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, where it has been bred for over 2,000 years. From Turkey the breeding of Angora goats spread as far as Texas, though South Africa is now where where the finest quality animals are to be found. South Africa mohair offers outstanding luster, cleanness and uniformity of fiber and absence of impurity.
Mohair’s main characteristic, apart from its shine, is its resiliency, making it the most crease-proof natural fiber and therefore the most suitable for producing permanent-press clothing.
Mohair is used extensively in both knitted and woven fabric production. Finer fabrics are made of kid mohair, the fiber from the animal’s first clip, which is done in the first six months. These produce the finest and most beautiful batches, with smooth, shiny transparent white fibers between 27 and 30 microns.
Kid mohair is only about 19% of South Africa’s annual production. Lanificio Ermenegildo Zegna buys the finer varieties (‹ 27 µ) at the annual auctions and is in fact the world’s biggest purchaser of kid mohair for weaving.