Mohair yarn

Mohair Yarn:

The Lustrous Luxury for Your Knitting Projects

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For knitters who crave a touch of elegance and luxury in their projects, mohair yarn is an exquisite choice. Known for its silky texture, brilliant luster, and exceptional warmth, mohair has been cherished by knitters and fashion enthusiasts for centuries. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about mohair yarn, from its origins to its unique characteristics and tips on using it in your knitting projects.

Mohair yarn is derived from the fleece of the Angora goat. The name “mohair” itself is derived from the Arabic word “mukhayyar,” which means “cloth of bright goats.” These goats have a long history of cultivation, dating back thousands of years to the region that is now modern-day Turkey.

Mohair production is a meticulous process, involving shearing the goats once or twice a year to obtain their prized fleece. The resulting fibers are known for their exceptional softness, strength, and unique luster, making mohair one of the most coveted natural fibers in the textile industry.

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Characteristics of Mohair Yarn

Mohair yarn is a treasure for knitters who appreciate the finer things in life. Its natural luster, softness, and warmth make it a luxurious choice for creating stunning garments and accessories.

  • Lustrous Shine: One of the most distinctive features of mohair yarn is its brilliant shine. Mohair fibers have a natural sheen that adds a touch of glamour to any knitting project. The luster is so striking that mohair is often used in garments designed for special occasions and formal events.
  • Lightweight and Warm: Despite its lightweight feel, mohair is an incredibly warm fiber. It has excellent insulation properties, making it ideal for cozy, winter accessories like scarves, hats, and mittens. Mohair-blend sweaters and cardigans are also popular choices for staying warm without feeling bulky.
  • Softness and Texture: Mohair is renowned for its luxurious softness. When knitted into a fabric, it creates a sumptuously fluffy texture that feels gentle against the skin. This makes mohair a favorite for creating snug, comfortable garments and accessories.
  • Durability: Mohair yarn is exceptionally durable, thanks to the strong, resilient fibers of Angora goats. This longevity ensures that your mohair creations will stand the test of time, becoming cherished heirlooms for generations.
  • Breathability: Mohair has excellent breathability, making it suitable for a wide range of climates. It helps regulate body temperature by allowing air to circulate, making it comfortable to wear in both cold and warm weather. This breathability also prevents overheating, making mohair garments a versatile choice year-round.

Tips for Knitting with Mohair Yarn

Use Larger Needles:

Mohair yarn can be quite delicate and prone to shedding if handled too roughly. To minimize shedding and create an airy, open fabric, it’s recommended to use larger knitting needles than what you might typically use for the yarn’s weight category.

Blend with Other Fibers:

Mohair can be blended with other fibers like wool or silk to enhance its characteristics. For example, blending it with wool adds warmth and stability to your projects, while silk adds even more sheen and drape.

Blocking is Essential:

Blocking is crucial when working with mohair yarn. It helps to even out the stitches, open up lace patterns, and set the final shape of your project. Be sure to follow the specific blocking instructions for your chosen mohair blend.

Production of Mohair Yarn

The process of producing mohair yarn involves several steps:

  1. Shearing: Angora goats are typically sheared twice a year to harvest their fleece. The fleece is shorn in large, continuous sheets, which are then sorted by quality.
  2. Sorting: After shearing, the mohair fleece is sorted into different grades based on its fineness, length, and color. The finest and longest fibers are considered the highest quality and are used in premium mohair yarns.
  3. Cleaning: The raw mohair fleece contains some natural oils and impurities. It is thoroughly cleaned and washed to remove these impurities and prepare it for spinning.
  4. Spinning: Once cleaned, the mohair fibers are carded and combed to align them and remove any remaining debris. They are then spun into yarn, either as a single-ply or multiple plies, depending on the desired thickness and texture.

After spinning, the mohair yarn may undergo additional processes such as plying (twisting multiple strands together), twisting, and setting the twist to create the final yarn product

Types of Mohair Yarn

There are various types of mohair yarn, each with its unique characteristics:

  1. Kid Mohair: Obtained from the first shearing of young Angora goats, kid mohair is exceptionally soft and luxurious. It has a fine texture and is often used for delicate, lightweight projects like lacy shawls and fine garments.
  2. Adult Mohair: Mohair from mature goats is slightly coarser than kid mohair but still soft and lustrous. It is a versatile choice for a wide range of projects, including sweaters, scarves, and hats.
  3. Brushed Mohair: This type of mohair yarn undergoes a brushing process after spinning, which enhances its halo effect, making it even fuzzier and softer. Brushed mohair is commonly used for cozy, warm accessories like blankets and winter garments.
  4. Blended Mohair: Mohair is often blended with other fibers like wool, silk, or acrylic to create yarns with a combination of desirable qualities. Blended mohair can offer added warmth, softness, and drape while retaining its signature luster.
Mohair yarn is best handwashed in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid wringing or agitating the yarn to prevent felting.
Gently squeeze out excess water and lay your mohair items flat on a clean towel to air dry. Avoid hanging them, as mohair can stretch when wet.
Store your mohair garments in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. To deter moths, use cedar blocks or lavender sachets in your storage area.

Mohair yarn is a testament to nature’s elegance and sophistication. Its origins, production process, various types, and care considerations all contribute to its status as a cherished material for creating exquisite knitted items that exude luxury and warmth. Whether you’re an experienced knitter or a newcomer to the craft, working with mohair yarn is sure to be a rewarding and creatively fulfilling experience.