Looking for a fuzzy, stretchy yarn? Mohair fibers might be the perfect choice. I explore what mohair yarn is, and ways to use it for knitting.
I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 14, 2023.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Mohair Yarn?
- What Do You Use Mohair For?
- Common Blends Using Mohair Fiber
- Where To Find Mohair Yarn
- Interesting Facts
What Is Mohair Yarn?
Mohair yarn is an animal fiber sold at expensive prices. This fiber is popular because it’s a fuzzy yarn despite its solid core, creates a soft halo, and is a versatile yarn. They’re incredibly soft and great for drapey fabric. It’s available in all colors of the rainbow.
Where Does Mohair Come From?
Mohair yarn comes from the undercoat of the Angora goat. The species’ scientific name is Capra aegagrus hircus.(1) This species of goat comes from the region of Angora in Asia Minor.
Angora goats have been raised for their wool for millennia, and there’s evidence stretching back as far as 1571 BCE! During the 1500s, many traders brought back cloths woven from the angora goat hair to Europe from Turkey.(6)
However, the wool didn’t reach global popularity until the 19th century, being exported in large quantities to Europe. Many attempts were made to raise Angora Goats in Europe, but with no success.
However, they did it in South Africa in the early 1800s. Most Mohair is produced in South Africa, although there are also producers in the United States and Turkey.
How Is Mohair Made Into Yarn
In the US, goats produce around 5.3 pounds of mohair per shearing. The fiber strand has a length of 12-15 cm. They’re usually sheared twice yearly. Mohair is like wool, but has a smoother surface and thin, smooth scales. The fiber is strong, elastic, and lustrous. It is a much finer yarn than llama fibers or yak yarn but hard wearing.
How To Wash Mohair Yarn
Here are the care instructions for mohair fibers.
- It’s best to handwash it, but you can machine wash it using the gentle cycle in cool water
- Use mild soap
- Don’t use bleach or fabric softener
- Don’t tumble dry
Always check the yarn label for instructions specific to the yarn you’re using.
Does It Shrink When Washed?
If you expose it to high temperatures or agitate the fibers, it shrinks. Being gentle and using cold water prevents this from happening.
How To Soften Mohair Yarn
Here is a quick and easy method to soften mohair yarn. Washing it after you’ve finished knitting always helps!
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What Do You Use Mohair Yarn For?
Wondering whether you should use it to make a project? Here’s why this fiber is used to make luxury yarn. It’s often used for projects and things like lightweight sweaters and other knits, shawls, wraps, baby garments, accessories, an adult garment, warm, lightweight blankets, and lace projects.
A mohair sweater is a lovely idea if you enjoy luxurious yarn! You’ll enjoy knitting your next project. I wouldn’t recommend designs with complicated stitches, because they won’t show up well in the silky hair. For more suitable luxury yarns with excellent stitch definition see my article here.
Here is a video tutorial by Mel from mel makes stuff on tips for mohair yarn knitting.
It’s a must-watch for anyone who wants to know about what it’s like to knit with this fiber.
Common Blends Using Mohair Fiber
Here is a list of common blends using this yarn, and why they’re created.
- Nylon – for strength and durability
- Wool or Merino Wool – for warmth and flexibility
- Acrylic – for a more affordable option
- Silk – for a luxurious feel and sheen
- Alpaca – for a warm, fuzzy feel
It’s sometimes blended with other fibers like cashmere or polyester to make super soft fabrics. Blends with cotton are rare.
Where To Find Mohair Yarn
Here’s where to find mohair yarn: at a yarn store or craft stores in your area, or in online brand shops.
Here are brands or manufacturers of mohair yarns to try: Lana Grossa Silkhair, Rowan Patina, Valley Yarns Southhampton, Debbie Bliss Nell, Rico Essentials Super Kid Mohair Loves Silk, Manos Del Uruguay, and Lang yarns.
This particular yarn is often available in lace weight yarn, which uses a small needle size. If it’s held double with one or two strands of other yarn, it will add softness, a fluffy quality and excellent drape.
What’s The Price Like? When most people think of mohair, they think more expensive than other yarns. While that’s true, you still find more moderately priced ones. Pure mohair is more expensive than a blend.
Interesting Facts About Mohair
Want to know some fascinating tidbits about this material? Impress your friends with these.
- The goats are also called Ankara goats
- All sexes have long, curled horns
- They’re usually white, but they also can be brown, black or grey
- They live around 8-12 years
- They’re excellent at foraging, so they can be raised on lands that aren’t good grazing pastures
- They’re delicate creatures that need lots of care
- In the early 20th century, mohair yarns wear often used for imitation fur, dresses and cloaks(4)
- Their hair becomes coarser with age, so young goats (called kids) produce finer yarn(5)
FAQS About Mohair Yarn
Is Mohair Yarn Safe For Babies?
No, it’s not safe for babies because the fiber sheds and it may be itchy for a baby’s sensitive skin.
Is Mohair Yarn Ethical & Eco-Friendly?
Where most of the fiber is produced, in South Africa, the goats aren’t treated well. Nor are many of the workers employed in the industry.(2) Always do your research where the yarn comes from, and try to only buy from small-scale, ethical farmers.
The following mohair yarns are ethical choices: Along Avec Anna Silk Mohair, Önling No. 10 Silk Mohair, and Knitting For Olive Soft Silk Mohair. Mass-scale farming requires lots of water and land. However, it’s a natural fiber, so it’s biodegradable.
What Can I Make With Leftover Mohair Yarn?
You can make something fun, like wristwarmers, a scrappy blanket, cardigan or jacket, a colorful cowl, or scrunchies.
Is Mohair Yarn Itchy?
Sometimes, it’s itchy because often people who find sheep’s wool scratchy/hairy experience the same thing with mohair. However, if you don’t experience that, mohair has a lovely, luxurious, almost silky feel.
Is Mohair Yarn Good For Clothes?
Yes, it’s good for crochet or knitted clothing because it’s cloud-soft and warm. However, it’s a little annoying because it sheds hairs everywhere and becomes fuzzy.
Sometimes it’s a little difficult to use on your needles. If it’s your first time working with it, choose a simple pattern! I also wouldn’t recommend it for next to skin garments, it’s better for things like outerwear. It’s best to get a blend with something more durable, like merino wool or alpaca yarn.
Is Mohair Yarn Good For Winter?
Yes, it’s good for knit or crochet winter projects because it’s super warm!
Is Mohair Yarn Good For Summer?
No, it’s not good for summer because it’s too hot.
Do Mohair Yarns Pill?
Yes, they pill, often more so than other animal fibers, because it’s a delicate, lofty fiber.
Can You Dye Mohair Yarns?
Yes, you can.
Is Mohair As Itchy As Wool?
Yes, if you have an allergy to wool or find it scratchy.
What’s The Difference Between Mohair And Wool?
Here are the differences between mohair yarns and wool.
- Mohair has a natural luster, wool doesn’t(3)
- Mohair has flat scales, wool has raised scales
- Mohair sheds, wool doesn’t as much
- Mohair comes from goats, wool comes from sheep
What’s A ‘Kid Mohair’ Coat And What Makes It Special?
A ‘kid mohair’ coat is made from the fiber of a young goat, usually less than a year old. The fiber is more delicate, making it softer and smoother. The coats are also usually lighter, and the yarn is more expensive.
Happy crocheting or knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have questions? Please leave them below!
- Wikipedia contributors. 2022. “Angora Goat.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. May 22, 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Angora_goat&oldid=1089127878.
- “What Is Mohair and Is It Ethical?” 2020. Utopia. August 10, 2020. https://utopia.org/guide/what-is-mohair/.
- “Mohair vs Wool.” 2021. MothPrevention. September 2, 2021. https://www.moth-prevention.com/blogs/the-art-of-prevention/mohair-vs-wool.“
- Sample of Single Mohair Yarn, Massachusetts Mohair Plush Company, 1914.” n.d. National Museum of American History. Accessed October 18, 2022. https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1850862.
- N.d. Uky.edu. Accessed October 18, 2022. https://afs.ca.uky.edu/files/judging_wool_and_mohair.pdf.
- Jirousek, Charlotte. 2008. “Rediscovering Camlet: Traditional Mohair Cloth Weaving in Southeastern Turkey.” https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tsaconf/103/.