|An angora goat and her kid|
At the moment I am busy processing some mohair. Mohair is the fibre which comes from the angora goat. This can be confusing since there are angora rabbits and angora goats, the fibre from angora rabbits is referred to as angora whereas the fibre produced by angora goats is known as mohair.
I saw the flock of goats shorn and I picked what I considered to be the best kid fleeces. By kid I mean the goats were about a year old and this was their first shearing, they weren’t tiny kids but this will be the best fleece of their lives. I need to produce about 800g of finished yarn for the owner of the goats. This is a massive job. I don’t know of any easy way of preparing mohair fibre.
|The raw mohair|
First of all I washed the mohair with Unicorn Power Scour, it was very dirty and smelt terrible while wet!
Now the mohair is dry I am combing through one lock at a time with a pet brush. The locks open up easily except at the butt end, the end where the fibre was shorn from the goat. The underside of the fleeces are heavily matted and in places scurfy.
I don’t know much about this scurf, I’ve heard various explanations, some people say it is hardened wax but I think it is dry skin, a kind of goat dandruff. It doesn’t dissolve in water which I would expect it to if it was grease. It is gritty in texture. I have heard that dry skin is a breeding fault or a lack of oil in the diet, who knows. All I know is I have my work cut out producing 800g of ready to spin mohair! I must say, despite the scurf, the fibre is beautiful, soft and luminous. I'll let you know how I get on.
Have you ever worked with raw mohair? How did you prepare the fibre for spinning?