Characteristics, Processing and Application of Mohair Fiber

What Kind of Fiber is Mohair?
Mohair is an animal fiber that comes from the Angora goat. It is known for its lustrous sheen, durability, and softness. Mohair fiber has very few scales and therefore most suitable for worsted fabrics. Mohair is typically used in clothing, upholstery, and other textiles. The fiber is often blended with other natural or synthetic fibres to add strength and texture to fabrics. Mohair is also known for its ability to insulate, making it a popular choice for winter garments. The fibers can be up to 30cm in length giving a slight sheen to the fabrics.

Angora goat
Fig: Angora goat

Mohair fiber has a fine structure similar to wool. However, it appears circular in cross section, with small spots caused by trapped air bubbles. Its staple length varies according to the age of the animal. A six-month-old Angora kid would yield fibers varying from 4 to 6 in., whereas a full-grown goat would produce mohair fibers of 9-12 inches in length each year.

Mohair has physical properties essentially similar to those of wool. In addition, mohair has a very high resistance to wear. Due to its durability characteristics it is mainly used in applications such as unholstery. It is also blended with wool to produce light-weight fabrics for summer wear and other kinds of apparel materials.

mohair fiber
Fig: Mohair fiber

The yarn and the fabric woven from it resemble silk. The fiber diameter of mohair ranges from 25 to 40 microns. The length of its fiber is 9–12 inches. It is a ‘keratin’ (protein) fiber. Mohair has scales, but they are not fully developed as in the case of wool. Hence, it does not felt like wool. For the older goats, the hair is coarser in diameter. The shearing is done twice a year – approx. 5–6 kg yield. The grease and other impurities including vegetable matter are removed in similar manner as with wool.

Mohair is found in mountains of Tibet, Turkey, the United States and South Africa. Today South Africa and the United States are the largest mohair producers, with the majority of American mohair being produced in Texas. The hair is long, brightly lustrous and relatively thick and stiff. The undercoat is particularly finer and therefore particularly coveted for the use in garments manufacture where it finds varied applications, very often in blends with wool.

Characteristics / Properties of Mohair Fiber:
Mohair is one of the oldest and luxurious fibers, both durable and resilient. It reflects high lustre and sheen. The fiber is warm and has insulating properties. It shows exceptional dyeing properties and owing to its good moisture-wicking property remains cool in summer. It is both flame and crease resistant. Physical properties of mohair fiber is given in below table.

Properties Mohair
Fiber length 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm)
Tenacity 11.8–12.8 cN/tex (12–13 g/tex)
Elongation 30%
Fiber diameter 25 to 45 microns
Tensile strength 400 to 700 MPa
Elasticity High
Specific gravity 1.32
Absorbency Moderate to high
Flame resistance High
Durability High
Luster High
Texture Soft and silky
Color Natural colors range from white to black, with shades of brown and gray in between.
Moisture regain 13%
Effect of sunlight, chemicals, solvent, insects, microorganisms Similar to wool

Mohair fiber has the following properties:

1. Softness: Mohair is known for its softness and silky texture, which is due to its fine diameter and smooth surface. It is often compared to cashmere or silk in terms of its softness.

2. Luster: Mohair has a natural luster that makes it appear shiny and bright. This property makes it ideal for creating luxurious and elegant garments.

3. Strength: It is a strong and durable fiber that can withstand wear and tear. Mohair fiber is one of the strongest natural fibres. It is stronger than wool and can resist pilling.

4. Elasticity: Mohair fibre is naturally elastic, meaning it can stretch and recover its shape easily without losing its original form.

5. Moisture-wicking: Mohair is a moisture-wicking fiber that can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. This property makes it ideal for creating garments that can be worn in warm and humid climates.

6. Lightweight: It is a lightweight fiber that is easy to work with and can be blended with other fibers to create unique textures and fabrics.

7. Flame resistance: Mohair has a natural flame resistance, which makes it a safer option for creating clothing and home furnishings. It does not melt or drip when exposed to flames.

8. Insulation: Mohair is a good insulator, providing warmth in cold weather.

Processing of Mohair Fiber:
The processing of mohair fiber typically involves the following steps:

1. Shearing: Removing fur from animal body. Angora goat can be clipped twice in a year. One goat may give 1.8–2.4 kg (4–5 lb) mohair per clipping. As in the case of wool, the quality of the fiber varies, depending on its source under which it lived. The fleece is graded into tight lock, flat lock and fluffy types. Tight lock is characterized by its ringlets and is usually very fine. Flat lock is wavy and of medium quality and fluffy or open fleece is of the lowest grade. The dead fibers and dull ones in the fleece are called kemps, much the same as in the case of wool.

2. Sorting and grading: The sheared mohair fiber is sorted and graded based on its quality, including fiber length, diameter, and texture.

3. Scouring: Treating fiber with detergents

4. Dehaired: Separating coarse and soft hair

5. Spinning

Application / Uses of Mohair Fiber:
Mohair fiber is used in folding roofs of convertible cars. There are many other applications – in scarves, winter hats, suits, sweaters, coats, socks and home furnishings. It is also found in carpets, wall fabrics, craft yarns and may be used as an economical substitute for furs. Having resemblance to human hair, it is used as wig for high-grade dolls and customized dolls.

Mohair fiber is a popular material in the textile industry and has many uses, including:

a) Clothing: Mohair fiber is often used to make soft and warm clothing items such as sweaters, cardigans, jumpers, scarves, and shawls.

b) Upholstery: Due to its durability, mohair fiber is often used for upholstery in furniture such as sofas and armchairs.

c) Home furnishings: Mohair is also used for home furnishings such as blankets, rugs, carpets and curtains due to its softness and insulation properties.

d) Accessories: Mohair fiber can be used to create accessories such as hats, gloves, and socks because of its warmth and softness.

e) Industrial applications: It is used in industrial applications such as filtration, insulation, and soundproofing due to its strength and durability.

f) Doll hair: Mohair fiber is a popular choice for doll hair due to its natural luster, softness, and ability to hold curls.


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