Recently I received an e-mail from a customer named Kathryn inquiring about Mohair and its characteristics and pricing and I thought it would make for a great column. Mohair has a long and interesting history in interior design so I think that’s how I will begin.
As far as I have been able to research, mohair was originally produced for the seating of thrones and the carriages of nobility. It is known as the fabric of Kings and Sultans.
Mohair usually refers to yarn made from the long white lustrous hair of the Angora goat. The goat originated from the mountains of Tibet making their way to Turkey. Until 1849, the province of Ankara was the sole producer of Angora goats until they were brought over to Europe by Charles V. Today, Angora goats are also raised in New Zealand, The United States with South Africa being the largest mohair producer in the world. (The United States, mainly Texas, is second)
Mohair is one of the oldest textile fibers in use dating as far back as the 8th Century. It is known for its high luster and durability. Angora is the most resilient natural fiber and is considered Eco Friendly because of its sustainability. Another important characteristic of mohair is how exceptional it takes dyes. The color is absorbed brilliantly into the fibers creating rich saturated colors.
Mohair is a pile fabric which stands upright. It is woven together on a velvet loom and then cut apart into two pieces. Mohair is usually blended with cotton for the backing and then a coating is applied to help keep the pile in place.
Mohair velvets are priced according to the thickness and/or the height of the pile. The longer the hairs or the denser the pile, the higher the cost will be. Mohair made from the hair of a young goat, also known as “Kid Mohair”, if the finest quality available.
Mohair is perfect to use when designing for customers who “live” in their rooms; yet still want to maintain a stylish décor. It is also a great seating cloth for high traffic areas of hotels, office buildings, restaurants and theaters because of its enduring qualities.
Mohair is considered a luxury fabric so when working with your clients, explain its vast history and then add a little mohair. Your clients are the “kings and queens of their castle” and should feel as such when entertaining or just relaxing. Not only will they have a piece of furniture that will add sophistication and elegance to any room, they will even have an heirloom to pass down to the next generation.
Thank you Kathryn for making me dig into the history of mohair, I learned a little something extra and I hope all of you will as well.