Mohair Fiber

For a fiber that’s plentiful, what’s with the mohair prices? I’ve seen them at starting at $3/oz at Etsy and upward to $8/oz for doll hair on eBay. Mohair comes from the angora goats (not angora bunny like my Kroger), and they are can be raised anywhere around the world such as the U.S. (mostly Texas), South Africa, and Australia. Hence, they aren’t as selective about their environment as the cashmere goats. Furthermore, unlike the cashmere goat where only its underside down is usable for next-to-skin garments, all of the fiber from the angora goat is usable. Granted, if you’re looking for the softest mohair, you need to look for fiber from kid goats that are less than one year old.

Last year on a yarn crawl, I stop by WildFiber and to purchase from mohair locks from Namaste Farms. I don’t remember the price per oz, but when the register rang up in excess of $200 and that when I realized that mohair is really expensive. I put most of it back, tail between my legs, and left the tres rich store quietly.

At the beginning of this year, I bought a super kid (less than 6-month goat) mohair fleece at Vickiesraspberryhollow for my spinning guild for a spinning program on mohair. His name is Sapphire and his fleece gave me an appreciation for mohair. Mohair isn’t soft like cashmere or angora rabbit, but it shines like silk, dyes beautifully, curls with ringlets (hence perfect for doll hair), and floats in the air. His raw (unwashed) fleece was $1.85/oz.

As a econ major, it’s all about supply and demand. So why is the price so high when there are plenty available? It seems most of the markup is due to labor for scouring (although mohair has no lanolin), dyeing, and retailing. Since I can do scouring, dyeing, and spinning, I can spin my own mohair yarn for $2/oz and avoid paying retail.

Kidsilk Haze (Mohair/Silk) by Rowan. Pattern is Multi-directional Diagonal Scarf.

Fiber tasting of mohair from a super kid. The natural color is at center, the rest were dyed by me.


About knottyewe

Blogging about knitting, making yarn, and making socks.
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