Mohair is a wonderfully silky fiber to spin.
Luster, strength, and fuzziness are some of it's unique characteristics.
Mohair is available in many naturally colored shades of red, brown, silver, grey, black, and cream in addition to pure white and brilliantly dyed colors.
See links below for selecting, washing and dying mohair.
You may have heard that mohair is difficult to spin. Actually, the long staple length of mohair aids in the ease of spinning. Mohair can be combed, carded, or spun directly from teased locks.
Mohair is not difficult to spin, but does require a slightly different process than spinning wool. Mohair fibers draw much more freely than wool because they do not have the same scales that cause wool fibers to bind to each other. Mohair, therefore, can feel slippery to spin. To counter this, reduce the tension on your brake, so that there is just enough pull to wind the yarn onto the bobbin.
When spinning mohair, avoid running your finger and thumb down the twist, like you would when spinning wool. Instead, open your fingers and re-grasp the fiber further down the yarn (this is "woolen-style" spinning). This will keep your yarn airy and fluffy. Ply mohair singles using the same method, with only a light or low twist, or you may end up with a tight string instead of a nice fluffy yarn. Mohair singles typically are softer and loftier than plied yarns.
Luster is a prime quality of mohair and you can enhance that natural luster by using a low twist in both worsted and woolen yarns. Low twist allows light to bounce off more fiber surfaces, producing a rich, glowing halo effect. In a high-twist, compact yarn, light can reflect off fewer surface areas, resulting in a duller effect. Therefore, to enhance luster, use only the amount of twist necessary to make a stable yarn suitable for your end product.
If a yarn will be subjected to very hard wear, durability will be more important and, therefore, more twist will be required. Worsted yarn is strong and hard wearing, whereas lofty, semi-worsted and woolen-spun yarns are light in weight and ideal for articles that will not be subject to hard wear.
Fancy or novelty yarns can be spun of mohair or mohair can be used for “core spinning”, Bouclé and other novelty yarns are particularly popular and perfectly suited for mohair. Try plying mohair with another type of fiber. For example, when washed, a ply of wool will shrink, but the mohair will not, resulting in more frizz and curl in the finished yarn. Also try brushing the yarn or the finished garment to enhance the lustrous “halo” produced by mohair. Use a natural bristle brush, like one used for human hair. Finally, wash and block your yarn before you make your finished product. It will help balance any inconsistencies in the yarn, making knitting and weaving easier.
Mohair is a silky, lustrous, versatile, and durable fiber, which doesn't wrinkle easily, making it great for traveling. Depending on the grade of mohair, it can be used for a wide variety of items from baby apparel to saddle blankets, and all finished products in between, including coats, suits, dresses, sweaters, hats, scarves, shawls, mittens, loungewear, socks, doll hair and beards, blankets, upholstery, draperies, carpets, and rugs. Mohair is used in knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting, and a wide variety of other fiber arts.
MOHAIR – THE AFFORDABLE LUXURY FIBER
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