What advice do you have for spinning mohair?

Mohair is a very useful fiber for spinners. It has a unique sheen, takes dyes wonderfully, has wonderful curl, and works well spun alone or in blends.

There are three main kinds of mohair. Kid Mohair is the first shearing from a young angora goat. It is very fine and soft, usually with less luster than an
adult fleece. Fineness ranges from 23-27 microns with a staple length of 3 to 6 inches. The second shearing is often also soft, almost as soft as kid mohair. Adult Mohair is from the mature goat. It can be anything from fine to coarse, with a fineness of 30 microns or larger. The staple length is 3 to 6 inches.

Mohair should be spun with a loose to medium twist. If spun too tight, it will feel like string; if spun too loose, it will drift apart. Make sure you put just enough twist in to hold it together, plus a little more if you are plying.

Mohair is a hair, so it is different from wool. The scales along the fiber are much further apart than the scales on wool. This makes it more slippery to spin, and harder to felt. It is best not to card mohair too much unless you are blending fibers or colors -- with 100% mohair, my preferred preparation is top or hand-combed fiber.

When spinning mohair, avoid running your finger and thumb down the twist like you would when spinning wool. Instead, open them and re-grasp the fiber further down the yarn (this is "woolen-style" spinning). This will keep your yarn airy and fluffy. Also, keeping a light tension on your wheel lets you put minimal twist in. You don't need to hold the yarn as tightly to keep it from winding onto the bobbin in that case.

When plying follow the same method, with not to much twist, otherwise you may end up with rope instead of a nice fluffy yarn.

Mohair takes dyes beautifully, often resulting in brilliant, bright colors. It is also available in a wide range of natural colors.

Mohair is a silky, lustrous, and durable fiber. It is used for coats, suits, dresses, sweaters, hats, scarves, shawls, mittens, loungewear, socks, hair and beards for dolls, blankets, upholstery, draperies, carpets and rugs. Mohair is used in knitting, weaving, and many fiber arts.

Mohair makes a great accent when plied with wool or spun around wool using 'core spinning' and is great for spinning boucles or curly yarn.

More tips and ideas...
Selecting, Preparing, and Spinning Mohair at Barkas Farm
How do you comb wool or mohair?
Can you offer some resources on spinning boucle?
Mohair - Curly, Smooth, or Loopy?
What blend do you use for socks?
What can I make from Mohair? Can it be worn next to the skin?
How can I spin hairy yarn?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

does tightness of curl matter when spinning mohair into yarn?