Mohair South Africa
Mohair is the durable and resilient fabric or yarn that is made from the hair of the Angora goat. As it stands, South African currently produces about half of the world’s mohair and the product is considered the epitome of luxury.
Production of mohair in South Africa therefore comes with great responsibility. Mohair South Africa was established to assume this responsibility by ensuring the ethical and sustainable implementation of mohair production practices.
The organisation is focused primarily on the promotion of South African mohair and lends its support to all within the industry. Through maintaining sustainable demand and profit between all the industry players from producer to processor and from buyer to manufacturer, Mohair South Africa continuously seeks to advance and benefit the whole industry.
Mohair South Africa also invests extensively in research to ensure the quality, volume and production of mohair products continually improves. They also share accurate market-related information and knowledge of ethical and sustainable production practices to benefit all the industry roleplayers.
Services of Mohair South Africa
Mohair South Africa services incudes the engagement with retail brands in the global textile and fashion industry to promote mohair fibre. The organisation also provides education about the benefits and properties of mohair fibre.
Through the engagement with the fashion industry, Mohair South Africa is able to encourage new and innovative ways of mohair use in fashion and textile design as well as engaging closely with designers and manufacturers. The organisation has also managed to drive transformation in the textile industry by engaging and partnering with the non-profit organisation known as Textile Exchange. Textile Exchange serves to manage preferred fibres, maintain integrity and enhance the industry standards.
The organisation invests in research and development of mohair production to gain knowledge about the properties of mohair fibre, increase quality and volume of production and more sustainable and ethical practices within the industry. Mohair South Africa has also established the ‘Mohair South Africa’s Sustainability Programme’ which is designed to discover and implement new ethical and sustainable processes of production that include research into environmental factors.
The programme is now able to use digital applications to capture and analyse Angora farm data to track mohair production. Therefore ethically produced mohair can be traced back to the farm of origin.
Mohair Sustainability Programme
The economic principle serves to ensure economically viable farm practices take place. Soil management and the production of crops, livestock, veld and forage resources as well as the conservative use of soil, climate, energy, land and water resources all working to maintain or enhance economic return to the producer.
The environmental principle of Mohair South Africa’s sustainability programme is about maintaining the essential goods and critical, life-supporting resources that society derives from the environment and its ecosystems. Therefore guidelines have been put in place to ensure natural assets and biological and agricultural resources are protected and sustainably used through eco-conscious farming practices. Vegetation is also protected from the overgrazing of Angora goats.
The sustainability programme also serves the protection of the Angora goats directly through its animal-wellbeing principle. Mohair producers and Angora farming enterprises must accept responsibility for providing adequate nutrition for the Angora goats’ maintenance, growth and reproduction. Adequate environmental resources, protection from predation and protection from life-threatening weather conditions for the Angora goats is to be provided. Mohair South Africa also implements the ‘Animal Health Act 35 of 1984’ under the animal-wellbeing principle to promote animal health, control animal disease and regulate the importation and exportation of animals.
About the Mohair Fibre
The fibre has an exquisite lustre and colour reflection, coupled with its durability and resilience, it has become known as the ‘noble fibre’.
It’s coveted by the world’s fashion industry elite, interior designers, craft specialists, industrial fibre specialist and the tourism sector because of its rare and natural qualities. Mohair is lightweight but maintains its renowned versatility of adapting to each season. It’s cool in summer and warm in winter. The fibre’s natural lustre gives it a silky sheen which works both in the day and the night. It can be dyed easily and retains the colour over time. Mohair is durable, it doesn't crease and it’s virtually non-flammable.
In South Africa, most Angora goats are farmed in the Karoo area and the Eastern Cape. The Angora goats are shorn twice a year and through the implementation and regulation of Mohair South Africa’s sustainability programme which ensures the goats are not harmed in the process.
After shearing the Angora goats, the mohair undergoes classing where the mohair is sorted into various lengths, quality types and fibre diameter. The fibre is washed of excess dirt, oils and vegetable matter and it is positioned uniformly where a coil of mohair, called a ‘carded silver’ is produced. The remaining irregular sized fibres are removed from the carded silver, combed and transformed into mohair top which is spun into yarn.