By the end of the summer, we, knitting and crochet lovers*, usually start to search for the best woolen yarns for our autumn/winter projects. However, before purchasing a certain yarn, the best thing to do is to know the fiber you are going to buy. In this way, you can avoid bad surprises and you will be sure of gaining a good result. So, for example, what is Mohair? Do you know it well?
(*Ah! Who writes to you is Doria Vannozzi, maybe you know me better as the author of unideanellemani.it, don’t you? From today and for a few months on, I’ll keep you company here on Bettaknit’s blog (thank you for wanting me) with posts about the knitting world (tips, curiosities, trends).
What’s Mohair: characteristics, information and curiosities
Characteristics of Mohair
Mohair is one of the finest fibers in woolen yarns. Mohair is made from from the hair (long and thick) of Angora goats, whose name comes from Ankara, the capital of Turkey (be careful not to be confused with the famous wool of angora which is instead made from Angora rabbit hair)!
It is a beautiful and high quality wool. Mohair is pleasant to the touch and even if it is one of the warmest yarns in nature, it’s also one of the lightest. Mohair garments are shiny, soft and fluffy like clouds, and this effect is also guaranteed when this fiber is mixed with other yarns. Depending on the age of the goat from which the fleece comes, two types of mohair are produced: the classic mohair and the kid mohair. Since Kid Mohair comes from the shearing of kids and not adult animals, it is then even more even more luxurious than the other one. Furthermore it is more shiny, light, thin and soft. That’s why it has a higher cost! In conclusion, the result is anyway great and it’s particularly suitable not only for winter garments but also for spring garments.
What can I knit with Mohair?
Mohair, thanks to its warm, soft and lightweight fiber qualities, is suitable for clothes and accessories that need to keep warm without getting too heavy. For example, if you work mohair with knitting needles or crochet hooks, you can create warm pullovers, elegant shrug or shawls, lace scarves, all kinds of hats (especially beautiful are basque berets and “slouch beanies“), gloves and mittens for hands and slippers or leg-warmers. Each of these garments could certainly become a perfect hand-made Christmas gift. Have you seen “Mohair Dreams” collection by Bettaknit? What do you think about it?
But not only. With mohair you can also renew items and accessories that are already present in our wardrobe but need a touch of style and novelty. Have you ever thought about it? What about making a nice colored knit collar to put on that black cardi that you do not wear anymore? And a good pair of crochet knobs to put on the sleeves of that old coat that you liked so much? It could be an idea! 😉
How to use mohair
Mohair can be worked with knitting needles, crochet hooks, or with looms and hairpin lace crochet.
Knitting, however, is still the most suitable technique to use Mohair yarn. Knitting in fact does not compress the hair of mohair and it exalts all its features: lightness and softness. When working hairy wool, it is good to choose an “airy” stitch that does not over-tighten the hair. For this reason it is preferable to knit a lace pattern, instead of too compact one. It is also advisable to use a larger size of needles (or crochet) than the one you would use for a yarn of the same thickness but without hair. Anyway, at the end of your project it is possible to remove the hair shaking the garment or gently brushing it.
Mohair has so many qualities and it’s particularly easy and pleasant to work with. Due to the hairs typical of this fiber, however, unravelling requires patience. If you do a mistake and you need to unravel, do it slowly and gently. But given the satisfactory final results, however, that’s worth the risk.
How to stop mohair garments from shedding
Mohair garments are known to be really beautiful, elegant, warm and soft, but as all the long-haired wools, at beginning they can to shed on everything. While there’s not a lot you can do to completely stop this shedding, you can control it to some extent, you can use these tricks:
- wash your mohair garments by hand, to prevent over-active action of the water shedding even more hair;
- avoid washing the mohair garments together with others;
- before wearing your mohair garment, gently use the lint roller on it to reduce excess shedding;
- Place the mohair sweater in a bag and then in the freezer for a couple of hours before you plan on wearing it. Repeat if necessary.
How to wash mohair
Wash your mohair garment by hand avoiding washer and dryer. Wash it inside out, using 30° water, do not (30°) and do not twist, nor wring, but lay the garment horizontally (maybe you can help to absorb water with a towel) without using any clothspeg that could leave its mark.
Just a curiosity: in some forums I also read that there are those who wash mohair garments in a 30 ° washing machine at delicate cycle, or those instead who wash them by hand, using the delicate shampoo without damaging them. I’ve never tried. And you?
Mohair and fashion
Mohair is a yarn that never goes out of fashion and it is often one of the undisputed protagonists of the catwalks. Many are the designers who have used this extraordinary yarn in the past season, such as Louis Vuitton, Baltmain, Jil Sander and Hugo Boss. Many of them have used mohair for the next winter season with coats, hats, dresses and warm skirts, but above all very soft sweaters, elegant turtlenecks and crop tops. So, why don’t you use mohair to make handmade projects for next winter, you too?
Where to buy Mohair
Always with a focus on trends and on the selction the best yarns in Italy and the world, Bettaknit shop this season introduces KISS ME MOHAIR. Kiss Me Mohair is a great quality yarn, made from 70% Kid Mohair and 30% Silk. It is available in 14 colors, in 25 gr balls (75 mt/82 yd per ball). The suggested knitting needles are 4-5 mm / 6-8 US (and more!) and it is advisable to wash by hand in 30° water and mild soap, or dry clean.
I’ve tried it and I found it is very beautiful. Not only if knitted with the suggested knitting needles, but also with larger needles size. Therefore the effect is outstanding: the fabric is light, extremely soft to the touch, almost impalpable as a cloud, but at the same time enveloping and really super warm.
What are you waiting to try Bettaknit’s mohair? You can find it here!
If you need some inspirations, you can knit one of the following projects, available as Knit Kits:
Soon there will be online a project of mine, with all the explanations that can be downloaded for free with a PDF. I wait for you!