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Mohair refers to the wool obtained from spiral-horned, graceful angora goats
(not to be confused with angora rabbits, who are the source for the textile
"angora".) Originally thought to come from Tibet, angora goats are delicate
creatures who do not scavenge and respond well to good food and clean
surroundings, like that found in family farms. The name "angora" comes from
the Turkish city of Ankara, where the goats had been herded to from the
remote regions of Turkestan by Ghengis Khan and his son. The goats thrived
in Turkey, and mohair was originally only used for the garments of the
Angora goat hair grows about nine inches per year, producing from four to eight pounds of mohair per animal per year. Hair clipped from goat kids is considered to be of the finest quality; adult hair, while strong and resilient, isn't considered as luxurious or desireable. Mohair to be used in blankets is traditionally brushed with teasels, flowers of a plant similar to thistles. No modern mechanical brushing device has proved as useful as the teasel, which has been grown primarily in France.
Mohair has been used by the Navajo to create nearly indestructible warps for their weavings.
Mohair lacks the scales on its fibers that wool taken from other animals has, resulting in less shrinkage. Compared to other wools, mohair has a uniquely lustrous appearance and resistance to abrasion.
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