Fiber Spotlight > Angora Goat
The Angora goat was named for the ancient Turkish city of Angora, now known as Ankrara, where it was first domesticated. The breed was introduced into the United States in 1849 by Dr. James P. Davis.
A fiber-producing breed, the angora goat is naturally horned. It is small relative to most sheep breeds with males (bucks) weighing 150 to 225 pounds and females (does) 70 to 110. These animals grow slowly, usually reaching mature size and weight at 2 to 3 years of age. They are strongly seasonal breeders, mating in the fall and having kids in the spring (145—155 days gestation). Single births and twins are equally frequent.
Most angora goats are shorn twice each year (fall and spring), and their rate of hair growth is about an inch per month. Typical fleece weights are 4 to 8 pounds for adults.
Historically, commercial angora goats were white. Fiber from colored angora goats is becoming more available, with a variety of colors including black, silver, shades of gray, tan and brown, and patterns such as spotting, badger and reverse badger.
The Angora goat’s curly locks are called mohair, which like wool, is a protein fiber. Because the microscopic scales are smoother and thinner compared to wool, the fiber feels more slippery to the touch.
Mohair is valued for its high luster (shine), strength and durability. It has an appealing halo appearance and will bloom into spaces between stitches. Mohair accepts dyes readily and is often blended with other fibers.
Photos and text courtesy of Avillion Farm
Text courtesy of The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Peterson