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Mohair is an easy fiber to spin even for beginners, thanks to its long staples. It is the same as spinning hairlike fibers such as wool, except that mohair needs less tension when twisting it. But spinning mohair requires careful handling to produce a perfect yarn, as mohair tends to be slippery when spun. Even so, you will love spinning mohair because of its attractive appearance, especially its texture and sheen.
Here are some techniques that beginners can learn to create something awesome from spinning mohair.
Spinning it right
Spin the mohair from the center of the lock rather than the end. Take a lock of mohair and fold it in half to form a U shape.
Holding the two ends of mohair on your hand, draft them from the middle and spin.
For a fully and airy yarn, open the twist and get the mohair further down the yarn. Do not run your fingers down the twist.
Add only the right amount of twist needed to hold it together, preferably a loose to medium twist. If you spin it too loose, it will slip away. If you spin it too tightly, you might end up with a string instead of a soft and smooth yarn.
Enhance the sheen of your yarn by. Use a light tension only on the spinning wheel.
If your purpose is to create a durable yarn for making rugs, blankets, or draperies, you will have to add more twist when spinning mohair. This will, however, reduce the sheen.
Unless you’re blending colors or fibers, just card mohair lightly. It is recommended that you do not card it too much.
Adding fine wools
This is a mohair spinning technique that will counter mohair’s lack of fiber memory (being a hair fiber). If you add fine wools, you can avoid that while retaining the great properties of mohair.
A top choice among spinners, mohair a fine, soft, and silky natural fiber that is sheared from the Angora goat. It is an eco-friendly and animal-friendly alternative to real fur and one of the oldest natural textiles in use today. Featuring a variety of natural colors, mohair takes dyes so beautifully in bright, vibrant colors. It looks great when spun alone or spun with other fibers.
Three main types of mohair
Adult mohair – Sheared from a mature goat, adult mohair is typically 3 to 6 inches in length and can be either fine or coarse. Its fineness is rated at a minimum of 30 microns.
Kid mohair – This soft and fine fleece is the first shearing from a young Angora, with a fineness of 23 to 27 microns. It is less lustrous than an adult mohair.
Goatling – As soft as a kid mohair, the goatling is the second shearing from an Angora goat.
Differences between mohair and wool
Mohair is somewhat similar to wool in many ways. The only difference is that unlike wool, mohair has no scales that irritate and cause discomfort to the skin. Mohair has scales along the fiber, but they are farther apart than those on wool, making mohair hypoallergenic and ideal for people who are allergic to wool. This structure also makes mohair more slippery to spin than wool.
Properties of mohair
Known mostly for its silkiness and softness, mohair is a useful fiber because of its wide range of characteristics:
Easy and beautiful to dye
Resistant to wrinkling, stretching, and soiling
Looks great even when spun with other kinds of fiber
Uses of mohair
Because of its unique luster and durability, mohair is spun, knitted, or weaved to make dresses, shawls, blankets, coats, curtains, rugs, hats, sweaters, and other clothing and household items.
Looking to start spinning as a hobby? Before you get started, one of the things you need to buy aside from the fiber is the spinning wheel. If you are clueless about what you must look for in your first ever spinning wheel purchase, read on to know the important considerations while you are shopping around.
The yarn you will spin
Are you interested in a particular kind of yarn for spinning? Many spinning wheels cater to skilled handspinners who can spin any type of yarn, but as a beginner, it is safe that you learn spinning one kind of yarn first rather than to overwhelm yourself. With that being said, prioritize an equipment that focuses or specializes in spinning the yarn you are interested in over one that offers versatility.
Here is a great tip: ask people who regularly spin the kind of yarn that you want to spin and ask them about the kind of spinning wheel they use and where they bought it. It would be better if you can see for yourself how they wheel works so that you can get a feel of how you would actually use a wheel.
How big is the space where you will put your new spinning wheel? Make sure that its size can accommodate that of your new equipment. Fit and comfort are important, as you will easily get tired spinning in a very cramped space.
Do you always travel? Do you prefer a spinning wheel that you can often take with you wherever you go? Or are you always at home, and you would like to spin while watching your favorite TV series or hanging out on your patio? Take your lifestyle into consideration when choosing your first wheel.
At Steam Valley Mountain Fiber Farm, our friendly shop assistants can help you pick the best spinning wheel that meets your needs and preferences.