Mohair Fabric for the Height of LuxuryFind out the latest on sewing with this luxurious, multifaceted fabric, and meet the Mohair Challenge winners
Forget cashmere; forget alpaca. Mohair is the height of luxury. Step into a lined mohair coat, and you’ll feel like you’re enveloped in a cloud. While almost weightless to wear, mohair is incredibly warm and resists wrinkling, making it terrific for traveling. Mohair is a relative of wool, made from the soft, silky hair of the Angora goat. Hard to sew? Not a bit. With the information provided here, your first mohair project will almost certainly be trouble-free, rewarding you with a garment that you’ll have for a lifetime.
Not all mohairs are fluffy, cloud-like confections, as you can see from the variety of swatches shown at left, even if this is the most well-known fabrication for this versatile fiber. Mohair has been spun and blended into fabrics ranging from rug-like fake furs to gauzy lace knits as well as gleaming and severe suitings with nary a stray hair. Nonetheless, the tips here will apply primarily to those lofty and tweed-like, all-or mostly-mohair fabrics, simply because their rich, deep nap requires the most specialized handling. Smoother mohair blends usually contain less mohair than the other fibers in the mix, and, as a rule, these fabrics should be handled as if they were made entirely of the predominant fiber, or treated like woolens of a similar texture or hand.
A first pattern for mohair
What should you tackle for your first mohair project? Not necessarily a coat; an oversized vest could work, such as those offered among Diane Ericsonʼs ReVisions patterns (49 Nandina Ave., Aptos, CA 95003; www.revisions-ericson.com), Lois Ericsonʼs Design & Sew line (PO Box 5222, Salem, OR 97304; www.designandsew.com), or from The Sewing Workshop (800-466-1599; www.sewingworkshop.com). Or try a short swing coat, a boxy anorak, or a hooded cape. Still, my favorite mohair project is a…