Caprine Fiber Production

Mohair

The Angora goat produces mohair. Mohair is a luxurious, very long (up to 150mm), lustrous and resilient animal fiber. It is blended with other natural or synthetic fibers to aid in the feel and quality of the finished fabric. Angoras goats are shorn every six months.

An Angora Goat with long Mohair at the 1920 Oregon State Fair.
An Angora Goat with long Mohair at the 1920 Oregon State Fair.

The Angora goat is named after the area in Turkey from which it originated. Many other animals demonstrating exceptional hair qualities are bred throughout the area, including Angora rabbits. The Angora Goat was introduced into Australia from France in the early 1830s.

Today, breeders worldwide have invested in the best Angora genetics available, which are believed to be sourced from South Africa and Texas. These genetics are bred into existing herds to improve production quality.

South Africa produces the most mohair worldwide making up 60% of the worlds supply. The United States of America is also another significant producer of mohair.

Cashmere

Cashmere wool is produced by Cashmere Goats. Cashmere products are recognized as one of the world’s premium fibers as it is luxurious, warm and light. It varies in color and is found in various brown colors varying to light greys and whites. Quality Cashmere has a diameter  between 11 and 20 microns.

Australian Bred Cashmere Goats Demonstrating Long Clean Hair
Australian Bred Cashmere Goats Demonstrating Long Clean Hair

Fleeces from the Cashmere Goat contains coarse guard hair which is removed and has little commercial value. The fine downy undercoat is what is called cashmere and is the prime source of value. Varoius Cashmere crossbreeds may yield 50-100 grams of cashmere per year whilst purebred Cashmere Goats will produce up to 300 grams per year.

The cashmere industry is small and very price sensitive however global demand for cashmere exceeds supply. This high demand presents opportunities for the cashmere industry to expand.

Cashgora Fiber

Cashgora Fiber is from a ‘Cashgora Goat’. The Cashgora Goat is the goat resulting crossing angora goats with cashmere producing goats. It is a fiber that demonstrates much of the desirable qualities of Cashmere and Mohair but is significantly cheaper to produce and can improve a particular herds usability.

Chamois Leather

What is Chamois Leather? Chamois Leather is the treated hide of the Chamois Goat/Antelope of the European mountains. The cloth made from Chamois skin is often referred to as a ‘Shammy’. The hide is used for various purposes due to its wide range of properties.

Cashmere Goat-Antelope - Note the Short horns and different facial structure
Cashmere Goat-Antelope – Note the Short horns and different facial structure

What is Chamois Leather Used for? Chamois leather demonstrates many usable properties. The hide is very soft and demonstrates extremely low abrasion with a generally high friction coefficient. Chamois hide is used in science as an impurity-filter as well as in art and decoration and padding of handheld items. Shammy’s are used for the cleaning and drying of many smooth painted surfaces due to its low abrasion qualities and its high moisture adsorption rate.

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