Suiting Fabrics and Cloth: The Weaves and Patterns: Mohair

This fabric noted for its sheen comes from the hair of the Angora goat, a breed that originated in Turkey. Its elegant drape and crisp feel recommend it for business as well as formal wear. Mohair is also woven with a worsted wool to create a lustrous and durable summer suiting. A Mohair tailored suit, is the ideal suit to wear during our Dutch summer months or on business trips to countries with tropical humid climates.


Mohair is said to be one of the oldest fabrics in use. The Angora goat is thought to originate from the mountains of Tibet, reaching Turkey in the 16th century. However, fabric made with mohair was known in England as early as the 8th century. So the early history of Mohair is a mystery. The word "mohair" was adopted into English sometime before 1570 from the Arabic: مخير mukhayyar, a type of haircloth, literally 'choice', from khayyara, 'he chose'.

In 1554 Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire brought in Angora goats to Europe. But this import and later imports were not succesfull. In the following years the access to and the possession of Angora goats all had to do with relations with the Turkish Sultans.


In 1838, Sultan Mahmud II of Turkey sent twelve neutered rams and one female to Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The rams were rendered infertile as the Sultan wanted to protect his country’s powerful mohair empire. However, the ewe on board was pregnant and gave birth to a kid ram en route to Africa, which was the start of the industry in South Africa. Today’s Karoo region produces the most mohair in the world. 


Angora goats were first imported into Australia in 1832 and 1833. They came from M. Polonceau's stud in France and became the property of the Riley family of Raby, New South Wales. But the real pure bred Angora goats were imported from Turkey in subsequent years up to 1873, to properties in New South Wales, Victoria, and later South Australia. Other states followed and there were importations from South Africa in 1873 and from USA between 1890 and 1910.  

Angora goats were first introduced in the United States in 1849 by Dr. James P. Davis. Seven adult goats were a gift from Sultan Abdülmecid I in appreciation for his services and advice on the raising of cotton. More goats were imported over time, until the Civil War destroyed most of the large flocks in the south. Eventually, Angora goats began to thrive in the southwest, particularly in Texas, wherever there are sufficient grasses and shrubs to sustain them. Texas to this day remains the largest mohair producer in the United States, and third largest in the world. 

Angora goats were introduced to New Zealand in approximately 1867 by the Auckland, Canterbury and Otago acclimatisation societies in an attempt to farm animals with more valuable skins. Angora goats initially struggled to gain a foothold but were unsuccessfully trialed for weed control purposes at Maungaturoto in 1904 and, following escapes, a feral population established at Waipu while a government herd was established at Helena Bay and occasionally improved with Australian genetics. More recently, South African and Texan genetics were sourced to improve the New Zealand angora.

Mohair Suiting Fabric samples of The Holland & Sherry collection HS1528A Luxury Mohair, available at De Oost. Holland & Sherry’s Luxury Mohair collection is a selection of superfine wool/mohair blended qualities that offers a quintessential collection of plains, semi-plains and small, neat effects for men’s and women’s tailored summer suits. The collection has been further extended to include a range of fabrics especially designed for evening wear.

Technique and Effect

The fibre of Mohair is the hair of the Angora Goat. There are also fabrics with a cotton warp and a mohair filling, this is sometimes mentioned as Brilliantine. It is either woven in plain, twill or knitted. Mohair is two and a half times stronger than regular wool. 

Versatile by nature, mohair is coveted by the world’s fashion industry elite, as well as by interior designers, craft specialists, industrial fibre specialists and the tourism sector. Mohair manufacturers maximise on the fibre’s unrivalled natural beauty, capitalising on its rare, natural qualities.

  • Mohair is receptive to dye. This results in richer, more vibrant colours. So this is how the suiting fabric gets its intense lustre and sheen. This lustre and sheen gives one the ability to wear a Mohair suit day and night time.
  • Mohair is crease resistant. It will retain its shape, even if you squeeze or fold it. Garments tailored with Mohair suiting fabrics have an innate elasticity. Because of this pliability, Mohair is rated as one of the most durable fibres.
  • Mohair is an easy suiting fabric to tailor with, so easy to shape and transform in to some of the finest garments ever created.
  • Mohair breathes, absorbing and realising atmospheric moisture and controlling its own “climate” to ensure optimal comfort. It is the ideal suiting fabric for people who tend to sweat a lot and opens up possibilities to wear a three piece suit in summer or in tropical climates. The dry, crisp, wicking properties of the mohair allow the body to stay cool and dry, making it an excellent performance fabric. The fabric is luxuriously lightweight and renowned for its versatility. The natural fibres keep you cool in warm environments, but keep you warm in cool environments.
  • One of the eye-catchers at De Oost, is our show model Mohair suit which is shown in the pictures underneath. The rough texture and appearance of Mohair makes it a very popular suiting fabric for our bigger Dutch clients. A suiting fabric with a rough texture, is well reflected on the bigger men wearing bigger suits.

Steel Blue Mohair Suit bespoke tailored by De Oost, 2 buttons with peak lapels and slanted pockets.