The white long-haired goat species seen in the picture and also called “firik” in Anatolia is known as “Angora Goat” in the world. The long, thin and soft hairs of this animal, which is a species of hair goat, made it possible to examine its fur in the wool fiber group and to process it, in a way, like wool. On the other hand, due to its biological difference, mohair can also be considered as a hair fiber such as goat hair, horse hair, cashmere goat, alpaca, llama, camel and cow hair.
The origin of the Angora goat may be Central Asia, but its homeland is known as Anatolia or Turkey. Rabbit hair, also called Angora, is the fur of the Angora rabbit, whose homeland is Turkey. Unfortunately, enough economic value cannot be created from these two valuable products of our country. Angora goats, which were once widely grown in Ankara and Çankırı provinces, can be used as worsted yarn today to make special clothing for men and women. Other areas of use are women's shawls and wool knitting yarns containing low-rate mohair. Thick mohair blankets were produced and marketed by Sümerbank in the past. Hand-spun mohair yarns are used in Siirt blankets.
Before 2000, research and project studies were carried out within Sümerbank in order to produce 100% mohair yarn. In addition to the TÜBİTAK-supported research project studies for the standardization of Turkish mohair, especially, the breeding and development of Angora goats were carried out at Ankara Lalahan Animal Science Research Institute, but no fruitful results were achieved.
Mohair fiber also has various types like wool fibers. The type suitable for fabric making is known as Capricorn I and II, and they are the closest to 64's Merino wool, which we import in large quantities from Australia, which is used for fabric making. Australian Merino wool is 19-22 micron in diameter, 7.5-8 cm long. While the surface of the wool fiber is covered with a protruding notch shell layer called scales, the scales of the mohair fiber are longer and flatter. This feature provides the lint with slipperiness and shine. The flake structure of the wool is the feature that provides felting of the wool in friction and wet processes. The length of the wool fiber reaches 20 cm, while the length of the mohair fiber reaches 30 cm. Both wool and mohair fibers are fibers with superior elastic properties such as elongation up to 30% and reverting to their former length after elongation.
It is my wish to continue the interest in the Angora goat and Angora rabbit, which are two important values of our country, and to continue the necessary studies to increase the contribution of these two animals to the country's economy. In addition, I would like to emphasize the need to increase scientific studies for the development, breeding and evaluation of our country's animal wealth and to integrate it with rational planning and industrialization and development efforts.
prof. Dr. Gungor Baser
Dokuz Eylul University
Retired Faculty Member
Founding President of TMMOB Chamber of Textile Engineers