Mohair fabric is expensive, true, but an investment in the purchase of this strong lustrous fabric is rewarded by its beauty, durability, comfort and resiliency. An all-season fabric made from natural fibers, mohair is warm and sheds moisture easily in cold damp weather. In warm weather the fibers are comfortable because of their breathability. Unlike regular wool, mohair fiber is soft and not scratchy. With proper handling and care, mohair fabric will serve you well for many years.
Mohair must be washed carefully by hand with no twisting or wringing involved. Lay the fabric in a basin or sink filled with lukewarm or cool water and a few drops of wool soap or other cleanser designed for delicate fabrics. Agitate the water gently and lightly squeeze the fabric to dislodge soil, then rinse the mohair thoroughly in lukewarm water. Avoid drycleaning because harsh chemicals may damage the fibers. Treat stains immediately with a mild detergent. Never use bleach or fabric softener.
The preferred way to dry mohair fabric is to gently squeeze the fabric to remove excess moisture and lay the piece flat on a towel in a shady area, as air-drying preserves the loft of the fibers. Avoid direct sunlight because UV rays may fade the color of the wool and weaken the fibers. Although mohair is relatively shrink-resistant, use of electric clothes driers is generally not recommended. Never line-dry mohair because the weight of the damp fabric will stretch and distort the fibers.
Like most woolen fabrics, mohair is susceptible to damage by moths. Always clean the fabric before storage because soiled fibers provide food that attracts the pests. Avoid storing mohair in plastic because the fabric needs to breath. Instead, place loosely folded fabric in a cotton bag or pillowcase, then store it on a shelf in a cool, dry area. Never hang mohair because the rubbing of the hangers wears the fabric.
To restore the fluffiness of mohair fabric, shake the fabric gently or brush it lightly with your hands. Avoid ironing, which crushes and flattens the fiber. However, you can use a steamer or an iron set on the "steam" setting to even out light wrinkles and irregularities in the fabric. Hold the fabric at least 6 inches from the steam. If mohair fabric sheds, place it in a clothes dryer on the "air fluff" setting for about 10 minutes.
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M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
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