There are basically four types of goats, fiber, meat, milk, and pack animals.
Fleece-bearing goats have been raised in Asia Minor since the fifth century BC. Some were known for their long white fleece from which brilliantly dyed fabrics were woven.
These were named Angoras because the best were raised in the province of Angora (now Ankara) on the central Anatolian Plains of Turkey.
My angora goat, Precious.
The first European record of the Angora dates from 1531 when the Dutch Ambassador, stationed at Constantinople, managed to secure a pair.
For the first time, in 1820, the Sultan of Turkey allowed the export of raw mohair from Istanbul to Europe. The United Kingdom rapidly mastered techniques for spinning mohair and soon the demand for raw mohair was greater than Turkey could supply.
My raw mohair. Still working on mastering the spinning, lol.
Angoras were first imported into the United States in 1849 when seven does and two bucks arrived in South Carolina.
Found out in my weaving class, mohair is the most difficult to spin, felt, and weave.
But I'm excited that the fleece comes from my first animal rescue, and although Precious is gone, I get to work with the hair we cut off each year while listening to the Oldies in the barn.
She was frightened of any type of electric shears so I used a blunted scissor and the process took quite a while. She was a very patient goat!
Angora goats are kept mainly to produce mohair which is used in the upholstery and apparel trades. Its particular characteristics are that it dyes to vibrant shades, retains its shape (memory), sheds dirt and imparts a ‘sheen’ onto finished articles. See the halo on the sweater!