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The Angora goat is originated in the district of Angora in Central Anatolia, Turkey. History of this breed goes back to early biblical times. The wool of Angora goat is called Mohair and the symbol M (Mohair) is only used for the Angora goat wool fiber.
Angora goat stock was distributed to different countries during the Ottoman Empire, and a pair of Angoras were imported to Europe by Charles V in about 1554. In 1765 an importation was realized by the Spanish government, and twenty years later a considerable number were imported into France. However, none of these importations were successful in establishing mohair production. On the other hand, Angoras were taken to South Africa in 1838, and after this importation mohair production was established in that country. South Africa is the third leading mohair-producer in the world following Turkey and the United States.
As compared to other goats, the most valuable characteristic of the Angora goat is the value of the mohair that is clipped. Mohair became a valuable product in commerce early in the nineteenth century. In order to increase the supply of mohair available for export to the European countries, Turks crossed the Angora goat with common stock to increase the quality of hair of the common stock and to increase the quantity of wool.
Mohair is very similar to wool in chemical composition but differs from wool in that it has a much smoother surface and very thin, smooth scale. Mohair is very similar to coarse wool in the size of fiber. It is a strong fiber that is elastic, has considerable luster, and dye very well. Mohair has been considered very valuable as an upholstering material for the making of plushes and other covering materials where strength, beauty, and durability are desired.
Around 2.5 kg of mohair is shorn from the average Angora goat per shearing and the Angora goats are usually sheared twice a year. They produce a fiber with a staple length of between 12 and 15cm.
The market value of mohair fluctuates more than that of wool, but generally speaking, the prices are satisfactory. During depressed times, the market has favored fine hair, and because fine hair is normally shorn from young goats, selection for fertility has also become increasingly important.