A very early morning start to do the long drive down to Port Elizabeth where we were very fortunate to be able to go on a wonderful tour through Hinterveld which is where they process and manufacture mohair and wool items.Our wonderful tour guide, Jackie, was very passionate about the subject and as such, made the tour all the more interesting. Please contact her on their website for tours and more information: http://www.hinterveld.com/page/home
Hinterveld belongs to the Stucken Group and has been in the mohair industry for over 150 years but the history of mohair stretches back thousands of years to the origins of the Angora goat in the Tibetan Himalayas. Today, mohair – the fleece of the Angora – is one of the world’s most exclusive natural fibres. Mohair is known worldwide as `the noble fibre’ and both its beauty and success can be attributed to its unrivalled lustre, warm resilience and ability to hold brilliant colours.
With two centuries of refinement by the South African mohair industry behind it, South African mohair is acknowledged to be of the finest quality available internationally. The emergence of South Africa as producer of the world’s best premium mohair came about through the local mohair industry’s dedicated pursuit of perfection. This has seen the refinement of angora fleece through consistently high breeding standards and meticulous genetic selection.
Angora goats thrive in the Karoo region of South Africa, where the combination of hot, dry summers, cold winters and semi-desert vegetation give mohair the added beauty of being a renewable and sustainable natural resource.
Angora and other sheep wool differ vastly in texture and looks with the mohair being much finer and softer.
The bales of raw wool come into the factory and each batch is given a specific number so as to distinguish it from the next.
The first process is to wash it and this is done by putting it through huge machines three times.
It is then dried and placed in very large bags which are either exported or sent over to their own mills for further processing.
Still keeping batch lots together, some wool is spun together in large ropes which are tied in a bundle, bagged and sent to other factories or countries for processing.
Other raw wool is sent to machines which start the process of spinning it into yarn.
The yarn is woven into various thicknesses according to orders which they have received for it. In some cases, non-natural fibres may be added as per specifications.
The yarn is carded and ready to be turned into the most wonderfully soft items such as these on display at the factory shop.
Specific order are made up for many shops and companies around the world, each according to their requirements.
The colours can be bright and gay or soft pastel’s.
They can have patterns of all kinds. You can even buy wool to knit something for yourself.
A visit to Hinterveld is a must if you are anywhere near Port Elizabeth!!