Jansenville, on the southern reaches of the Karoo Heartland, is brimming over with angora goats, mohair and country legends.
South Africa’s first mohair museum is in Jansenville, part of a Mohair Meander which includes Beaufort West, Graaff-Reinet, Jansenville, Alicedale and Port Elizabeth.
When Michelle Obama wore a designer cardigan made of mohair from a Karoo farm in the Camdeboo district, the news item made fashion headlines around the world. Movie stars and talk show hosts gushed over mohair, which now has the cachet of cashmere and silk, regularly seen on the world’s catwalks.
With more than 668 000 angora goats, South Africa produces an annual clip of nearly 2.3 million kilograms – around half the world’s mohair. The vast majority of that comes from the Eastern Cape Karoo – and Jansenville is the country capital of mohair.
Most of this sumptuous fibre goes to the textile weavers and fashion houses of Italy, but a fair amount stays at home too, and is transformed into blankets, carpets, scarves and some of the finest socks ever to grace a human foot.
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