Mohair is usually almost pure white, and coloured fibres aren’t welcome in the trade. But as Merinos do, an Angora flock occasionally produces a single, darker goat.
Louis Hayward, BKB’s sheep and wool expert in Steytlerville, said while he has seen Angoras with greyish locks, he has never found one quite as black as the young ewe he recently bought from a farmer in the district. She even has pitch black ears – an immediate disqualification in Angoras.
But the colour hasn’t affected staple quality. Her fleece is soft to handle and has good length. Louis says he’ll keep this rare specimen as an oddity in his yard.
Last year at the International Mohair Summit held at Graaff-Reinet, futurist Lidewij Edelkoort suggested that Angora farmers should breed grey goats to suit the fashion market and to side-step the need for dyes. Her suggestion was quickly shot down by purists who warned against the contamination of their carefully bred animals. In the US, the breeding of various coloured-wool sheep is an established business.