Upholstering with Mohair

The first time I worked with mohair fabric was while working for British furniture designer and upholsterer, Paul A. Howard. He was hired to make magnificent drapes out of red mohair to hang at the windows of a local Japanese restaurant. They were beyond drapes. They were designed to look like giant red kimonos hanging from the top of the windows flowing all the way down to the floor. I think Paul was just worn out with the tedious job of making them because he turned the sewing over over to me, handed me the bolt of red mohair and sent me home to sew. At that time I didn’t even have a table large enough to unroll the fabric. Somehow, I managed to get the job done. I carefully rolled the kimono drapes back on the bolt and drove back to his shop.

The red kimono drapes still hang at the windows of Mikado, a Japanese right smack downtown. Every now and then I peek in to take a look.

So, let’s get back to mohair. When Gina, from Temporary Nest, told me she had chosen a navy mohair for her very first upholstery project, I have to admit I cringed a little. Mohair is not inexpensive fabric. I think her sale price was still $40.00 a yard. It’s like a better version of velvet. It has a nap, but it doesn’t have that blatant shine like velvet. It comes in a variety of colors and is as durable as iron.

The aptly named website, Mohairfabric.com explains a little bit about this luxury fabric:

All about Mohair…
Mohair is produced from the hair of the Angora Goat. Like sheep’s wool, it is shorn from the goat once or twice each year without harming the animal. Mohair is therefore a highly renewable resource. Mohair fabric is a classic, centuries-old textile that is durable, resilient, insulating and light-weight. Mohair fibers dye well affording deep, lustrious hues. It is an excellent choice for draperies, pillows, sofas and chairs.
In a nutshell, it’s green and luxurious at the same time.

Gina’s chair, fondly dubbed Satine, turned out beautiful in mohair. Here it is BEFORE Gina went to work.

And here it is all sassy in navy mohair and brass nailheads.

See Gina’s full journey through her first upholstery class right here.
Again, I wouldn’t recommend mohair for a first project, but if you got to, you got to. Enjoy!

Posted in fabric, green, reupholstery, sewing | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Upholstering with Mohair

  1. Yay!! Thanks so much for showin off the good ole girl, Satine! <3

  2. shellyleer says:

    She makes things so pretty!

  3. Janet says:

    Very interesting story, Shelly. I’m going to check out those kimono curtains at Mikado. I loved this information about mohair. The only thing I think I have made of mohair is a Steiff teddy bear, I think.

  4. David Crook says:

    recently took on as project constructing a set of slings for a modern chrome base chair designed by Milo Baughman or stendig , not sure really cool chrome base piece. The slings are made up of mohair with 18 oz. canvas layered in between to give extra strength. What I am looking for is advise on how to sew the seams which you could imagine are quite thick. Mohair seems to move when compressed for sewing. I guess I am reaching for any advice or tricks on how to sew layers of mohair together. I have a Juki DNU 1541.

    Thanks in advance, David Crook.

  5. shellyleer says:

    David,
    Mohair and velvet are very slippery under the sewing machine. I’ve had people tell me to sew over tissue paper, but then you’ve got to pick that apart and remove the tissue paper. I’ve never tried it with velvet or mohair. Even when you pin the heck out of it, it still shifts.

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