Into the world of cashmere and mohair. Transcript of radio broadcast:
the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
are valuable not just for their milk and meat. Or for their ability to help
renew grasslands and control weeds. Or even for their ability to be friendly
and gentle around children.
Goats can also be valuable for their
Cashmere goats produce cashmere and
Angora goats produce -- thought we were going to say angora? No, angora fiber
in fact comes from rabbits. Angora goats produce mohair.
is used in sweaters, scarves, coats and other clothing. Mohair is also used in
floor rugs and carpets and things like doll hair.
An adult Angora can produce as much as
seven kilograms of hair each year. As the goats grow older, however, their hair
becomes thicker and less valuable. Hair from white or solid-colored goats is
the most popular, but the appeal of mixed-color mohair has grown in recent
United States is one of the main producers of mohair, and exports most of its
goats are also popular show animals. They require little special care. The
animals need milk from their mothers for three or four months. They reach full
maturity when they are a little more than two years old. But even then they are
smaller than most sheep and milk goats.
Cashmere goats are usually larger than
Angoras. They can grow big enough to be kept with sheep and cattle.
The outer hair of the animal is called
guard hair. Behind it is the valuable material on a cashmere goat. Cashmere is
valued for its softness and warmth without much weight.
Some farmers comb their cashmere goats
to remove the hair. But if the animals do get a haircut, it often takes place
at the time when they naturally lose their winter coat -- between December and
goats generally get their hair cut two times a year, in the spring and fall.
The job can be done with simple cutting tools or by hiring a professional
shearer. Angoras may need special protection from the cold for about a month
value of an animal's coat depends on the age, size and condition. But whatever
kind of goat you choose, be sure to have a good fence. Goats love to explore.
that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, written by Jerilyn Watson.
To learn more about agriculture, go to voaspecialenglish.com for transcripts
and MP3 archives of our reports.