The Suits of Summer (part 2)
I get asked a lot this time of year, “What fabric can I wear that will keep me cool and comfortable, but will also keep a press and still look good all day long?” Linen and cotton will keep you cool, but they won’t keep a press and are a step too casual for many business environments. So what’s the answer?
Well, that and light weight wool that has enough twist in the yarn and a tight enough weave to withstand a good bit of humidity and still retain its shape and a reasonably sharp crease. I’m not sure what the outcome would be if you got an Angora goat and a Merino sheep together before their fleece is shorn, but I know what happens when you put them together after the fact. Pure magic! Especially if the mohair happens to be the ‘Summer Kid Mohair’ used by Holland & Sherry. The best quality mohair fibers are shorn from Angora goats that are under eight years old, and the very first clipping (which tends to be the softest) is called ‘Kid Mohair.’ More often than not, mohair is blended with wool to create cloths that maximize the unique benefits of each fiber.
Stronger than steel of the same diameter and the most durable of all animal-based fibers, mohair is shorn twice per year from Angora goats. While mohair exhibits many of the same characteristics as wool – shrink resistance, moisture transfer, exceptional resilience and elasticity – mohair fibers are smoother (less scaly) than wool, enabling more intense color retention and a natural luster that is distinct from all others. Worsted mohair suiting fabrics have a clean, crisp hand with a bright, lively surface as the natural luster of the fiber is used to full effect. The natural luster is one reason why mohair blend cloth is a favorite choice for tuxedos and other dinner jackets. It also won’t soil as easily as other fibers, so it requires less cleaning and maintenance.
As if that’s not enough to convince to order up a few mohair garments as soon as possible, the best kept secret about mohair is that it not only performs exceptionally well in warm and humid weather, but will also keep you warm in cold weather. Mohair’s fibers do not conduct heat, and provide excellent insulation, even when wet. Mohair easily absorbs and releases moisture, moving perspiration away from the skin for evaporation, making it comfortable to wear in both cold and hot weather.
Wait a second. That is a great feature, but it’s still not the best kept secret about mohair. What you really should know about mohair is this: It will make you smell better! I know that’s getting kind of personal, but let’s be honest. What happens when it’s hot as…blazes, but propriety requires you to keep your coat on? You sweat like a pig and pretty soon you might smell like one. That is, unless you are wearing mohair. Mohair is a natural anti-bacterial and odor resistor. How awesome is that!
Do you want to be cool and comfortable, relatively wrinkle-free, and still smell good at the end of a hot summer day of work or dressed up socializing? Wear mohair.
Crisp and smooth in my mohair,