October 21, 2014   

Pygora Fiber

Pygora goats produce three distinct fiber types. Type A is similar to the fleece of an Angora goat, Type B is a blend of the angora fiber and the pygmy fiber and Type C is like cashmere. This type is acceptable commercial cashmere. They can display any of the wide range of colors exhibited by Pygmy goats. The PBA accepts all Pygmy colors and their dilutions plus white.

Type A: Angora type
A long, lustrous fiber with draping ringlets with a length 6 or more inches. The feel is silky and smooth. This fleece is shorn.
April in Fleece
Hand Sheared
Type B: Blend type
A blend of fiber with characters of mohair and cashmere fiber with a length up to 3 - 6 inches. It has a guard hair. The feel is soft and airy. This fleece may be shorn, combed or plucked.
Bella in Fleece
Hand Sheared
Hazel in Fleece
Electric Sheared
Type C: Cashmere type
A very fine fiber that lacks luster with a length up to 1 - 3 inches. The feel is warm and creamy. It has a coarse guard hair. This fleece may be shorn, combed or plucked.
Piko in Fleece
Combed

Typically, Pygora goats produce 6 ounces to 2 pounds of fiber from each shearing. April our Type A Pygora goat produced the highest yield of 56 ounces of fiber from her Spring 2012 shearing. Type A goats are shorn and Types B and C goats are shorn, combed or plucked.

After preparing the fleeces by removing as much straw and hay debris as possible, we electric shear our Type As and our Type B. We initially comb our Type C then we electric sheared her remaining fleece. Our Pygora fiber is for hand spinning so cleanliness and the absence of second cuts is essential. We typically shear our goats in April and again in October. Matting of fleece will occur in all types if not removed at the correct time.

Types B and C produce what is known as guard hair and its best to remove this prior to spinning. Guard hair can be removed either by hand or commercially. Also, unlike fiber from sheep, Pygora fiber contains minimal (if any) lanolin which means that over-spinning of the fiber is a concern. Pygora fiber can be left in its natural color or it can be easily died with natural, commercial or Kool-Aid dyes.

Pygora fiber blends well with wool and silk. It is very versatile fiber. It can be handspun, knitted, crocheted, woven, felted or used to make wigs or beards, etc. on dolls.

Photos below courtesy of Hawks Mountain Ranch Pygoras. Click on the images for information on the products and the artists who created them!

Hand-Crocheted Pygora Shawl
Hand Knitted Christmas Stocking
Felted Santa with Herd of Goats
Wild Hair Pouches