Swatches: Mohair

As the mercury rises, it’s time to talk about mohair. Lustrous, breathable, and virtually indestructible, it’s something we recommend to anyone who wants to stay crisp in the heat of summer or the crunch of travel.

Harvested from the long silky coat of the Angora goat, mohair fibers are stronger than steel and straighter and smoother than wool (which accounts for its subtle iridescence). When woven into cloth, mohair is highly absorbent and cool to the touch, with a springy, soil and wrinkle-resistant hand — qualities which make it an excellent option for summer garments. Because pure mohair tends to be dense and somewhat stiff, it’s almost always blended with wool in porous, high-twist weaves that yield some of the most breathable and resilient cloths available. Recently, Italian mills have been producing ever-finer mohair and wool blends with a supple lightness that retains the cloth’s hardier characteristics and unique ability to bounce back fresh from a packed suitcase.

Especially in these new lightweight incarnations, mohair blends remain a favorite around the shop. The secret to its wearability is context: its quicksilver shimmer shows best under the hard sun of a summer afternoon, or as louche eveningwear on a sultry night.

While mohair is nearly always found in more formal clothing — like the dressy mohair and wool suit that our friend Tommy wears in the images below — we also like flipping the script a bit by turning it into elegant blazers. Jon’s made-to-measure forest green jacket is a wool, mohair, and silk blend that wears cool like a linen or seersucker, but can easily be taken into dressier occasions thanks to its subtle luster and brass blazer buttons.

View the Summer Lookbook