Unprocessed Mohair - is raw from the angora goat, these locks are in their natural state and contain matter from the goats environment which can be dirt, plants, feed, and bedding to name a few.
Goats are greasy and smelly, the boys moreso than the girls. They wear their mohair for a year and it can become a bit worn out on the tips from the sun, the dirt, or just roughing about and climbing through brush.
As their mohair grows out it may become 'backed up' resulting in the locks looking shorter than they actually are, after the mohair is washed and dried it can be brushed out which will determine the actual length of the hair, all mohair lengths are estimates.
Unprocessed mohair must be washed and brushed prior to be used for rooting, don't attempt to root unprocessed mohair as it will become a huge tangled mess. Natural mohair on the angora goat is never brushed on the animal, these locks are the natural formation as the mohair grows.
When the mohair is removed, clippers are used as they stand patiently on the trimming stand snacking on treats. They are not wrestled to the ground like sheep, and we don't use large shears so we can make sure all their delicate areas and clipped without trouble. Clippers may leave behind what are known as 'seconds', little pieces of hair from passing over the clipped area again, these pieces may be found in unprocessed mohair.
Unprocessed Washed Mohair - the difference is that it has been hand washed a few times to remove the majority of the grease, dirt, and anything else that wants to fall out during a wash. There may be minor areas that didn't become absolutely clean, the purchaser can clean these if they feel it's needed. Normally, these areas get another cleaning as we further process our mohair for the finished product of Exquisite Mohair.
We use fragrance free soaps that are gentle on our hands, gentle on the mohair, and are dye friendly meaning it doesn't distort the color results like some soaps can.
The suds from soap tends to felt mohair as it's being washed, this will make a slight knotted appearance usually towards the cut tops. Once the mohair is dry, then it is pulled apart into clusters of locks. Never pull apart locks when wet, this will create knots.
Any felted areas can be easily brushed out, try to brush the majority of the hair with the direction of the hair growth, if you brush against the cuticles of the mohair it can make brushing difficult, but it's still necessary when brushing out the tops.
Some angoras have medulated fiber in their mohair, these are hairs shorter than mohair and will brush out during processing. Some goats have more than others, some is shorter than others.