The Adventure of Mohair in Anatolia

Tagi S. O., ERDOĞAN Z.

FOLK LIFE-JOURNAL OF ETHNOLOGICAL STUDIES, vol.52, no.1, pp.49-61, 2014 (AHCI) identifier identifier


For centuries, mohair weaving was one of the widespread handcrafts in Anatolia, but recently there has been a decline in spinning and weaving mohair thread. The purpose of this study is to document the hand spinning of mohair in two areas of Turkey, taking account of traditional methods, traditional mechanisms (survivals of Ottoman customs) for marketing of the thread, and the production of mohair fabric on handlooms in the homes of weavers. The mohair spinners are predominantly female, and following ancient tradition they wet the mohair in their mouths with their saliva prior to spinning it into yarn on distaff and spindle. This yarn is then sold to weavers, mostly by men, at the yarn market that for centuries has been set up in the district of Tosya every Monday after the noon prayer. The weavers make sashes and bath purses from mohair yarn at handlooms in their homes, and sell these in turn.