Mohair carpets

We chatted to South Africa's premier designer and manufacturer of mohair carpets, Elsa Barnard, who gave us the lowdown on the advantages of this versatile material. Elsa has been manufacturing mohair carpets for 35 years in the Eastern Cape. She loves the versatility and sheen of the fibre, which allows her to create beautiful custom designs for her clients. 'Would you believe, I'm creating a zebra print carpet right now, as we speak,' she told us. 'You can get really creative with mohair.' From a design element, Elsa loves mohair because of its lustre. 'Mohair has a beautiful sheen which you won't find on other wools. It's also slightly silky, which gives it a very appealing look and feel.' She adds that because of this sheen, it dyes beautifully, and reflects colours in a lively way. 'You'll never see a mohair product looking dull, and that's because it has this very attractive sheen.' Design elements aside, Elsa says mohair is very effective for making carpets, largely because it is such a strong fibre. 'Thread per thread, it's actually stronger than steel,' she says. 'Its molecular structure is very sturdy, so you'll never walk a mohair carpet thin.' She adds that because mohair carpets are woven they have the added advantage of being double-sided. 'If you get a mark on yours, you can just flip it over, and nobody will know the difference.' That said, mohair is also very easy to clean. 'Simply scrub your carpet with soap and water, leave it out in the sun to dry and it will look like new.' Add to these advantages the fact that it doesn't burn easily and it is extremely insulating and you really do have the fibre for a perfect carpet. For more information visit Elsa's website at mohaircarpets.co.za