The angora goat is an ancient breed, with records of the use of goat hair for clothing dating back as early as the 14th Century BC. In the early 13th Century AD there is a record of goats that were trekked thousands of miles to Ankara by Suleiman Shah, when fleeing Ghengis Khan. Mohair, the name given to the fleece of angora goats, is derived from the Arabic word Mukhaya, meaning ‘cloth of bright lustrous goat hair’.
Eventually, in the mid-19th Century, small numbers were exported from Turkey to South Africa and, a little later, to Texas and New Zealand. These animals formed the foundations of the modern national herds.
A small number of angora goats were introduced to the UK in the late 19th and mid-20th Centuries, but more recently in the 1980’s larger numbers of goats were imported from Australasia. Texan bloodlines came in 1987 via Canadian bred goats, and more recently South African lines arrived, widening the gene pool. The British Angora Goat has evolved and adapted to a different climate, whilst the quality of mohair produced has improved.