It is a well-known fact that South Africa is the producer of some of the very best quality greasy mohair produced in the world. However, a lesser-known fact is that they are developing a manufacturing base for the production of mohair rich yarns. Nowhere is this better illustrated than with CAPE MOHAIR SPINNERS based in Port Elizabeth.
SAMIL was established in 1991 as a joint enterprise between the Alpha Tops group and Cape Mohair Holdings, the latter’s shareholders being principally mohair producers. SAMIL, together with its own combing division of Border Combing Company based near East London, concentrates on the production and sale of mohair tops and scoured mohair – and is well recognised as one of the major suppliers of semi-processed mohair from the Cape. Together with other suppliers based in South Africa, they now account for over 60% of the South African mohair clip being exported globally in semi-processed form.
The group’s ambitions did not stop there however. They are adopting the philosophy of the Alpha Tops group chairman, Francis Patthey, co-founder of the Inca Tops Group in Peru who have successfully established a group of companies capable of taking raw alpaca all the way through to the retail sale of garments. Their philosophy reflects a keen desire to develop an added value industry as they moved onto the next stage of establishing a spinning company.
During 1992, Cape Mohair Spinners (Pty) Ltd. was founded in conjunction with a well-established U.K. fancy yarn spinner. This resulted in a complete fancy yarn production unit being exported from the U.K. to South Africa with worsted spinning being added a few years later. Production units are updated in regular intervals to meet customer’s requirements. The company currently employs some 50 people producing a wide range of worsted and fancy yarns, with mohair being the predominant theme.
The production capability was further enhanced with the establishment of the dyeing company Umbala Dyers.
Cape Mohair Spinners (CMS) in establishing export markets had at first to win clients over to the fact that high quality mohair yarns could be produced in South Africa. In this regard they were assisted, by using the worldwide network of agents of the Alpha Tops group.