Steiff Schulte mill.
This company is the fabric division of Steiff, the famous collectible teddy bear company, who they have been suppliers of high quality mohair fabrics since 1901. Originally this company produced fabrics solely for use in the manufacturing of toys, but as of 2005, they have been successfully working with fashion brands around the world.
Schulte Mohair is made from one of nature’s finest sources for the natural fibre, the Angora goat. This fur is very long and naturally wavy. When sheared, the fur from the Angora goat becomes Mohair. This happens about twice a year. The term “mohair” comes from the Arabian word “Muhayar” which literally means “the fabric of goat hair”. Despite the similarity in the names, there is no relation the Angora rabbit. The fur of the Angora goat is naturally white, curly and shiny and when made into a pile fabric, has remarkable strength.
All weaving, dyeing, finishing and processing is done in the factory in Duisburg to allow the production process to be controlled to ensure the highest quality fabric.
In addition to the Mohair fabrics, they also produce Alpaca fabrics. Alpacas are rare animals found in semi-domesticated herds that inhabit the valleys of the Andes at altitudes of up to 4000 metres. Their lightweight and very robust coats protect them from the extreme temperature differences between day and night that are so typical of their natural habitat. Due to the extraordinary qualities, Alpaca hair is among the finest and most exquisite fibres that nature has to offer. When sheared, the Alpaca fleece is very long, lightly crimped and incredibly soft. Alpaca herds are carefully sheared by hand every two years and fleece is then carefully sorted according to the colour tone and quality before being send to the Peruvian seaport of Arequipa (the centre for international trade of Alpaca hair) to be sold. Only the finest raw fibres with unchanged natural colours will qualify of the journey the expert European spinners and it is from these specialist companies that Steiff Schulte can obtain the Alpaca yarn that they use to produce their woven furs.
All fabrics produced by Steiff Schulte are 100% animal friendly products.