by Lisa Greyling
The Crags, situated just 15km east of Plettenberg Bay, is a charming rural community embraced by the arresting Tsitsikamma Mountains to the north. It is home to some of the Garden Route’s most celebrated eco-tourism attractions and is therefore well frequented by tourists and locals alike.
The Mill Living Centre is the new retail heart of the Crags. It is perfectly positioned in the midst of popular wildlife sanctuaries and is essentially a celebration of South African creativity and ingenuity. The centre comprises the Mohair Mill, Porcupine Ceramics, Zandla Zam hand crafted fabrics, Siya Phambili bead workshop, a women’s craft workshop, Der Lederhandler and the Peppermill Restaurant.
For more than two decades it was the site of an industrious mohair textile factory, until that business relocated to Uitenhage in the Easter Cape. One of the tenants taking their place in the factory is the Mohair Mill shop. The bold, industrial interior space is perfectly offset by the soft, aesthetic nature of the products they sell. It is a shop specialising in luxurious mohair products, unique African decor items, soft furnishings, high quality linen and more. The shop has been outfitted with using a very trendy almost shabby chic approach, with an eclectic variety of items for sale.
Their core business is mohair merchandise. They are, in fact, the largest seller of mohair products in the world. Mohair, an extraordinary product of nature, is a silk-like yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat and one of the oldest textile fibres in use. It has universal appeal and is habitually described as a luxury ‘high end fibre’.
South Africa currently produces 54% of the total world production of mohair, and mohair is one of the economic backbones of the Karoo. Mohair is used in socks, scarves, sweaters, winter hats, suits, coats, home furnishing and a host of other items. The fibre is also commonly found in carpets and upholstery. What makes this specific fibre so incredibly versatile is that it is durable, moisture-wicking, stretch and flame resistant, and crease resistant. It also takes to dye exceptionally well and has fantastic insulating properties.
Mohair products are often associated with the older generation of consumers, but mohair products of today include items that are fresh and funky, falling within more mainstream fashion trends. Our country’s contemporary mohair products reveal the essence of African design. Many of the items for sale at the Mohair mill are creative-innovative-and proudly South African. There are beautiful blankets and throws in a variety of different weaves and colours, mohair handbags, shawls, teddies and a wide range of socks to suit the tastes of young and old alike.
The Mill Centre has become the hot new destination for locals and holiday makers looking for something a little different, and whether it’s a shopping, eating, or community experience you’re after, you are certain to find something of interest.