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Angora rabbits are one of the oldest domesticated breeds of
rabbit and are highly treasured for their fiber. The origin of the Angora
rabbit is unknown; one theory is that Angora rabbits originated from the
Turkish province of Ankara, hence the name Angora.
There are six breeds of rabbits with angora wool: English
Angora, French Angora, Satin Angora, Giant Angora, American Fuzzy Lop, and Jersey
Wooly. The Giant Angora is the largest breed of Angora rabbits; typically the
bucks weigh 9.5 pounds at maturity, and the does are 10 pounds and up. The
Jersey Wooly is the smallest of the Angora breeds and generally weighs less
than 3.5 pounds.
Satin Angoras combines two fur types. No other rabbit breed
combines the translucence of Satin fur with the flowing softness of angora
wool. While Satin Angoras usually don’t produce as much harvestable wool as the
other large Angora types, their wool is unique for its Satin qualities.
Angoras are very colorful, the Satin Angora, English Angora,
and French Angora breeds are found in a rainbow of colors, including Black,
Blue, Chestnut, Chinchilla, Chocolate, Copper, Fawn, Lilac, Lynx, Opal, Pointed
White, Red, Sable, Seal, Tortoiseshell, Blue-Eyed White, and Ruby-Eyed White.
Additionally, French and Satin Angoras can also be Siamese Smoke Pearl colored,
but only French Angoras can exhibit the broken color pattern. The Giant Angora
is only recognized in one color: Ruby-Eyed White. However Angora rabbit
breeders are currently in the process of developing new colors for acceptance
at shows. Certificates of Development are currently in process for Black Giant
Angoras, Broken Satin Angoras and Broken English Angoras.
Harvesting angora wool is usually pretty easy but you need
to know what you’re doing. In most cases, angora wool is harvested by plucking
or shearing, but the specifics depend on the breed and situation Good quality
Angora fiber is around 12-16 micrometers in diameter, and can cost as much as
$10–16 per ounce. The fiber felts very easily, even on the animal itself if it
is not groomed frequently. Yarns of 100% angora are typically used as accents.
They have the most halo and warmth, but can felt very easily through abrasion
and humidity and can be excessively warm in a finished garment. The fiber is
normally blended with wool to give the yarn elasticity, as Angora fiber is not
naturally elastic. The blend decreases the softness and halo as well as the
price of the finished object. Commercial knitting yarns typically use 30–50%
angora, in order to produce some halo, warmth, and softness without the side
effects of excessive felting.
Angora Rabbits are domestic animals bred solely for their
silky, soft wool in fact Angora rabbit’s fur can grow to be over 6 and a half
feet in diameter, A large supply of hay is absolutely vital to them. When the
rabbits groom themselves by licking their fur, they also consume fur. However
unlike some animals they cannot cough it up or vomit it and so it gets stuck in
the digestive track; this is called wool block. If the digestive track gets
blocked by hair this will be lethal to the rabbit as it may starve death. The
fiber that the rabbits get from hay prevents wool block.