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|Item||Raw angora||Spun yards||#skein|
|Medium sweater||1200-1600 yards||24-32|
Looking at the various fibers under the electron microscope, why do you think that angora is
the softest of these fibers?
COTTON from PLANT
CASHMERE from Goat
WOOL from Sheep
ANGORA from Rabbit
HARVEST-SPIN ANGORA FUR
CONTACT US TO PURCHASE our raw angora wool, spun yarn or some of our products.
We also raise several ANGORA rabbits who came to our program as rescues that are now providing us angora wool that we collect and sell for fashion.
The English Angora rabbits were owned by a family who had a barn fire in Northern Minnesota and they needed new homes immediately before winter. Our French Angora came from a family who clearly did not understand the need for regular grooming and upkeep. Our Giant Angora came from a wonderful fiber artist in Minnesota who is down-scaling her rabbitry. We absolutely love these members of our sweet bunny "family" and they are always a favorite at our educational events.
"IT'S SSOOOO FLUFFY!!"
Rabbits can produce over six times more wool per pound of body weight than sheep. They eat 30% less per pound than sheep do.
Because most angoras do not "molt" we can gently brush out the wool with our pet brush, collecting the wool in bags. During the summer we also sheer the rabbits with "bandage cutting scissors" to help keep them stay cool.
We have partners who hand-spins the wool into yarn, mixing it with other animal fiber to give it strength and to Some owners add dye to the wool
to create gorgeous, vibrant colors. Our rabbits are never harmed in the harvesting of the fur. They are not tied or held down and are free to get up and move around. It takes more time to give them their hair cuts, but our bunnies are much happier... and so are we!!!
Many United States companies and fashion industries worldwide are currently boycotting angora that comes from certain countries because of some published videos that demonstrated animal cruelty.
Our organization only partners with American angora breeders and we are unveiling our new HEART brand ("Humane, Eco-friendly, American-raised Textiles") available Spring 2016.
Angora wool comes from the angora rabbit, and is estimated to be
5-7 times warmer than wool.
• Natural, Animal Fiber
Not to be confused with "mohair" comes from an Angora Goat
• Clean, comes directly from a live rabbit by brushing or sheering like a sheep
This does not hurt the rabbit and actually helps to keep it healthy
• Does not require washing, picking, combing, or carding
• Luxurious texture with very small diameter which makes it soft.
• Very durable, Hand-washable
• Not irritating or scratchy to the skin like sheep’s wool
• Easy to dye different colors
• Blends extremely well with other fibers like wool, alpaca, mohair etc.
Preparing Angora For Handspinning
Angora wool can be spun directly fromthe rabbit. Some people sit with the rabbit on the lap and use a spinning wheel. It does not need to be cleaned or carded depending on how it is harvested.
Harvesting Angora Wool
A rabbit begins to shed its wool naturally when it is approximately 3 inches long. That is when we harvest the wool by hand-combing the rabbit and then sheering. If the wool is left on the rabbit and it continues to grow, the rabbit will continue grooming itself and have a much greater chance of developing woold block, which is usually deadly.
Prime angora is hand plucked from the rabbit. The fiber is usually combed first to free it from any tangles or mats. After it has been plucked, the furs are laid down in parallel so that it will be easy to pick up and use during spinning (called "drafting". Prime angora can be carded, but it really isn’t necessary.
Angora that is removed during combings can also be spun into yarn. It will usually have little snarls in it which may make it impossible to spin a smooth even yarn. But in some cases, carefully carding the combings will remove the snarls. If the snarls cannot be removed you can still spin the fiber, but it will make an interesting textured yarn.
Carding (Putting the harvested wool on a "card" to prepare for spinning)
It is easier to card angora using handcarders than it is with a drumcarder. Cotton carders are better to use, because of the fine teeth. Drumcarding 100% angora is very difficult because the fiber will stick and lump between the drums. Patience is needed when using the drumcarder on angora. Multiple runs will be needed in order to make the fibers uniform.
It is common practice to blend angora with another fiber, such as wool, to help keep the fabric from becoming too warm. Some things are better NOT to be 100%. Believe it or not, much of the coloring/dye comes from mixing kool-aid!
Spinning angora is very different than spinning wool. It is very soft and slippery, therefore beginners find it difficult to spin 100% angora.
Angora should be spun at a high speed with little or no tension. Adding a little wool to the fiber will make it easier to spin. Do not be concerned if the yarn is not fuzzy when you are spinning it. It becomes fuzzy later after it has been plied, set, and handled.
A top whorl spindle is best for spinning angora because of the softness of the fiber. The spindle should also be lightweight.
End Uses For Angora Yarn
Angora yarn can be used for knitting and felting projects. 100% angora is too soft for weaving. Angora is ideal for making baby garments, winter underwear, sweaters, hats, scarves, and mittens.
The Joy of Handspinning