Angora wool

Angora wool or Angora fiber refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit. While their names are similar, Angora fiber is distinct from mohair, which comes from the Angora goat. Angora is known for its softness, low micron count (i.e. thin fibers), and what knitters refer to as a halo (fluffiness). It is also known for its silky texture.

Angora rabbits produce coats in a variety of colors, from white to black. Good quality angora fiber is around 12-16 microns in diameter, and can cost around 10 - 16 dollars per ounce. It felts very easily, even on the animal itself if the animal is not groomed frequently.

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.

The fibers are hollow which gives them their characteristic floating feel.Fact|date=July 2007

The Angora rabbit

There are four different ARBA recognized types of Angora rabbit: English, French, Satin and Giant. There are many other breeds, one of the more common being German. Each breed produces different quality and quantity of fiber, and has a different range of colors.

Fur production

Angora fur is produced in Europe, Chile, China and the United States. Harvesting occurs up to four times a year (about every 4 months) and is collected by plucking, shearing, or collection of the molting fur.

Most breeds of Angora rabbits molt with their natural growth cycle about every four months. Many producers of the fiber pluck the fur of these breeds. Plucking is, in effect, pulling out the molted fur. Plucking ensures a minimum of guard hair, and the fur is not as matted when plucked as when it is collected from the rabbit's cage. However, plucking a rabbit is time consuming, so some producers shear the rabbit instead. While this results in slightly lower quality fleece as the guard hairs are included, it does take less time and results in more fleece. Also, not all breeds of angora molt, and if the rabbit does not naturally molt, it cannot be plucked. German angoras do not molt.

The rabbits must be groomed at least once or twice a week to prevent the fur from matting and felting. There is also a danger that a rabbit will ingest its own molted fur; unlike a cat, a rabbit cannot easily be rid of the build up. []

Quality of Wool

The premium 1st quality wool is taken from the back and upper sides of the rabbit. This is usually the longest and cleanest fiber on the rabbit. There should not be hay or vegetable matter in the fiber. Second quality is from the neck and lower sides and may have some vegetable matter. Third quality is the buttocks and legs and any other areas that easily felt and are of shorter length. Fourth quality is totally unsalvageable and consists of the larger felted bits or stained fiber. Third and fourth quality are perfect for cutting up for the birds to use in lining their nests. With daily brushing felting of the fiber can be avoided, increasing the usable portion of fiber.

Angora wool in popular culture

The director, writer, and actor Edward D. Wood, Jr. was known to have a fetish for angora wool sweaters, referenced in his film "Glen or Glenda?". Also, in the film "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", directed by Ed Wood fan Tim Burton, there is a scene in Willy Wonka's factory where pink Angora sheep are being shorn. Wonka (here played by Johnny Depp) says "I'd rather not talk about this one", which is a reference to Depp's role as Wood in a previous Burton film.


Angora wool can be used in all sorts of ways. It is commonly used in apparel such as sweaters and suitings, knitting yarn, and felting.

ee also


External links

* [ National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club official site]
* [ International Association of German Angora Rabbit Breeders official site]
* [ Pictures of the different Angora Rabbit breeds, care.]
* [ Pictures of German angoras and German colored crosses with links to sites in Germany]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Angora wool — Angora (def. 2). [1870 75] * * * …   Universalium

  • angora wool — noun a mixture of sheep s wool and angora rabbit hair …   English new terms dictionary

  • angora wool — noun see angora …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • angora wool — yarn that is fine and silky (from the Angora goat) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • angora wool — noun see angora I, 1 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Angora Wool (Rabbit) — A white silky hair obtained from the Angora rabbit. It has extremely soft, warm and light handling properties. The Angora rabbit yields annually about 10 oz. of wool, which is obtained by several clippings. Of this weight about 6 oz., classified… …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • Angora — may refer to:* Angora, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ** Angora (SEPTA station), a commuter rail station * Angora Township, Minnesota * Angora, Nebraska * Angora (band), a musical group * Angora wool, from the Angora rabbit * Angora rabbit, a breed… …   Wikipedia

  • Angora — [aŋ gôr′ə, angôr′ə] n. [after Angora, former name of ANKARA] 1. a kind of cat with long, silky fur: in full Angora cat 2. a) a kind of goat raised for its long, silky hair: in full Angora goat b) this hair (Angora wool) or the cloth made …   English World dictionary

  • Wool — is the fiber derived from the specialized skin cells, called follicles, [Australian Wool Corporation, Australian Wool Classing, Raw Wool Services, 1990] of animals in the Caprinae family, principally sheep, but the hair of certain species of… …   Wikipedia

  • Wool (disambiguation) — Wool is the fibre commonly produced from sheepWool (the fiber) refers to one of the following: *Alpaca wool, derived from fur of alpacas *Angora wool, derived from fur of rabbits *Cashmere wool, derived from fur of goats *Cotton wool, derived… …   Wikipedia

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