Angora knitwear was doctor-prescribed in Europe for the pain relief without drugs. Many people use angora garments and medicinal articles to treat different kinds of pain: headache - angora hats, scarves, or headbands to sleep in, back pain - angora T-shirts or waist warmers, knee arthritis - angora knee pads. Some of the manufacturers of medicinal wear - Sigvaris®, Royal Angora® - commercially manufacture different types of angora warmers. Natural angora wool can definitely be worn next to the skin.

Angora fiber is a specially bred rabbit's wool. The Angora Rabbits are raised solely for its fine and soft hair. Because the angora rabbits have been specially bred (by the French nobility) for its long fur for many centuries, they would not survive for long in the wild. Their fur would get tangled in the underbrush, making them easy prey for predators.

It is considered that the first mention of angora yarn in print was given in 1833. It was described as "Rabbit's hair from the city of Ankara, Turkey". (But this mention could be rephrased and it actually might be related to the charming Turkish Angora goats or cats as well). For more information and advice, please visit Angora Rabbit Farming - IAGARB.com.
Angora wool is ultra soft, fluffy, light-weight, and warm. It is 7 - 8 times warmer than sheep wool, because the angora rabbit's hair is all hollow that increases its insulating properties. The angora fiber itself is very clean, because rabbits clean their own fur, and the same way as cats do - they lick themselves! They also shed and have hairballs. - Ref: Rabbit Grooming at House Rabbit Society .

There are four types of angora rabbit hair: English Angora is the silkiest of the Angoras. It does not have guard hairs. French Angora is supposed to consist of 30% guard hair. There is not much difference in the actual spinning of the two fibers. However, French Angora blooms more due to the guard hairs. English Angora needs to be "abused" a little to achieve this bloom. German (Giant) Angora was developed through selective breeding, resulting in a rabbit with very high fur yields. The German type is finer in diameter and produces a softer yarn. Its fur is strong enough for commercial processing. Satin Angora is lighter weight than the other Angoras and for this reason it takes more of it to make an ounce.

The principal producers of angora fiber are China and U.S. The fiber is farmed by individual farmers. Substantial quantities are also produced in France and smaller quantities in Eastern Europe and South America. Coloured Angora rabbits are bred in India and their hair is used to produce artisanal fabrics. - Robert R. Franck "Silk, Mohair, Cashmere, and Other Luxury Fibers".

Raising angora rabbits for their hair is highly skilled work. Because the fibre is very fine and smooth, it is difficult to spin it. The fibre is usually blended with other fibres such as fine wools, often with a small proportion of nylon. If it is 100% angora, it is usually woollen spun. Quality also depends not only on where the wool is harvested from, but how clean it is.
{Premium, 1st Quality}: Clean, free of felting, over 6 cm long. The premium quality angora wool is taken from the back and upper sides of the rabbit. This is usually the longest and cleanest fiber on the rabbit and is absolutely matt free and perfectly clean. There should not be any hay or vegetable matter in the rabbit fiber.
{2nd Quality}: Clean, free of felting, under 6 cm but over 3cm. Second quality comes from the neck and lower sides, and it may have some vegetable matter.
{3rd Quality} is the rear-end (or butt) and legs, and any other areas that easily matt. This fiber is of shorter length and may have some vegetable matter and small matts. Clean, felted, second cut.
{4th Quality} is totally unsalvageable and consists of the larger matts or stained fiber. All dirty, discoloured fibre. Third and fourth quality are perfect for cutting up for the birds to use in lining their nests.
Reference: Spinning Angora, "Completely Angora" by Sharon Kilfoyle and Leslie Samson, Samson Publishing.

ARTISAN ANGORA SLEEPING SOCKS, design and photography © Irene & Mr. Sheep Co. Yarn: Malabrigo Artisan Angora »

Knitting with Angora

🌟 To begin an angora garment (except berets, caps and hats), cast on 4-5 sts less, because 100% Angora tends to stretch slightly widthwise when worn multiple times without washing.
🌟 Make a simple angora waistcoat and wear it under your regular clothing, right on your skin as a warmer - no extra weight, it will feel like your second skin, but ultra warm. You can also sleep in it without getting sweaty (in winter).
🌟 Make inlays for your bra (simple rectangular will work too): put next to the skin, but don't insert in the bra cups.
🌟 Store your angora knits on a shelf, let them breathe freely. Do not place any other garments over them to help keep their full volume, and they will serve you for many years.
Angora natural shedding

If natural angora shedding bothers you, you always can choose Handspun Angora » Dehaired Angora » Wool-Angora blends » or other ultra warm yarns made of cashmere, yak down, baby camelhair. Some advanced knitters suggest to put clean and fully-dried angora garments to a freezer overnight to get rid of shedding (no proof). To keep your angora garment fluffy, wash it with a woolwash "no rinse".
Care instructions »

100% Angora 100% Angora 100% Angora Lambgora  Angora Merino

How to differentiate between Natural and synthetic Angora: Make a skein slightly damp - gently wash it or just pour some amount of water on a spot. Gently rub. If Natural: There will be a pleasant, light 'woolen' aroma. The thread will have a 'halo' with short curls on its top. The fiber filaments should be thin and curly. If synthetic or has an amount of synthetic content: After rubbing, you will see rough, more or less thick, unnaturally long and absolutely straight filaments with no curls on the top, similar to brush bristles. Sometimes, they are spun into a shorter, more fluffy fiber. Shorter fiber sheds a lot. No or very weak 'woolen' aroma. For more information, please visit IAGARB.com »

🌟 Frequent Question: Do you sell angora yarn in heavy weights?
A: To make it heavy and in a weight you wish, please knit with 2-10 balls/strands at the same time. Angora is a precious and delicate fiber, and it is not manufactured in thick weights, except Handspun »


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