YOu must have clothes made of Angora wool, but do you know what is Angora wool? Read to find it out.
Angora wool, which comes from Angora rabbits, is a very soft and opulent fabric. Along with mohair and cashmere, Angora is regarded as a luxury fiber and is a well-liked wool for both spinning and knitting.
In this blog, we’ll explore the Angora wool fabric. Please keep reading.
What is Angora Wool Fabric?
Wool that comes from the coats of Angora rabbits is known as Angora wool. Although the mistreatment of Angora rabbits has brought this luxurious fiber under scrutiny recently, it is entirely possible to produce Angora wool in a way that is ethical, sustainable, and does not involve animal cruelty.
Angora wool is unusually silky and soft because its fibers, which are among the finest in the world and measure 12 to 16 microns, are so small. Angora wool is more heat-retentive than most types of wool because the hollow cores of the Angora rabbit hairs allow for impressive fluffiness.
Additionally, unlike other types of wool, Angora wool does not have any inherent allergenic qualities, making it a crucial substitute for those who are allergic to animal hair.
A Brief History of Angora
The National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club (NARBC) claims that in 1723, some sailors arriving in the same-named Turkish port were the ones who introduced the Angora rabbit to Europeans. They brought some rabbits back to France because they were moved by the stunning silk scarves the local women were sporting.
The French Encyclopedia from 1765 is the first source to mention the rabbit. According to Textile School, small-scale breeders and spinners in North America first made Angora fashionable in the 20th century.
Since then, breeders, knitters, weavers, and fashionistas the world over have fallen in love with Angora, a thin natural fiber known for its softness, fluffiness (also called a “halo” by knitters), and extreme warmth that is six times warmer than wool, caused by its hollow core.
Fabrics made with Angora tend to “bloom” or fluff up over time, which further increases warmth and elegant appearance.
How is Angora Wool Fabric Made?
To put it simply, the Angora rabbit is a particular species from which Angora fabric is derived. English, French, Giant, and Satin are the four different breeds of rabbits. To avoid matting, the Angora rabbits must be groomed once a week. They undergo a complete shearing every three to four months.
Although animals are used in the process of making Angora fabric, no harm is done to them. The NARBC claimed that when shearing is carried out properly, the rabbit is kept in good health. It won’t harm the animal to remove the wool because it is ready to naturally shed.
Less than 1 pound of fur is produced annually by English, French, and Satin rabbits. Giants can, however, produce up to 2.5 pounds—wow! They are certainly very fluffy, these guys. Next, yarn is spun from the sheared hair. The hair must, however, be blended with other soft wools because it is so light and thin. The result can then be woven into fabric.
Where is Angora Wool Fabric Produced?
The majority of Angora wool is still made in China today. Thousands of tons of Angora wool are still produced in factory farms in China each year, despite the best efforts of the global animal rights movement, and nearly always, Chinese textile producers use cruel and inhumane methods to create this luxurious fabric.
Clothing manufacturers who are concerned about the methods used by Chinese Angora producers can obtain their Angora wool from the United States or other Western nations that don’t frequently practice animal cruelty.
Characteristics of Angora Wool
- Lightweight. The hollow nature of Angora fibers makes them extremely lightweight without sacrificing warmth.
- Warm. Due to the hollow fibers’ additional insulating properties, Angora can be even warmer than regular sheep’s wool.
- Felts. If the animal is not regularly groomed, an Angora fiber can even be felt on the rabbit.
- Rigid. To give Angora some elasticity, it is typically combined with more elastic fibers.
Types of Angora
English, French, German, Satin, and Giant are the five different Angora breeds. The wool produced by Angora rabbits varies just a little depending on the breed.
- English Angora: The smallest Angora rabbit breed, the English Angora, has exceptionally fine guard hairs, which are typically coarser hairs that shield the animal’s coat. Guard hairs are typically not used in the finished textile.
- French Angora: Since French Angora rabbits molt naturally, the fibers can be easily plucked around the thicker guard hairs, despite the fact that this makes their undercoat more woolly. Because of the animal’s excellent halo fur, which has extra fluff, French Angora’s fur is excellent for hand spinners.
- Satin Angora: The Satin Angora doesn’t produce as much wool as the French and English Angora, but it has a very shiny coat and excellent spinning fiber.
- Giant Angora: The largest Angora breed, the Giant, also yields the most fiber annually. The Giant Angora must have its fur shorn because it does not naturally molt.
- German Angora: German Angoras and Giant Angoras are very similar in that both breeds produce a lot of wool and do not molt naturally.
Pros of Angora Wool Fabric
We looked closely at the advantages of purchasing Angora fabric. Here they are:
- Thin fibers: The fact that Angora fabric is so soft and fluffy is one of its best features. The lightweight nature of Angora clothing is another common characteristic. Like organic cotton, Angora wool has a similar texture.
- Colorful: Given how easily Angora can be dyed, this material is available in a wide range of hues. Let’s go from grey to pink!
- Thermal insulator: A sweatshirt made of this fabric is ideal on cold days like this! Your comfort is guaranteed.
- Durable: Wear it with confidence because Angora is a durable fabric!
- Anti-static: You don’t need to be concerned about that annoying electricity buildup. When you take off your sweater made from Angora, your hair will stay safe
- Warm AF: When compared to other fabrics like cotton, this fabric has the tendency to keep you six times warmer.
Cons of Angora Wool Fabric
- Hand wash: So that the yarn doesn’t lose strength, Angora garments must be hand washed. For some, this can be very unsettling.
- Flyaway threads: Controlling and working with the Angora fabric is very challenging. It often has flimsy, stray threads that show through clothing.
- Animal fur: The fact that Angora is made from rabbit fur is a clear drawback. Despite the fact that all farms should shave the rabbits’ fur, not all do.
- Expensive: One of the priciest varieties of wool is Angora. The process of making Angora fabric is expensive and time-consuming.
Uses for Angora Wool
An elegant decorative fabric, Angora gives clothing and home décor a lovely appearance.
- Knitwear. Given that it adds an opulent halo effect, or fluffy layer, to the knitwear or accessory, Angora wool is a favorite fiber for knitwear. Knitters prefer working with Angora wool because it adds a lovely effect with its fluffy halo, whether they are making mittens or an Angora sweater. To add extra stretch and bulk, Angora is typically blended with other fibers like alpaca or sheep’s wool because it has a limited amount of elasticity.
- Home decor. Throw pillows and blankets made of Angora are suitable as home accents. Given that Angora is extremely expensive, the fiber is typically only used for decorative items and blended with other fibers.
Is Angora Sustainable?
On the plus side, Angora can actually be a fairly sustainable fabric. The environmental impact of producing Angora wool is minimal. Naturally, rabbits are herbivores, and the majority of their production is done naturally.
Due to its creation from Angora rabbits’ fur, Angora wool is a natural fiber. Hair removal helps rabbits molt, which is a natural process. Furthermore, very little to no chemicals can be used in the production of Angora fabric.
The same can be said for Angora wool. As soon as the garment loses its usefulness, the fabric degrades quickly. It could be planted in your backyard if you so desired.
Is Angora Ethical?
The crucial query is now being posed. Even though Angora checks many boxes for sustainability, that does not imply that it is morally upright. Many debates were raised about Angora. Regarding the appalling treatment these cuddly rabbits receive, PETA recently released a video.
90% of Angora farming takes place in China and lacks regulations to control how Angora rabbits are handled. The mistreatment of animals is also not punished. It is extremely difficult to think that producing Angora fabric in an ethical manner is actually possible.
More than 50 million rabbits are used annually in large-scale commercial Angora production. They live in unfavorable conditions in small cages. The fur of the Angora rabbits is typically preferred by farmers.
This is a quicker process and the cost of longer Angora hair increases. However, it is well known that this practice causes the animals distress and pain. Additionally, as the rabbits get older, they produce less fur; consequently, farmers discard them because they are no longer useful.
Conclusion: Angora Wool
The fur of Angora rabbits is used to produce Angora wool. The fiber has a very small, fine diameter and each strand has a halo-like effect of fur surrounding it, giving any items made with Angora a shiny appearance.
Angora can be a sustainable fabric, but it’s important to know where it comes from. All is well as long as the fabric is not mass-produced and does not become a cheap garment in the fast fashion industry.
Why is Angora Wool So Expensive?
The cost of producing, harvesting, and using Angora wool means that the cost of purchasing it will also be higher. Because it is so soft and highly sought-after, Angora is more expensive than the majority of other spinning fibers and is only obtained from individually raised rabbits.
Which is Better Angora Or Cashmere?
Here are a few more distinctions between the two. Angora and Cashmere are both made from goats, not sheep. In a manner similar to how sheep’s wool is shorn, Angora goats are shorn of their mohair using shears, but Cashmere goats have their body hair gently combed off with the aid of combs. Cashmere is much softer than Mohair.
What is the Warmest Wool in the World?
Angora wool is exceptionally soft and possesses the highest heat retention of any natural fiber (two-and-a-half times warmer than sheep’s wool).