05-25-2006, 10:56 AM
When the fur from an angora rabbit is spun is it always fuzzy? or is that something the spinner does? :?? I've seen a bit that isn't, but I'm not sure if it's spun with something else too.
06-01-2006, 09:33 AM
I raise angora rabbits, and spin the fur too.
The amount of "halo" that is on the finished yarn depends upon a few factors. First is the breed of angora. French angora has very stiff guard hairs that really stick out and make the finished project look like fur almost. English, German, and Satin produces an extremely soft "halo" with much fewer and much softer guard hairs. (All breeds have 3 types of hairs, guard hair, awn hair and down. The ratios differ and in the case of French the guard hairs are much stiffer.)
The second factor is the length of fiber used in the preparation. Cheap angora yarn, (although, not cheap to you! The process used is cheap. done in China) sold in 10 gram packets in yarn stores is made from extremely short staple fibers, ½" to 1 inch (this is extremely "furry" but also sheds - a LOT). , because it gets torn in the commercial carding process. And they charge $15 for 10 grams. That is $45 an ounce! Ouch!
Then there are yarns, usually made by mini mills where more care is taken with the carding. If the angora supply used has long staple (3+"), the yarn will have almost no halo. Depending upon the tightness of the twist, this yarn can feel almost like pure sheep's wool. Spun softly, it is extremely soft, but still has little halo. This yarn would be the most durable, with the least tendency to shed or pill. In other coutries than the US, they spin this type of yarn for underwear - usually for the infirm. It is extremely soft, yet not itchy at all. And is warm enough to help people with arthritis, for instance.
Handspun. Any handspun will have more halo than commerciall done. But some still seems to have little halo. English angora, being the very softest has the least, IMO. But since it is so extremely soft, it is my favorite to work with and to wear. Handspun from commercially carded angora roving (usually of German or Giant rabbit fur) is purported to have less halo *because* of the shorter fibers (1"-3"). But my experience has been just the opposite. The shorter fibers tend to enhance the halo. I am currently experimenting with shorter fibers going into a run at a mini mill, to try and get more halo. It might backfire on me! But it should still be extremely soft.
Then, there is the question of spinning "woolen" style from long staple, instead of "worsted". I have not tried that yet, but I intend to try spinning woolen style on some of my longest staple soon. It isn't good for the rabbit to let the fiber get longer than 3". After that, the coat tends to slip and they can get wool block from grooming themselves. Properly cared for rabbits, whose coat is taken at 3-3½" do not run this risk. But alas, I've been guilty of letting it get to 4" or so. Sometimes you just can't get to them
So many factors! I have a picture of commercially spun (by a mini mill) of 85% German angora on my website & blog
http://www.germanangora.net. I need to get a picture up of 100% German angora handspun for contrast.
Hope this helps answer your question.
Donna in Indiana
06-01-2006, 09:56 AM
whoa! thanks so much. I was thinking about spinning and when I was looking into it I ran across some angora bunnies and they're adorable, so I'm thinking about getting one (whether I end up spinning or not). But thanks for the reply, it answered all my questions and then some. :)