Angora hair or Angora fiber refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit. While the names of the source animals are similar Angora fiber is distinct from mohair; which comes from the Angora goat. Angora fiber is also distinct from cashmere; which comes from the cashmere goat. Angora is known for its softness, thin fibers; and what knitters refer to as a halo (fluffiness). It is also known for its silky texture. This is much warmer and lighter than wool due to the hollow core of the angora fiber. It also gives them their characteristic floating feel.
Angora is the downy coat of the Angora rabbit. It is very different from the fabric produced from the Angora goat which is referred to as ‘Mohair.’ There are 47 different breeds of rabbit that are officially recognised as being producers of ‘Angora’ fiber. These include; English Angora, French Angora; Giant Angora and Satin Angora. Angora is the third most produced natural hair fiber; after Wool and Mohair. The production of this fiber originates in Turkey.
Properties of Angora fiber
- Soft and Fluffy
- Thin fibers meaning they are very lightweight
- Silky Texture
- Much lighter in weight than wool as the fibers are hollow
- Available in many colours from white to grey, tan, brown and black.
- Easily Felted
- Typically warm
- Not elastic at all, as they do not have the natural crimp usually associated with animal hair fibers
- Angora is usually blended with wool to enhance its properties
- Commercial knitting yarns generally use 30-50% Angora
- Excellent thermal Insulator
- Hollow fibers mean they have a loft and a characteristic ‘floaty’ feeling
- Best heat retention of all wool fibers
- 6 times warmer than fabric
- More sustainable as the fibers can be shorn more often than most natural fibers
- Expensive because of the laborious manufacturing process
- Dyes Easily
End-uses of Angora Fiber
- High-end luxury garments
- Sweaters and suits
- Knitting Yarn
- Baby Clothes
Angora rabbit hair fibers are specialty fibers with enormous commercial value. These fibers possess excellent thermal characteristics and hence provide the necessary comfort in cold weather clothing.
You May Also Read:
- What’s the Racoon Fiber ? | Racoon Yarn |
- Alpaca Fiber Properties and Uses
- What is Textile Printing ? | History and Methods |