Sustainable Fibres – What is Angora

So what’s the animal or plant this time?

Sustainable Fibres - What is Angora trusted clothes

That’s the funky part. A big giant white bunny rabbit (and it’s not even Easter). Am I kiddin’ you? Nope! You can see it above. Isn’t that cool? So, what is Angora? It’s an Old World domestic rabbit with one main trait. It can grow hair twice as fast as the other rabbits. It is farmed greatly in semi-darkness with hair removed every three months. A single Old World Angora rabbit can produce about 1.5kg per year of animal fibre. Think about that: a rabbit. That’s a heck of lot!

What is the fibre like?

The hollow fibre is the silky white hair of the Angora with standard classification as wool. It’s about 14-16 microns, so tiny, and one of the, supposedly, silkiest fibres around now. So that means it’s soft to the touch. The fibre type makes the hair itself light, water absorbing, and easily dyed.

That’s a picture of a part of France that is really cool.  Anyway, where is it made? Who is the major producer? Who is now the major producer?

Sustainable Fibres - What is Angora trusted clothes

It’s different than Cashmere. It’s different than mohair. Up until about the 1960s, the main producer of Angora fibre was, in fact, France. That’s pretty neat for such a small country. In other words, things have changed.  China is now the main producer of this form of fibre. As a major producer, it outstrips Argentina, Chile, Czech Republic, and Hungary in their production of Angora fibre.

And most of that fibre that is produced in china is only about 2,500 to 3,000 tons. But China itself exports approximately half of its production for processing in Europ, Japan, and even Korea.

What are the major uses of angora fiber? Thanks for asking!

It’s used, typically, for warmth, especially various knitted things such as pullovers, scarves, socks, and glove, and they’re light too! So, no weight burden and warmth benefit, super, and to many, many folks, that makes it ideal insulation from cold weather. So if you have arthiritc troubles, or even wool allergies, you can get the same kind of feel without the hassle of allergic reactions, blegh!

Sustainable Fibres - What is Angora trusted clothes

But there’s the fact that the angora wool itself can be too fine to provide some consumers’ individual needs at the time, and that means the fibre can be mixed with others. That can increase the elasticity and the ease of feel of the clothing when worn.

What d’ya think?

My opinion: I think this is a neat production line, but with some ethical issues to do with possible cruelty in factories and production lines. It’s an animal of a lower-order, but feels pain! So, maybe, a plant fibre is preferable.

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About the Author

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping and gardening, and runs In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

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