Spinning notes: Angora

This is one in a series of spinning notes I'm writing up over the course of my fiber sampler project.

I got a 10g sample of angora rabbit top from Sara's Texture Crafts, part of her exotic fiber sampler.
Hand spun on drop spindle brilliant white angora bunny halo yarn
Angora is a very fine, short-stapled fiber from angora rabbits. Angora yarns exhibit a distinct halo.

The top was pretty compacted, so prior to spinning I had to do a bit of fluffing. After opening up the top, the true nature of angora was apparent. The unspun fiber is buttery soft to the touch, and flies everywhere when you spin it. The fiber is a really brilliant white - I'm not sure whether that's the natural color or if it was bleached.
Handspun angora rabbit lace weight yarn
Angora wanted to be spun much finer than wool, and with a lot of twist. Most of my yarns were 17-20wpi, but the Angora ended up 25wpi.

I was expecting the angora to fluff up and halo after washing and whacking, but actually the finished yarn remained quite smooth. It's fine and wonderfully soft to the touch. I was really taken by the softness, but not so much by the spinning of it - short-stapled and slippery, it was one of the more trying fibers I've ever spun. I do wonder how it would work in a blend - keeping the soft handle, with some ease of spinning by adding in a little bit of a longer fiber.

In the future, I'd like to try spinning an angora-merino blend, perhaps. I'm not sure if I'd like to spin pure angora again, because it was a little frustrating. However, the finished yarn is fantastic - so I'd like to work with laceweight angora yarns in the future, but perhaps not handspun ones.


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