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Spinning Angora

Angora is one of those fibers that inspire you to spin. That ball of fuzziness whether it is on or off of the bunny gives even the most conservative spinner visions of haloed sweaters or baby buntings made for the littlest angels. But if you are anything like I am, the first time you grab a handful of bunny fluff it is completely different than any other fiber you have spun.

Angora comes in various forms for spinning. It can be plucked or shorn. The fiber can be bagged loose or carded into a batt or roving. There are pros and cons to all of the preparations.

I will say that from my own experience I favor spinning angora that has been plucked rather than shorn. The blunt shorn end does not separate very easily and tends to create lumps in the yarn. The shorn fiber is usually a bit less expensive, and you can get larger amounts of a consistent color.

The plucked fiber hasnít had the compression at the ends like those of shorn fiber. Hence it separates much more easily. This makes it easier to spin a fine and even yarn. The con to plucked roving is that it is usually more expensive, as the fiber is harvested in very small batches, compared to shearing an entire rabbit at once.

With both plucked and shorn angora, it does not need to be carded. This is especially true if you purchase it in a tray pack which prevents compression. To spin it, take a small amount in your drafting hand and hold it very loosely to spin. If your hands get sweaty, try using a bit of baby powder on them before you spin.

To spin angora roving, begin by performing a drafting test. Grasp the roving with each hand and slowly tug to see how easily the roving stretches. If it is difficult to pull, pre-draft it prior to spinning. Another option is to split the roving into two or more separate thicknesses to reduce the amount of drafting required as you spin.

We all know that angora can be a very pricey fiber. To get a bit more yarn for your project, consider strand blending the angora by plying it with another fiber. It can also be carded in with another fiber. The softness of angora lends itself very well to blending with a slightly coarser fiber that has more loft.

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