Knitting is an art, and doing so with angora yarn enhances the finished product beyond most expectations.
The fluffy Angora rabbit produces this fine yarn. Angora goats, on the other hand, produce mohair. The fiber of the Angora rabbit is known for its softness and silky texture. Colors of the Angora range from pure white to black depending on the rabbit that is producing it. The rabbits can be plucked or sheared about four times each year. Although they may shed the fiber, plucking will yield a much less matted fiber than that which is gathered from the cage.
This time consuming process can easily account for the price of Angora. Most markets will sell it for ten to sixteen dollars an ounce. Knitting with it is meant for the experienced knitter rather than the novice. The quality of the product is very high. The silky softness is above expectations.
Often the Angora fiber is combined with wool. This will allow for some elasticity. There is no elasticity in the Angora itself. If you are choosing to felt your finished piece, you will find that felting with Angora yarn is easily accomplished.
Grooming of the rabbit must be done weekly or more often to prevent the fiber from felting or matting. The rabbits cannot groom themselves so there is a possibility that they will eat their hair which will cause health issues.
The best of the yarn is obtained from the upper portion and the back of the rabbits. This will produce a cleaner and longer fiber. Lesser quality fibers are obtained from the other parts of the rabbit's body. The lower sides and neck may have some matter in it which is undesirable. The legs and buttocks produce the lowest quality and produce a much shorter fiber than other parts of the body. Felting on the rabbit should be avoided and can be so if the rabbits are groomed daily. This will produce a higher quality knitting yarn.
People may prefer the durability of cashmere, but the softness of the Angora is unsurpassed too. The shortcoming of the Angora wool is it's propensity to shed. Some will argue that Angora is itchy and is thicker to keep you warm. It all boils down to personal taste.
The best of Angora yarns are hand spun. This process will produce a much softer silkier product than machine processing. It also has what is known as the proper "halo"
Angora wool will not be found in your discount department stores or even some large hobby stores. It can be found in high end yarn shops or in several places on the internet. Angora garments can also be found in better department stores or on several websites.
Although this is a true fur, there is no harm done to the rabbit in acquiring it. You can call it guilt-free luxury.