Angora fiber is a special animal fiber.
It belongs to the class of luxury natural fibers and is quite expensive. Compared to cotton and wool, its production is limited. Angora fiber ranks 3rd in the world animal fiber industry and exhibits a very different structure compared to other animal fibers. It definitely requires expertise to be bent.
Angora rabbit fibers differ from other wool fibers in many ways. Its medulla structure provides its softness and lightness. There is a mixed type of robe, in which there are also very coarse fibers such as brushes. The availability of these fibers varies according to the type of rabbit and is often seen as a desirable trait. This mixed fleece structure prevents felting of the fiber on the rabbit and helps to give the desired volume to the yarn . The lower fibers are thin, with an average diameter of 11-12 microns. However, in many rabbit species, there are also fibers that can increase the average fiber diameter.
In terms of density, it has a low density between 1,33-1,50 gr/cm³ when compared to wool (1,15 gr/cm³) and cotton (1,18 gr/cm³). By using this fiber, it is possible to produce very light but warm-keeping products. Angora fiber can be spun in both the woolen system and the cotton system. A small amount of blend of Angora fiber and wool fiber (5-10%) improves the handle, drape and fluffiness of the fabric. It is 30% thinner and shorter than wool fiber. Therefore, it is suitable for use in short staple spinning. Yarn dyed Angora/cotton blends, t-shirts, sweaters, sweaters, trousers, blouses etc. It can be used for high fashion products such as A 5% Angora/cotton blend increases the value of the product by 50%. In high fashion products, these products with increased value have a large place. However, it is very difficult to spin this fiber alone because it is slippery.
It is generally used mixed with other fibers. A suitable blending oil must be used for spinning . In recent years, Angora rabbit breeding has been a subject of interest in our country. However, since the producers had difficulty in evaluating the fibers they obtained, the fibers remained in their hands and most of the farms were closed. The aim of this study is to examine the possibilities of utilizing the fiber of Angora rabbits, which have suitable conditions for growing in our country. Within the scope of the study, optimum spinning conditions were investigated for the use of Angora rabbit fiber mixed with cotton in the short staple spinning system. Angora wool obtained from Ankara Rabbit gives eight times more heat than sheep wool and does not cause allergies. Corset knee brace underwear made from the wool of Angora Rabbits, thermal clothes used in physical therapy and neuralgia are good for many diseases, especially circulatory disorder and rheumatism.
Angora Rabbit's primary yield is wool (Angora)..
Second degree meat, third degree fur/leather, fourth degree yield is manure and slaughterhouse residues. Angora Rabbit's primary yield is wool (Angora). Second degree meat, third degree fur/leather, fourth degree yield is manure and slaughterhouse residues.
Angora rabbit fiber is a special fiber with shiny, slippery, soft handle and high heat retention, and unlike sheep wool, it does not need washing. Angora rabbit's lower fibers are short, thin and soft, while the upper fibers are long, thicker and harder. Products containing Angora are used for therapeutic purposes, especially in the health sector. Spinning from 100% Angora fiber is very difficult due to the low fiber cohesion and high static electricity. It is generally used mixed with other fibers. The Angora rabbit has two types of hair layers: a soft thin undercoat and a rough outer layer that prevents matting. For the fibers used, thin fibers are on average 15,7 microns, thick fibers are on average 48,22 microns, and the fiber length is 38 mm on average.
The Angora Rabbit, which is raised in many countries from Australia to France and whose numbers are expressed in millions, is found in a few farms in its homeland, close to a thousand. According to historical documents, the Ankara Rabbit completely disappeared in Anatolia in 1723. The Angora Rabbit, which was brought back to its homeland by an expatriate citizen living in Germany, started to be raised on a farm in Kayseri. The number of Angora Rabbits raised in an institute belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in Ankara is only between 500-1000. Efforts to popularize this breed, which was found by chance, continue in its homeland. The Angora Rabbit, which is very valuable, has easily adapted to its homeland.
Angora Rabbits give birth to 4 to 14 puppies in one litter. The wool, which reaches up to 40 centimeters, begins to be sheared at the age of two-three months, and each animal gives an average of 1 kilogram of wool per year. The wool of the Angora Rabbit, which is used in clothing produced for rheumatism patients due to its light and high temperature, especially angora sweater production and electromagnetic effect, is of gold value. The wool of the Ankara Rabbit is called "Angora". It is the only rabbit variant obtained from the wool of the Ankara Rabbit. It is mainly used in the textile industry. In line with the market situation and the demands of the industrialists, 4-5 shearing is done annually.
Fiber length is classified according to cleanliness and felting. First class wools Worsted second quality wools Straygarn third quality (clipping) wools can also be processed as yarn in cotton processing facilities. Angora can be processed purely or mixed with other fibers (lamb's wool, silk, synthetic, etc.), mainly at a rate of 10-40%. Angora fiber is a very light and high heat retention wool because it is medulla. Angora wool has an exceptional lubricity capacity. Due to these properties, it can be turned into yarn by mixing with pure or other fibers. Again, due to this feature, it is used in the production of inner and outer clothing (fabric fedora, sweater, blanket, gloves, beret and as fiber in ski clothes). It is also a sought-after product in the aviation field, as it passes sound waves very well.
In addition, it is known that fabrics prepared from this wool are extremely beneficial for patients with rheumatism due to the strong electromagnetic effect of Angora Rabbit wool. The age of first forties is about three months. However, this period may be even later in winter. The quality of the wool obtained in the first shearing is low. The quality of the wool obtained in the second shearing period is at the desired level. Wool yield of Angora rabbits reaches the highest level in 18-36 month old rabbits. After the age of four, wool yield decreases. Shearing is done every three months, that is, four times a year, in Ankara rabbits. An average of 1000 g of wool can be obtained from an adult Angora rabbit per year. In Angora rabbits, female wool yield is 15-20% higher than males, and the highest quality wool is obtained from females. The difference in wool yield between the sexes can be reduced by neutering the males.
The wool yield of castrated male rabbits increases by 10-12%. Another advantage of castration is that it changes the behavior of the animal. Such animals tend to be quiet, which makes group housing possible. However, castration does not affect wool quality. Pregnancy and lactation periods reduce wool yield by 1/3. Wool obtained in summer is three times lower than those obtained in autumn and winter. Wool yield is lowest in June and highest in December. The length of wool taken in winter is longer than in summer. At high temperatures (30 °C), the amount and quality of wool decreases. At low temperatures such as 5 °C, wool yield increases, but feed consumption also increases. In addition, there is a positive relationship between live weight and wool yield. As the weight increases, the wool yield increases.
Wool yield is highest in those with a live weight greater than 4 kg. In addition, the amount of wool can be increased by increasing the number of shears. In Ankara rabbits, puppies are accustomed to combing when they are seven weeks old, and they are carefully combed once a week. Combing improves wool quality. It is preferred that the comb is made of bone. A soft wire brush can also be used for combing. When the puppies are six months old, the quality of the wool reaches the desired level. By this time, the puppies are accustomed to being combed. However, it is possible to obtain quality wool without combing French Angora rabbits with selection studies. However, English Angora rabbits do need grooming and combing. Wool scissors are obtained by shearing with electric or hand shearing tools or by plucking. However, the shearing technique is more preferred than the plucking technique because it is less stressful, provides better protection against cold, less effort and time is spent, and provides the opportunity to obtain more wool with shorter shearing intervals. The clipping wool ratio (less than 10 mm) obtained in shearing with scissors is higher.
These worthless wool scraps result from trimming after shearing. In addition, care should be taken not to damage the skin during shearing. Breasts in particular are extremely susceptible to injury. At least 3 mm of wool can be left on the skin to provide heat insulation in winter with electric shearing tools. A time of 10 – 20 minutes is sufficient for shearing a rabbit. Therefore, labor and time savings are achieved with electric shearing tools. In the plucking process, only thick-tipped, immature hairs are removed.
This causes the wool to appear coarse. In addition, the heat insulation is lower in the plucking method. This process takes about 30-40 minutes. In China, the plucking technique is applied in the form of squeezing and pulling the wool between the fingers. In addition, in recent years, in France, wool is obtained by weakening the connections of hair follicles by feeding foods containing mimosin and causing epilation (Lagodendron). In rabbits who eat epilator food, wool is obtained by plucking every 5 days with the help of special saw-tipped blades with a tip of 100 cm (by wrapping the hairs on the ends of the blades and pulling the blade) or combs. In this type of wool production technique, wool is collected in a very short time and the quality of the obtained wool increases.
However, as all wool is shed, animals should be kept in straw-filled crates for a few days to prevent cold shock after molt. In the first week after shearing, there is a shock period and then a sudden increase in feed consumption, especially at temperatures lower than 20 °C. Feed consumption doubles with shearing shock and stress. This situation forces the metabolism and causes disorders in the blood circulation. Chronic diseases such as Pasteurella become acute and deaths occur as a result. 50% or more of deaths in Angora rabbits occur in the first week after shearing. For this reason, optimum temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius before shearing and 25 degrees Celsius after shearing should be provided in rabbits. The brightness, specific gravity, softness, elasticity of the wool, length and diameter of the hair, felting, bristle and pollution rate are the factors that determine the quality of the wool. Rabbit wool can be classified into four qualities.
First quality wool is evaluated in two subclasses:
- 1A quality wool is a clean, shiny soft and straight (arrow-like) wool longer than 6 cm.
- 1B quality wool is clean shiny soft and wavy wool longer than 6 cm.
- Second quality wool is clean, shiny and soft wool between 3-6 cm.
- The third grade of wool is felted wool.
- Fourth grade wool is dirty wool and this wool is not sold.
Four quality wool is obtained from a rabbit in one shear. The resulting wool is ventilated for several days and classified according to its quality. Wool can be stored for many years in a moisture-free and safe environment. Wool is stored in compressed bales of at least 300 – 400 kg in order to be sold to spinning mills.