or Angora fibre
refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit
. While the names of the source animals are similar, Angora fibre is distinct from mohair
, which comes from the Angora goat
. Angora fibre is also distinct from cashmere
, which comes from the cashmere goat
. Angora is known for its softness, thin fibres, and what knitters refer to as a halo (fluffiness). It is also known for its silky texture. It is much warmer and lighter than wool due to the hollow core of the angora fibre. It also gives them their characteristic floating feel.
Angora rabbits produce coats in a variety of colours, from white through tan, gray, and brown to black. Good quality Angora fibre is around 12–16 micrometres in diameter, and can cost as much as US$
10–16 per ounce
(35 to 50 cents/gram). It felts
very easily, even on the animal itself if it is not groomed frequently.
Yarns of 100% angora are typically used as accents. They have the most halo and warmth, but can felt very easily through abrasion and humidity and can be excessively warm in a finished garment. The fibre is normally blended with wool
to give the yarn elasticity, as Angora fibre is not naturally elastic. The blend decreases the softness and halo as well as the price of the finished object. Commercial knitting yarns typically use 30–50% angora, in order to produce some halo, warmth, and softness without the side effects of excessive felting.