A fabric that is soft, sensuous and screams tenderness, the Angora silk yarn is made up of the world’s softest thread. It comes from the meek ‘Angora’ rabbit. These rabbits have been used to harvest the Angora silk yarn for hundreds of years, with the origin of this yarn being in Turkey. It has prevailed over the fashion world with its softness in appeal and distinctness in quality.
Origin and History
The European nations have bred these rabbits to produce the fine Angora silk yarns for years, with its popularity reaching its peak in 1790. It was not till 1920, however, that Northern America recognized its importance and value. It was basically the rich and elite who used the Angora silk as trims of coats and sweaters. The great French military and political leader Napoleon has been recognized for having started a successful Angora farming business in the late 19th Century.
Sources of Inspiration
A showcase of wealth and fine taste by the Europeans, who are forever driven by fashion, is the sole source of inspiration behind this rare and precious silk yarn, which has gone on to become a source of inspiration even for fashion designers in the modern 21st century. Angora has been considered “royalty of wool” by fashion critics across the world, and that explains the steep price that goes hand-in-hand with the yarn that undergoes extreme pains and measures while being harvested by its creators.
Faces Behind the Fabric
Apart from Europe, this yarn is produced in China, Chile, and the United States. The manufacturers usually pluck the hair from the rabbit’s’ coat to obtain the thread. However, this can be time-consuming, therefore, several producers opt for the sheering of hair as well. The most expensive quality comes from Europe, while other lower ranges of quality hail from China, Korea and Japan.
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There are 4 breeds of the Angora rabbits, namely: English, French, Giant and Satin. The English breed is considered to be the smallest, the French being slightly larger than the English one, the Giant being the largest in size and weight, and lastly the Satin, which has the shiniest and softest quality of fur.
Present Day Scenario
The Angora silk wool is harvested throughout the year, and that makes its supply easier and in abundance around the world. Italy, known for its high-end taste in fashion uses this wool extensively in most of the clothes and designs created in the country.
Since, the fur comes straight from the Angora rabbit’s coat, it is super soft. Apart from vintage coats and hats, Angora silk has been used to make soft cushions and bedspreads. It has been used on any object that expresses extreme comfort and class.
Fashion runways around the world have seen popular designs and outfits being accessorized or designed with Angora silk yarn. Moreover, the diversity in its usage has made it the most sought after wool in the world for a long period of time.
With fashion evolving and experimentation being the key, Angora silk has found itself an important spot amongst the fashionistas, who consider this type of yarn an archetype of high end fashion and class.
This wool is used for accessories as well, for example scarves and mufflers. The key is to keep it classy and minimal so that it does not take away the spotlight from the beautiful shiny texture and appeal already present in the wool.
A stole that is made of Angora silk wool is perhaps the best pick for a festive present or purchase on Christmas or New Year. The subtle shine that reflects from the wool makes it a great wear for any occasion that demands a touch of sophistication and class.
This type of yarn is best suited for harsh winter climates, and extreme cold weather. The softness of the silken wool makes you want to huddle up by a warm fire and fall into deep slumber. Comfort to a fault is the best way to describe the feeling one can get by wearing or even touching this wool.
Too much washing can cause the warmth and softness to escape from the fabric. Therefore, it is not advisable to wash it regularly. Dry cleaning or washing under tepid water is the best way to maintain its quality.
Interesting Facts and Comparisons
- The Angora rabbits are only fed commercial rabbit food
- Angora silk wool is considered the ‘crème of the crop’ amongst other yarns in the fashion world
- Angora rabbits are easy to maintain.