All fiber harvested and sold is unwashed, premium quality
There are four breeds of Angora Rabbits that are recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Of these, the Satin Angora Rabbit is the rarest. A Satin Angora Rabbit will only produce around 8 oz of wool per year. This is the least amount of wool produced annually of all Angora Rabbits.
Satin Angora Rabbits' collagen cells are more densely constructed than other Angora Rabbits. This makes satinized wool the strongest of all angora fibers. The satinized hair shaft is also narrower and translucent, resulting in a richer color. These aspects together create a fiber that has increased strength despite a more fragile appearance.
There are three ways of harvesting fiber – plucking, shearing & combing. At Obscure Acres we choose to pluck our rabbits. “Plucking” a rabbit's fiber unfortunately can leave a bad impression with some. This is secondary to media showing unethical commercial fiber farmers who have been caught restraining animals, then ripping the fur off when the rabbit isn't molting. This leaves the rabbit in a bloody mess. This practice is NOT at all how plucking is done, or should EVER be done. Because of these “farmers” many people think it is not possible to have humanely harvested Angora. That is simply not true, you just have to know your source. Plucking the fiber does not actually mean you are pulling the rabbit’s hair out of the skin. Nor does hand plucking involve a blade. Rather it utilizes the natural shedding process that the rabbits undergo twice a year. Hand plucking is simply dragging your fingers through the coat when it molts and collecting the fiber. It is actually the gentlest (but most time consuming) of the three options.
At Obscure Acres, we only sell premium wool. Premium wool is fiber from the back and shoulders only. Hand plucked premium wool is most desirable because it does not have a blunt end where it was cut, there are also no coarse guard hairs, and it is of optimal length. Retaining its natural texture at each end, and ensuring three inches in length or more makes the fiber easier to spin straight from the cloud, or to card in a carder.
Once plucked, all harvested fiber is immediately frozen in spacious rigid containers. This storage helps to prevent felting of the fiber prior to use. Freezing the fiber also ensures a pest free end product (though risk is low).