All fiber harvested and sold is unwashed, premium quality
There are four breeds of Angora Rabbits recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Of these, the Satin Angora Rabbit is the rarest, and produces the least amount of wool per year, around 8oz. The satinized hair shafts are narrower and more translucent. This results in fiber with a richer color, glossier sheen, appearing more fragile, yet having increased strength. As such Satin Angoras' scarce wool is highly desirable. There are three ways of harvesting fiber – plucking, shearing & combing. At Obscure Acres we choose to sheer and pluck our rabbits.
Shorn fiber will contain guard hairs, have blunt ends, and will be more cost effective. The guard hairs will provide a richer and deeper color. Though the guard hairs create a coarser cloud, some state the coarseness of shorn fiber allows them to spin more easily. Some also state these guard hairs prevent knotting from occurring during storage.
Hand-plucked fiber is not actually “plucked”. Instead, "plucking" refers to the careful action of collecting already loosened hair. This type of harvesting occurs when the bunny molts or sheds its coat. When molting, the fur is literally falling off the rabbit’s body as it is no longer attached to the skin. Hand-plucked fiber is the highest quality fiber that can be obtained. This is because all the fibers collected are of optimal length, fully grown ensuring three inches in length. Hand plucked fiber does not have blunt ends, and is without coarse guard hairs so it is especially soft. Some say these traits make hand plucked fiber easier to spin straight from the cloud, or to card in a carder.
At Obscure Acres, we only sell premium wool. Premium wool is fiber from the back and shoulders only. It is all unwashed or processed. Once harvested all 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).