Angora wool is a yarn or fabric made from the fur of Angora rabbits. The texture of Angora wool is silky and smooth, making it a prized fabric for high-end clothing. Angora is very warm, making it a popular choice for sweaters and scarves. It is also a very delicate fabric, but with proper care and maintenance garments made from Angora wool can last for years.
Always read the care instructions label before attempting to wash any type of delicate fabric. Because there can be slight variations in the exact construction of Angora wool, it is necessary to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for your particular piece. Most often it will need to be dry cleaned to prevent damage.
Hand washing may also be an option, but Angora should never be washed in a washing machine. When washing by hand, only use mild detergent and cold water. Work the detergent into the fabric gently. Do not scrub vigorously. Be sure to rinse completely, but do not wring out. Doing so could cause your piece to become misshapen. For best results, lay flat to dry on an absorbent towel. Never use a dryer or place in direct sunlight or near a heat source. Do not iron; heat can be very damaging to Angora wool. Major spot cleaning should be left to the professionals, but some stains and spots can easily be removed at home by gently cleaning with a damp sponge or soft brush. Again, work gently. Excessive scrubbing can cause permanent damage.
Knowing the appropriate way to store Angora will also help extend its life. A well-ventilated closet is your best bet. Use cedar blocks or moth balls to help keep insects away. Pieces can be stored either hanging or folded. Do not store Angora pieces in plastic bags or boxes as these will not allow the fabric to breathe. A special sweater bag is, however, acceptable and will prevent insect damage. If hanging, use a padded clothes hanger to help maintain the shape of your piece. When you are ready to wear, hang the article on a padded hanger in a steamy bathroom for about 24 hours. This will help remove any wrinkles that may have become present during storage.
Because Angora wool is such a delicate fabric, the most important thing to remember is to treat it with care. Keep it protected as much as possible when in storage, and always dry clean or wash by hand. Being cautious will help your Angora garments remain beautiful and functional as long as possible.