How do I clean angora?

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on Jul 4, 2010 7:09 AM

I was recently given some rabbit angora fiber that had been in storage for at least 15 years and has a really bad wildlife smell to it. I'm new to spinning and this is my first experience with raw fiber of any form.   I did a basic google search for washing angora and only got info about washing sweaters and that angora fiber doesn't need to be washed before spinning.  How do I wash it to get the smell out without losing the softness?  I'd appreciate any suggestions.  Thank you.

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L Tyler wrote
on Jul 6, 2010 7:58 AM

I wonder if - just to lessen the smell, without washing - you could # 1, let it air well, then # 2, seal it up with an open box of baking soda in a plastic bag for a few days?  I've always heard the "angora is clean to spin straight from the animal" philosophy, & wondered if it also was a warning that angora is a real nuisance to wash before spinning. If you do wash it before spinning, don't be shocked to find it has gone from a great, fluffy, puff to a little wet, pathetic-looking rag of fiber during its bath - it will revive as it dries, &  you gently tease it apart until it's nice & fluffy again. As Denise wrote, felting is the thing to avoid!  I think I would try to spin before washing, myself. Good luck!                            LT

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