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.
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