Mary Ellen also had some questions about angoras this weekend. She asked about guard hair in the coat and about wool production. When we speak of guard hair in the angora, we're not really talking about a stiff textured hair like you see in some other animals. The guard hair of my angoras carries more color than the wool and it also springs out from the yarn to create the halo effect that angora is known for. When I spin the angora, I really can't tell by touch which are wool and which are guard hair. But you can see it in the finished product as the yarn blooms with handling. Sometime the guard hairs seem a little longer than the wool.
Production of wool varied with the lines and genetics. Most of my lines produce between nine and twelve ounces per quarterly shearing. The amount they are producing has improved over the years here at Greenberry House and I hope it will continue to improve. For me that's about one vest per clipping, since my vests average about eight ounces each. Blending with wool makes it go further, of course, and is often wise since angora is a very warm fiber. So one rabbit, even one of my lines that produces less wool, would give you enough wool to produce lots of skeins of yarn. I don't know much about the production of other breeds, only my Germans and German crosses.