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Angora

 
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tim_and_nicky



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 261
Location: Beautiful Galicia, NW Spain
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 12 6:42 pm    Post subject: Angora  Reply with quote    

We have been thinking of trying a sideline in angora production - there are others here who have tried it/thought about and also consumers of the end product. We aren't expecting to make a lot of money from it, if we manage to clear an average of 100-150 a month we will be more than happy.

I suppose our main questions are:

    - Is this a completely doomed idea?
    - Goats or rabbits? (We could accommodate either - no idea which to go for.)
    - Any info on getting hold of the stock?
    - What's the best way of flogging the end product? (Bearing in mind that we are in Spain.)

hardworkinghippy



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 1110
Location: Bourrou South West France
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 12 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tim and Nicky,

I don't know much about the rabbits except that I (and a lot of other people) find the hairs get up my nose and make me sneeze ! Also, I've raised rabbits for the table and they really don't do well in the heat.

We've been raising Angora goats for about twenty years and I can honestly say it's been great fun. The animals are a pleasure to have around and we've made a decent living from selling the yarn and the garments we make. It helps a lot if you're a bit arty and can make an unusual range of accessories or (Like us) socks for hunters or walkers - a range of stuff people keep coming back for.

We could sell a lot more but for the fact that I get fed up knitting and I sometimes suffer from carpal tunnel problems.

I don't know about stock in Spain (We're in France) but I do know an excellent breeder in the south of France near Spain who we borrowed a lovely male from a couple of years ago. I'm sure once you have a look around you'll find good stock - although it's worth travelling to get a starter herd from several different lines to avoid inbreeding. I suppose I don't need to tell you to buy the very best you can.

When we started with the goats, we did a lot of fairs and Christmas markets, visits to our farm and so on to become known in the area where we live and now that we're quite well known on the internet, most of our sales are mail order.

Honestly, I'm not advertising - in fact we've almost finished working with our Angoras as we've another project on the go - but I've kept 17 goats (At one time we had almost a hundred.) that I can't bear to part with to make stuff for us and our friends.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18379

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 12 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you had a look on Ravelry, in the groups about raising angoras, dealing with and spinning their fleece, and perhaps discussions about angora in the main Yarn group ?

Are you thinking of converting fleece to yarn, or selling the fleece to spinners ?
Blending it with wool ? or even nylon (memories of labels in angora/wool/nylon jumpers).

If you've not already joined Ravelry, maybe do so and check out the various discussions.
You could also look at angora yarns in the Yarn Database, and thence at existing suppliers.

Closer to home UK-wise is Orkney Angora, though I think that's rabbits.

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