Now that autumn is firmly ensconced, I turn my attention once again to those lovely angora sweaters. I love angora sweaters, but my special devotion lies with vintage angora! You see, most of the new angora sweaters that you find today are flimsy, thin, and in a blend with about five other fibers, leaving the angora content around 10%. They tend to pill very easily, and are not soft, furry, or have that extreme hairy fluffiness that vintage angora has.
I am always on the hunt for quality vintage angora. The best decade for FABULOUS angora sweaters was the 1980s. OMG, those sweaters are just the bomb! Usually made in Korea (where I think the best angora comes from), and in incredibly bright colors, with bold shoulder pads and ornate beading and embroidery embellishments. Just completely out there in that bold 80s way!
But the most fabulous thing about the 80s angora is that is almost always 80%, 90% or 100% pure angora rabbit hair. It is just incredibly thick and plush, with long fluffy hair. The softness is not to be believed! I have sensitive skin, and cannot wear wool or mohair next to my skin. But angora (and cashmere) is so soft and nonirritating against the skin. Very warm too, without the heaviness of wool.
I gently wash my vintage angora sweaters in lukewarm water and Woolite. I air dry, and then carefully comb out any pills with a fine tooth comb. Never, never, NEVER dry clean angora! The natural rabbit hair was meant to be washed, not bathed in chemical solvent. It will turn out sparking clean, soft, glossy and fluffy.
The vintage 1980s white angora bolero and pink angora sweater shown are two that I have sold recently. They are off to new homes with appreciative angora lovers.
So don’t be afraid of angora! It is truly a glorious fiber, brought to you by mother nature.