Different Types Of Fibre That We Get From Animals
Angora wool or Angora fiber refers to the down coat produced by the Angora rabbit. There are many types of Angora rabbits – English, French, German and Giant.
Angora is prized for its softness thin fibers of around 12-16 micrometers for quality fiber and what knitters refer to as a halo. The fiber felts very easily. Angora fiber comes in white, black and various shades of brown.
Silk is a natural protein fiber some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons made by the larvae of the silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity. Degummed fibers from B. mori are 5-10 μm in diameter.
The shimmering appearance for which silk is prized comes from the fibers’ triangular prism-like cross-sectional structure which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles. Silk is also the strongest natural fiber known. The length of the silk fiber depends on how it has been prepared. Since the cocoon is made of one strand if the cocoon is unwound carefully the fibers can be very long.
Wool is the fiber derived from the fur of animals of the Caprinae family principally sheep but the hair of certain species of other mammals such as goats, alpacas and rabbits may also be called wool.
Wool has two qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur it has scales which overlap like shingles on a roof and it is crimped in some fleeces the wool fibers have more than 20 bends per inch. Wool varies in diameter from below 17 micrometers to over 35 micrometers. The finer the wool the softer it will be while coarser grades are more durable and less prone to pilling.
Alpaca fiber is that of an alpaca. It is warmer than sheep’s wool and lighter in weight. It is soft, fine, glossy and luxurious. The thickness of quality fiber is between 12-29 micrometers. Most alpaca fiber is white but it also comes in various shades of brown and black.
Bison is the soft undercoat of the American Bison. The coat of the bison contains two different types of fiber. The main coat is made up of coarse fibers called guard hairs and the downy undercoat. This undercoat is shed annually and consists of fine soft fibers which are very warm and protect the animal from harsh winter conditions.
Cashmere wool is wool obtained from the Cashmere goat. Cashmere is characterized by its luxuriously soft fibers with high napability and loft. In order for a natural goat fiber to be considered Cashmere it must be under 18.5 micrometers in diameter and be at least 3.175 centimeters long. It is noted as providing a natural light-weight insulation without bulk. Fibers are highly adaptable and are easily constructed into fine or thick yarns and light to heavy-weight fabrics.
Mohair is a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. It is both durable and resilient. It is notable for its high luster and sheen and is often used in fiber blends to add these qualities to a textile. Mohair also takes dye exceptionally well.
Qiviut is the fine under wool of the muskox. Qiviut fibers are long, fine and relatively smooth. It is approximately eight times warmer than sheep’s wool and does not felt or shrink.