Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Bunny haircut!
June 30, 2011 9:11 AM   Subscribe

This is how angora rabbits are sheared to collect their soft fiber which can be spun into yarn and knit into sweaters, mittens and hats.[SLYT] posted by mccarty.tim (47 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The world (ok, the US) would be a better place if we could all make our own clothes from scratch again.

Yeah, I know there's that whole not-enough-time factor, but still.
posted by Melismata at 9:20 AM on June 30, 2011


Angora
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM on June 30, 2011


Oh boy! I've always wanted to watch bunnies rigged up on medieval torture devices! This is great!
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


What the fuck?!
posted by Maisie at 9:29 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The rack is so great! Man, I used to get dragged up to the Sunapee Craft Fair each year when I was a kid, and one of the highlights was always the fact that some weaver would have an angora there with her, and I could stare at it, and it would stare back through a giant cloud of puff fur. They are wicked puffy, yes they are.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:29 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


O_O
posted by mindsound at 9:30 AM on June 30, 2011


MetaFilter: They are wicked puffy, yes they are.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:31 AM on June 30, 2011


o.O

They put the cute wittle fwuffy bunny on a rack?
posted by zarq at 9:32 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


then put the lotion on its skin...
posted by k5.user at 9:33 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


...or else it gets the shears again.
posted by zarq at 9:35 AM on June 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


My friend has such a creature, for the making of softnesses.

Bunneh

Bunneh

Bunneh hiding in a hat

Bunneh yarnz


The first time I hung out with the above cute beast was before he was neutered, and my friend decided it would be a nice thing for us to card some angora she had just gotten from some other rabbits, because angora is soft and helping is fun.

And that is when I learned that apparently when male rabbits get excited they poop everywhere. Piles and piles. Maximum raisin time. Shocking amounts.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:36 AM on June 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I dub that device a Furtisserie. Heaven help any bunny with an itchy nose, though - I had a sympathetic itch just a few moments into the shearing.
posted by vanar sena at 9:38 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't know - one man's rack is another rabbit's massage.
The bunny looked calm and content.

Animal husbandry does not necessarily equal torture.
That bunny is no doubt well fed and well cared for.
Better treated than many humans, no doubt.
posted by Flood at 9:45 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


How to card angora fiber.

How to spin angora fiber: Part One. Part Two. Or you can spin it on a drop spindle.

My mother-in-law brought my wife a spinning wheel last month. My basement is rapidly filling with mysterious piles of fluff, skeins of yarn, pots of dye, and arcane wooden equipment. Send help.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:46 AM on June 30, 2011 [11 favorites]


Do they make those racks in larger sizes? Like a DIY kit?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:46 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


What gets to me is that the bunny is perfectly calm; it may look like a torture device, but bunny is quite content.

But I want to see what they look like with the haircut -- so I googled it (scroll down).
posted by jrochest at 9:47 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like how the rack lets them turn the rabbit. It must make the post-shearing roasting much easier.
posted by menschlich at 9:51 AM on June 30, 2011


Yeah, don't discount what a bunny might consider relaxing, I used to house-sit for a rabbit that was happiest when I was vacuuming it. Any other animal would have been tearing away to another room, but Basil would sit patiently and let me deal with his shedding by gently going over him with the hose from a shop vac.

Weird little critter.
posted by quin at 9:54 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


The rabbit may be scared, but I'm certain it's not in any physical pain. And it only has to go through this once every three months or so. There are worse lives for a rabbit.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:57 AM on June 30, 2011


The world (ok, the US) would be a better place if we could all make our own clothes from scratch again.

When was the last time you think this was the case, exactly?
posted by kenko at 9:57 AM on June 30, 2011


Okay, you just triggered my knock-knock joke series.

Knock Knock.
[who's there?]
Ester (pronounced with a Bostonian accent so it sounds like "Estah")
[Estah who?]
The Estah Bunny!

Knock Knock
[who's there]
Anna. (Pronounced "An-nuh")
[Anna who?]
An nuddah Estah Bunny!

Knock Knock.
[Oh for fuck's sake. Who's there?]
Norma.
[Norma who?]
Nor more Estah Bunnies!
[Thank Jesus.]

Knock Knock.
[Oh Jesus fuck. Who's there?]
Ila.
[Ila who?]
I lied. I'm an Estah Bunny too!
posted by charred husk at 10:02 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


BitterOldPunk: My basement is rapidly filling with mysterious piles of fluff, skeins of yarn, pots of dye, and arcane wooden equipment. Send help.

No can do, she's currently enrolled in my online course for knitwear designers. It only gets worse from here!

{eeeeeeeevil laugh}
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:18 AM on June 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


If this video bothers you, never go anywhere near a shearing shed.
posted by zamboni at 10:19 AM on June 30, 2011


My mother-in-law brought my wife a spinning wheel last month. My basement is rapidly filling with mysterious piles of fluff, skeins of yarn, pots of dye, and arcane wooden equipment. Send help.

ahahahahahahahahaha. So that's what it looks like from the other side.

The world (ok, the US) would be a better place if we could all make our own clothes from scratch again.

I don't know about that, but the US would *certainly* be a better place if its textile industry became a real thing again. Mini mills and craft textiles manufactured in the US are starting to grow some legs, but I'd truly love to see a robust, dynamic American fiber and garment industry.

(I make a lot/most of our clothes—pants, skirts, dresses, shirts, knitwear—tackling jeans is my next thing. It's great and all, but it means adjusting your expectations—what you have is really nice, but you don't have much of it.)
posted by peachfuzz at 10:30 AM on June 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


The bunny in the shearing-rack-device looked a lot calmer than the one getting manhandled by the DIY person. Bunnies (I own 3) can get used to anything if started when they're young and given how much faster the shearing is I'd imagine they're ok with it. They don't love it, I'm sure. The angora being cut with scissors really made me uncomfortable. Bunny skin is *very* thin and most vets will tell you never to cut with scissors to get rid of matts in fur, they always prefer clippers.

Also: ZOMG FLOOFY!
posted by Salmonberry at 10:35 AM on June 30, 2011


My cat is overdue for his summer haircut, I wonder if he'd fit...
posted by elsietheeel at 10:41 AM on June 30, 2011


direct from the rabbit
posted by jeffburdges at 10:46 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Confess, bunny, CONFESS!!!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:49 AM on June 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


"They'll everage ebout sex bebies in the letter"

There's nothing quite like that accent.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 11:03 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "Do they make those racks in larger sizes? Like a DIY kit?"

Yes... Yes they do. Why don't you drop by and we can... discuss it.
posted by Splunge at 11:35 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ahem. Well. I own a fine Borsalino hat. I know that they make it from rabbit fur. While a cursory search shows no cites for Angora specifically, I'd like to thank all the naked, shivering and perhaps traumatized bunnies out there for their fine fur.
posted by Splunge at 11:40 AM on June 30, 2011


Freeeeeedommmmm!!!
posted by Awakened at 12:14 PM on June 30, 2011


Finally! An idea on how to cut my 2 year old's toe nails!
posted by stormpooper at 12:31 PM on June 30, 2011


Ahem. Well. I own a fine Borsalino hat. I know that they make it from rabbit fur. While a cursory search shows no cites for Angora specifically, I'd like to thank all the naked, shivering and perhaps traumatized bunnies out there for their fine fur.

I hate to tell you this, but rabbit felt hats are made from the underfur of rabbit pelts. The bunnies who were used to make your hat aren't doing much of anything at all.
posted by zamboni at 12:59 PM on June 30, 2011


Weird, for some reason I always assumed they just vigorously brushed Angora bunnies with those cat brush like things to get the sheddings to make Angora yarn. And that's why it was so prized, because besides its soft fluffiness it's difficult to get fur off of a rabbit. I didn't think they actually shaved them, because that's just ridiculous, shaving rabbits. How would you even shave one anyways? Well, I guess I know now.
posted by kkokkodalk at 1:18 PM on June 30, 2011


At one time I kept 6 angoras both for breeding and for their hair. I always plucked them-- the hair comes out quite easily. I spun my own yarn and knitted hats, mufflers, and baby booties. This was in Southern California at the time and when it got too hot for them (their little faces would sweat) I would take them for a swim in the pool.

The momma-to-be plucks her own belly hair when she makes a nest for her babies. Once in awhile one of the baby bunnies would get a long momma hair wrapped around his ankle; the little foot would lose all circulation and eventually fall off, then the baby would have to be euthanized. While some breeders chose to wring their necks, I always put my bunnies to sleep in the freezer.

I would think about keeping angoras again except that years ago I traded my spinning wheel for some orchids and I have a busy life with so many other activities now. Still I'm glad I had the experience.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:25 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Having watched the sheep "speed shearing" competition at the county fair, I was unwilling to watch this until I read the comments. *whew*
posted by JoanArkham at 5:00 PM on June 30, 2011


You know who else kept Angora rabbits?
posted by Grimgrin at 5:11 PM on June 30, 2011


You know who else kept Angora rabbits?
Yes
posted by unliteral at 5:43 PM on June 30, 2011


I watched the whole thing not for the bunny shave, but because I loved her accent. This is New Zealand, maybe?
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:49 PM on June 30, 2011


My mother-in-law brought my wife a spinning wheel last month. My basement is rapidly filling with mysterious piles of fluff, skeins of yarn, pots of dye, and arcane wooden equipment. Send help.


You're beyond help. That's what happened to my friend. She learned how to knit and got a drop spindle. Then a spinning wheel. Then a better spinning wheel.

Now her entire house is engulfed in knitting.

You're done for.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:12 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering what New Zealand exports that cannot be turned into sweaters.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:45 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


zamboni: "Ahem. Well. I own a fine Borsalino hat. I know that they make it from rabbit fur. While a cursory search shows no cites for Angora specifically, I'd like to thank all the naked, shivering and perhaps traumatized bunnies out there for their fine fur.

I hate to tell you this, but rabbit felt hats are made from the underfur of rabbit pelts. The bunnies who were used to make your hat aren't doing much of anything at all.
"

Cite please. Seriously.
posted by Splunge at 9:53 PM on June 30, 2011


Felt hats can be made either of fur felt (medium or high price) or wool felt (low price). Fur felt hats are chiefly made of rabbit fur. Some hare fur is used to make better felt hats, and is often mixed with rabbit fur to produce hats in various medium price grades. …

By "fur" is meant the downy under-fur of these animals, not the long, coarse hair that is commonly called fur. Only this under-fur has on the surface of each fiber the barb-like projections which will lock the fibers together to make a strong felt hat.

The long hairs are pulled out or sheared off. The remaining under-fur is chemically treated to raise up the microscopic barbs for better felting. It is then cut from the skin, or to be exact, the skin is cut from it, being shredded away by flailing knives. So precisely is this done that the loose fur retains the shape of the skin when it leaves the cutting machine on a moving belt. Various grades of fur from the form, such as cheeks, flanks, sides, entire, center backs, etc., and packed in different paper bags for storage. Cut fur is considered as "long stock," while recovered fur, such as from hat trimmings for roundings, is called "shortstock".
posted by zamboni at 10:14 PM on June 30, 2011


Splunge - from FAO, United Nations - Production of rabbit skins and hair for textiles "It is therefore machine shorn and used for textiles or felting (although the hat trade is declining in many countries)"
posted by unliteral at 10:17 PM on June 30, 2011


zamboni!
posted by unliteral at 10:19 PM on June 30, 2011


I'd like to thank zamboni for sending me further info via MeMail about Borsalino. I still love my hat but I'm not happy about their practices. I'll probably send them an email stating my concerns, not that will change anything. Lots of conflict here.
posted by Splunge at 12:39 PM on July 4, 2011


« Older Giles Turnbull responds to the "20 craziest job in...   |   When a TV meteorologist says "... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments