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Topic: Bleaching/Lightening Angora Wool Before Dying?  (Read 1664 times)
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blackie.sage
« on: September 16, 2010 06:49:06 PM »

So, tomorrow I'm going to pick up my first bunny. I've been waiting to get a bunny for almost a whole year now, but it wasn't until about a week ago that I realized I could get a cute new pet AND "free" wool at the same time by getting an angora.

The only thing I'm concerned about is that the only bunnies left from this litter are gray (Dark black faces and medium gray body). From what I've seen, harvested wool from gray angoras are pretty light colored, but I really love to dye my yarn really bright and colorful. I REAAAAALLY love the way these boys look and act, so I don't want to wait for a white bunny.

I was wondering if there's any way to treat the wool so it's a lighter color before I dye it. Obviously not using anything like cleaning bleach, but maybe diluted hair bleach or something.


I tried googling stuff "bleaching angora wool" "bleach angora for spinning", "bleach angora before dying" but nothing really helped. Most stuff seemed to be about not using bleach on sweaters, or removing color from sweaters. Obviously I'm pretty new to all this.  Embarrassed  There's probably some special keyword for lightening fibers that I don't know about...
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2010 08:46:41 AM »

The keyword you might be looking for is "discharge" or "discharging color."  I did a google search for "discharge color of angora wool,"  and found this page:

http://www.prochemicalanddye.com/store/pages.php?pageid=3

If you scroll down (pretty far) there is a section called "Discharge."  One of the links under that heading is "Bleaching Wool."  I've linked to the PDF, but just in case it doesn't work, you could navigate to it on your own:

http://www.prochemical.com/directions/Discharge%20PDF/Bleach%20wool%20with%20peroxide.pdf

I don't know if it is helpful, or would be different for angora in particular, but at least it might be a place to start (?).  Maybe someone who knows more will chime in for you also.  Good luck!!!
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blackie.sage
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010 01:21:29 PM »

Thanks for the link! That's pretty much what I was looking for, but I'm sure I'd have to be more careful with the fibers than those instructions call for.

I guess it will be trial and error, unless someone else is more knowledgeable about this. My boy won't have a useable amount of wool for a few more weeks. Maybe I'll do some little test batches of peroxide baths with the stuff I comb off of him that gets a little too tangly for spinning.
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AlpacaNanny
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010 05:26:07 AM »

Testing is always a good idea!!  Some natural fibers can easily be "burned" by chemicals or dyes that are too harsh.  I raise alpacas and dye my gray alpaca fiber.  Some gray alpaca fiber has white hairs in it and they take the dye and give a beautiful heathered look.  Dyeing with teal, turquoise or green is very pretty!!
It'a an adventure.
Good Luck,
Louise
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angorarabbit
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011 10:50:42 AM »

I have 4 angora bunnies and none of them are white.  In fact I have 2 chocolate, 1 tort, and 1 opal and when I harvest their fiber it is very light colored because of how diluted angora colors are.  I'd suggest before you get involved in chemically treating your fiber and possibly ruining it, just try dying it with a more saturated dye/for a longer period of time to achieve the results you'd like. 

I've never had a disappointing dye job with their fiber and in fact I find the darker tones given by the darker fibers to provide a beautiful depth to the finished product. 
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