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This fluffy ball is actually a rabbit – the Angora rabbit from which the silky and soft Angora wool is harvested.

The Angora rabbit is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, believed to have originated from Turkey. The story goes back to the early 18th century, when some sightseeing sailors were put into a Turkish port then called Angora. The sailors found the shawls worn by the native women to be remarkable for their beauty, fineness and silkiness. So before the sailors left Angora they secured some of the Angora rabbits to take back to France. The French claim the Angora rabbits were first recorded in France in the Encyclopedia of 1765. In any event, it was the French who first saw the commercial possibilities of Angora wool and began to manufacture this type of wool into yarn. Aside from their commercial use, the rabbits became popular pets with French royalty and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the century.

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© Amusing Planet, 2013.



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