Wool Micron count in angoras

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Ferra

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Hey, guys!! I finally got the calibration slide for my microscope. I've been waiting for months... so now I can have my microscope measure things for me - including rabbit fluff. Voila!

AngoraMeasurement.png

I did a quick test run and measured a random sampling of wool fibres from my French Angora doe, Dust Devil. It's not exactly "scientific" yet - I chose a random sample and measured all of four fibres. However, I'm still pretty excited about what this will let me do in the future, once I hammer out my measurement methods.

But I was pretty meticulous about measuring things like growth rate, weights and feed intake with my meat buns. I feel like this will give me the tools I need to crush those who oppose me make excellent breeder selection and showing decisions with my French Angora.

Fun, right?
... Okay, maybe this is actually only fun for me, the uber-nerd. :lol:
 

alforddm

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That is really cool. It would be interesting to see angora compared to a sheep's wool.
 

Ferra

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alforddm":3hbukcut said:
It would be interesting to see angora compared to a sheep's wool.

It is very doable - if I get my act together, I do have a stash full of wool fleeces, as well as llamas, alpacas, camel down, silk, mohair, moose down and various Angora breeds. (And then a bunch of plant and synthetic fibres to boot)

Just a matter of finding the time to sit down and take a bunch of really, really zoomed in photos!
 

Ferra

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Your estimates are spot on, SixGun. Though there are some structural differences that I am keen to explore. The blocky structures in the photo, for example, are the medulated air cells in the Angora that provide so much warmth and so little weight. I would love to compare that to other fibres.

But what I am super interested in is getting micron data on a per animal and per life-stage basis.

The sample from Dust Devil above was 14-17 microns at the time, but that was with 4 measurements, and may have included more guard hair than down.

I plan to work this project up further, but right now all my projects are coming due at once - I have my master Spinner workbook, my MS Bike tour event, my giant career move plans, my birthday party and a transition period with the Toastmasters club I am on the executive for all hitting me at once ...

... So I failed to update this.

Ugh. Sorry guys! I am hoping when summer proper hits, things will slow down and I can get back to my sciency projects in earnest.
 

SixGun

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I would be very interested in seeing the difference in visual structure of the hair vs underwool, as well as the micron count.

All good things come in time.... no rush Ferra, but I love the sciency stuff.
 

Ferra

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alforddm":3h7mj2pe said:
That is really cool. It would be interesting to see angora compared to a sheep's wool.

Finally that day has come! But first, a little science project. :D

I heard once that dyeing angora wool would collapse the air cells in the fibre, due to the heat in the dye pot, and would render the dyed angora less-warm than the undyed fibre. I really wanted to test that... so here goes! My dye proceedure was to keep the fibre at ~186F for one hour, and then allow it to cool overnight in the dyebath before washing/drying.

Before dyeing (Fibre Courtesy of Dolly Rock Dust Devil)

QoNjQJu.jpg


After dyeing

dP8Uu19.jpg


It's definately harder to see the air cells when the fibre is a deep blue, but it still has air cells... so if heat CAN collapse the air cells in angora, it doesn't happen at 186F. My spouse has suggested an angora "stress test" - boil the fibre and see what happens then! We'll see if I can find it in me to boil my fluff...

And then, for fun:
A really weird pigment area in a guard hair. (Dust devil is a "snowballed" red. White down, red guard hairs.)
FgaUgNy.jpg


Another pigmented guard hair, but dyed blue:
1I8SOZJ.jpg


Images of a brown (coarse, adult) alpaca fleece. You can see it too, has a hollow core, at least on the right.
1V4fWXT.jpg


And finally, a Finnsheep fleece. No hollow cores here, and more of a "sawtooth" scale pattern
vAPSkOH.jpg
 

Nymphadora

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So cool, Ferra!!!

I completely agree with GBov, thank you for sharing your fantastic tests... I love seeing the structural difference of the fibers! Makes me wonder what acrylic or silk would look like under the microscope (my assumption would be very smooth, given how slick it can be to spin). :mrgreen:
 
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