It took me approximately 30 min to do the job and boy was it messy! The hair was randomly floating all around me, it did eventually settle. (a thorough Vacuum job ensued as well) I can already tell that she seems much happier and is less hot. I was worried to begin with, I wouldn't normally have thought it wise to shear shortly before birth, as the mother generally pulls her own fur out to provide a warm nest for the babies. But, the thought of an Angora birthing mess all over that gorgeous white hair that I would be spinning with, overcame my fears. I did save a bag of the poor cuts (mostly shorter under belly hair that would be harder to spin, and is more coarse in texture) for her nest, more than enough to keep the babies warm. I'll give it to her when she begins to nest in a day or two.
I started by using my fingers to part her hair down the middle of her back on her spine. This allowed me to cut in "corn row" straight lines starting at the top of her back and working my way down her sides. ^^shown above^^ As I worked, I found that she had some thicker tufts, Shown on Right, that came off in thick clumps. I think that this may have been caused by her last shearing, maybe a few spots were missed then. For the most part, it was fairly easy once I got the hang of it.
The fur was easy to remove. It wasn't that big of a hassle really.
These rabbits have a very tame temperament and sit in your lap without too much trouble. Believe me, I've had some "jumpy" edgy rabbits on my lap in the past, and it is not enjoyable.
It was a very neat experience over-all. It is amazing to think that people did this hundreds of years ago, and that it is still considered to be a useful fiber.
Next time I'll plan to use much sharper scissors. Although I used the sharpest I had available, next time I'll probably get a better option.
I'll be doing it outside from now on. Inside is too much of a hassle, (cleaning up the floating fur) and when she chose to relieve her full bladder on my lap, that didn't work out too well. (Yes, she seriously did! I don't blame her though, most animals due to have babies in the next 2 days often don't have much control over their bladder) But still, that was extremely interesting shall I say? to deal with.
I'll also wear an Apron. I ended up looking like her by the time I was done and required a full change of clothes. Yes, an Apron will make a vast improvement.
That is all for now folks. Thanks for stopping by! Check back for the next step: Spinning it into skeins of yarn. :)