By Margaret Bartold
Everyone who has Angoras has wool that can be entered in the w/s/g contest at the ARBA Convention and the National Angora Specialty Show. It may be that one doesn’t know how to prepare the wool for entry so hopefully this will assist you.
The first step is to find a container with a lid. It can be a box, plastic storage container, etc. however it does have to be large enough. I try to find boxes or containers that are at least one inch longer than the length of the wool I’m harvesting.
The other criteria is one must have at least 1/4 ounce of wool in the box/container. You may use a postal scale or one of the diet scales to help weigh the wool. I always have about a half-ounce to an ounce or more of wool in my containers. It’s just easier for me to weigh.
For judging the wool is divided by breed as well as being plucked or clipped. The color of the wool is not a factor. The wool should have harvested within one year of the event in which you are entering. If you time it right you could actually harvest the wool for the National Angora Specialty Show and show the same wool at the ARBA Convention or vice versa.
You can see the criteria is very easy to follow.
Those who are unable to attend the ARBA Convention or the National Angora Specialty Show may still enter. All one must do is mail the entry along with fee ($2.00 per entry) and return postage to the person designated for the event.
So with that being said, how and what do I do to prepare my entry? While I know everyone has their own method I’m going to share mine with you.
1. I always make sure my angora is well groomed. I like my wool to be free flowing and not felted at the skin. I also make sure I have used hand lotion to ensure there is no static.
2. I section off a small piece of prime wool (the wool over the back), brush it and clip it close to the skin. One must make sure there are no second clippings when cutting the wool. This is the reason why I use a small section.
3. Be sure to keep the wool straight and place it in the box. One can see this box is actually too small as the wool hangs over the top of the box. I have found using tissue paper as a liner in the box to be beneficial for this very reason. It is much easier to pick up the sides of the tissue paper and move it to a bigger box than it is to try and move the wool.
4. For the next clipping I move about an inch from the previous clipping to ensure I don’t get any second clippings (little bits of wool from where I clipped previously). Once again brushing prior to clipping to ensure the wool is straight.
5. Place this clipped wool on top of the previous clipped wool.
6. It is very important one doesn’t just put a bunch of wool in a box/container as presentation is just as important.
7. I continue clipping the fiber until the box/container is full.
Plucking the fiber is another method. One must ensure the fiber is straight in the box/container for a nice presentation.