|Here are the four rabbits being touched: standing up is French Angora buck HGF Jim, on his right is white buck Chu's Ebby. In the back are the two babies: the far left is baby English Angora buck Chu's Mackie and the broken chestnut is French Angora junior doe BCW Checker.|
Some key points:
(a) All Angora should have underwool and guard hairs. The French Angora should have more guard hairs than the English Angora but underwool is still vital. No Angora should have more hair than wool, Angoras are wool breeds, not hair breeds.
(b) The English Angora and the French Angora were originally the same breed but bred toward different directions. The wool from the first coat English Angora and first coat French Angora are not that different; the English Angora is treasured for its first coat because it's finer and softer while the French Angora first coat with similar characteristics is considered as too soft.
(c) When the wool are harvested then grow back, there will be more hairs regardless whether it's the French Angora or the English Angora. If a French Angora still has a good amount of underwool, with the additional guard hairs from the second and subsequent coats, the texture would be considered as ideal. Same situation in the English Angora would be considered as too coarse. The standard is so written that the best show coat for the English Angora breed is the first coat while the best show coat for the French Angora breed is the 2nd or 3rd or ... coats.
(d) The French Angora wool has a slightly bigger diameter than the English Angora wool thus easier to care for. The finer the fiber, the harder to untangle. If one uses an extreme example: imagine the embroidery thread vs. the rope, it's harder to untangle a messed-up ball of embroidery thread than a messed-up pile of the rope.
Toward the end of Betty's presentation, she asked the participants about their feels of wool samples that have been passing around when the session stated. Though there were some correct answers, most identified them incorrectly. The French Angora wool in the bags was from the first coat but the English Angora wool in the bags was from the 2nd coat; most of the participants identified the softer wool as the English Angora wool but in fact it's the first coat French Angora wool . The first coat wool is always softer than the 2nd or subsequent coats, regardless of whether the wool comes from an English Angora or a French Angora.