Northern California Angora Guild

Monday, April 04, 2016

Angora Color and Wool Length, Part 2: A Chocolate Angora is Never Chocolate

We have seen this picture in yesterday's post.   In the litter that was born in December 2011, there were black, chocolate and tort.  Dad is a black and Mom is a chocolate tort.  

At three weeks old, the two chocolate babies are very rich chocolate.

This is Chocolate Kiss at about 10 weeks old.

Chocolate Kiss is about 6 months old in the full sun.

Chocolate Kiss at around 7 months old. 

Chocolate Kiss at around 10 months old.   She is beautiful but her wool color is no longer the rich chocolate as seen when she was a baby.   Baby has short hair, the color is concentrated in that shorter length/space, when the wool grows, the similar amount of color is being shared by a longer and extended surface. 

  We'll attempt an explanation by using a rubber band.

This a salmon colored rubber band in its natural state.   Color is rich, as all the color are concentrated in it non-stretched state.  

The same rubber band is being stretched, analogous to the growth of the Angora wool (this is an analogy, I am not suggesting that the wool is being stretched).   The similar amount of color is being shared by a longer and extended wool, the surface color is now a lot lighter.   The coat of normal fur rabbits do not show such a process as the normal fur growth is nowhere near the extreme of the wool growth of Angora rabbits.

One may comment that human hair keeps the color whether one wears it long or short.  The reason is that the structure of human hair is different from animal hair, and that wool is different from any kind of hair.

  Here is a quote from a Forensic Science Communications article:

"Animal Versus Human Hairs
Human hairs are distinguishable from hairs of other mammals. Animal hairs are classified into three basic types.

    • Guard hairs that form the outer coat of an animal and provide protection.
    • Fur or wool hairs that form the inner coat of an animal and provide insulation.
    • Tactile hairs (whiskers) that are found on the head of animals and provide sensory functions.
 Other types of hairs found on animals include tail hair and mane hair (horse). Human hair is not so differentiated and might be described as a modified combination of the characteristics of guard hairs and fur hairs.
Human hairs are generally consistent in color and pigmentation throughout the length of the hair shaft, whereas animal hairs may exhibit radical color changes in a short distance called banding. The distribution and density of pigment in animal hairs can also be identifiable features. The pigmentation of human hairs is evenly distributed, or slightly more dense toward the cuticle, whereas the pigmentation of animal hairs is more centrally distributed, although more dense toward the medulla.
The medulla, when present in human hairs, is amorphous in appearance, and the width is generally less than one-third the overall diameter of the hair shaft. The medulla in animal hairs is normally continuous and structured and generally occupies an area of greater than one-third the overall diameter of the hair shaft.
The root of human hairs is commonly club-shaped, whereas the roots of animal hairs are highly variable between animals." 

In addition, the smoother the surface the more reflection is the color while a less smooth surface will not reflect as much color, think the glossy finish vs. the matte finish in photo prints.  The guard hairs are straight and more smooth than the underwool, the Angora breeds that have more guard hairs and/or more straight hairs will have more intense color than the breed with more wool.    English Angora has the most wool vs. guard hairs in all four Angora breeds, it's evident that the English Angora in general has the lightest color, while the French Angora and the Satin Angora have more intense color.       

This photo is taken of a tort English Angora, one can see the crimp along with lesser guard hairs that creates a surface that is not conducive to color reflection.

We will take a look at the agouti pattern in the next few days.    With the bands in the agouti pattern, the color situation is even more complicated. 


Post a Comment

<< Home