There is much controversy regarding the origin of the Angora rabbit.
The story, according to generally accepted theory, goes back to
the early 18th century, about 1723 when some sightseeing sailors
put into a Turkish port then called Angora. The sailors found the
shawls worn by the native women to be remarkable for their beauty,
fineness and silkiness. So before the sailors left Angora they secured
some of the Angora rabbits to take back to France. The French claim
the Angora rabbits were first recorded in France in the Encyclopedia
of 1765. In any event, credit must be given to France for seeing
the commercial possibilities of Angora wool and for being the first
to manufacture this type of wool into yarn.
The National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club, Inc (NARBC, Inc) was
first organized as a specialty club for Angora breeders in 1932
with the AR&CBA (now the ARBA). The NARBC, Inc still remains a chartered
National Specialty Club with the ARBA.
In the 1944-1947 Standard of Perfection, the official names were
listed as English Angoras and French Angoras. Prior to this the
Standard was listed as 'Angora Woolers' without specifying a breed.
The Satin Angora was accepted in 1987 and the Giant Angora was accepted
in 1988. Thus the 1991-1995 Standard of Perfection brought four
breeds of angoras for representation.