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Topic: spinning from pet hair?  (Read 4252 times)
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hobbledehoy
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2006 06:10:25 AM »

Thanks for the heads-up!  I'll give it a whirl.
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2006 08:44:22 PM »

I was just thinking of this today, as I have practically a whole fleece worth of dog hair at the moment. Our 80lb puppy is blowing her winter undercoat, and when I say blowing, I mean I thought she had a disease when I saw the first tufts come out.  Holy cow!  They're about 3" long, soft and slightly curly and a rich sort of grey to black color.  I also have an actual whole fleece gifted by a neighbor of my parents that I have yet to decide what to do with.  Having never done any spinning before, I was thinking having the wool processed would be the best thing, and I've heard that dog hair is even warmer than wool, and Mina's is such a pretty color... I wondered if when I had the wool processed whether I could send in some of the dog fur as well to have it cut with some of the wool... Do you think that could be done?  I was thinking that having it processed to roving would be best for my first spinning venture, and I really think the length and type of dog hair would make it good for spinning, but i could be wrong...  would this maybe not be my best bet for a first spinning project?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2006 08:46:05 PM by Lothruin » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2006 04:44:58 AM »

That's a good question, lothruin. I was wondering something similar. My mothers groomer brought me a bag filled with the most beautiful and softest clippings from my mother's dogs and a few other dogs, including a standard poodle and a husky. Then she called me from a trip in washington and informed me that I should soon be getting a shipment of several pounds of wolf fluff!

I'd love to be able to spin some of that up into wolf mittens, but I'm really thinking that getting it processed with some wool is going to be the best way to go. Let me know if you find out whether your processor with put them together. If they will, I'll have to look into investing in a good fleece!
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2006 07:04:26 AM »

If the dog hair is a full 3", I don't think you'd have to blend it with wool to spin - you may still want to, for the warmth factor, but it wouldn't be strictly necessary. If you happen to have a pair of wool combs, you could probably comb the hair as-is, and give it a quick wash after spinning Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2006 09:09:01 AM »

It actually ranges from about 2.5" to 3" and when I say "slightly curly" actually mean it's sort of crimpy or crinkly.  It isn't actual curls, it just has a crimp to it, and having curly hair myself, i know this makes it more likely to catch with itself.  The fibers are not smooth.  (And juding by how this fur is coming off Mina in great rufts I'd say that's probably true.)  I don't have any combs, but I suppose I could get some (I'll want some eventually anyway) and see what it's like.  Maybe it won't be quite long enough and cutting it with wool will be best.
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2006 07:36:13 AM »

I have spun straight dog hair and dog hair mixed with wool. I think it depends on what you want to do with the yarn whether you should use a mix or not. The dog hair yarn I made is almost as warm as angora, which is a little warm for Alabama's weather. The mix with wool was better for a scarf and I made one for my step-mom as a suprise with some of her dog's hair and she loved it. Her dog was very curious about it as well  Cheesy Keep in mind though that if there are still some guard hairs in the mix, they can shed just like your dog would. If you are going to be using fluff from the skin though that is much more like a sheep's fleece and would probably not shed. I think you could spin either a mix or only dog haid and be happy with it, depending on end use. I agree that combs are a good investment. That's what I used to straighten the dog hair I spun.
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2006 11:00:17 AM »

Ok, so after sorting throught the stuff that is mostly "clean" fluff (ie the stuff taken off after my hubby brought home a special comb for de-fluffing the undercoat rather than the stuff I used a regular dog-brush on, which got a little matted and has pegs from the rather cheap brush stuck in at random) I've got a large ziploc freezer bag quite full.  It measures about 4 oz.  There might be a few guard hairs, but it's mostly downy soft winter undercoat, straight from the skin (dander and all).  And most of her upper body hasn't blown yet, plus her lower portion isn't fully gone, so I expect by the time I'm through I'll have about 8 oz of the most lovely grey to black.  The stuff at the base of the fur is a pale grey, while the tip is black like her overcoat, so there's this beautiful texture to the fluff...all sort of motly dove greys.  Depending, though, on where the hair is coming from, some of it is much shorter.  All the hair from across her back, haunches, and the stuff now coming from her neck ruff is in the 3" range, but the stuff from her legs is only just over an inch long or so.  So, I think I'll cut it with the fleece is waiting at my mom's house, which she is washing a little at a time. 

I don't know anything about preparing fleece, but my mother's sort of taking care of a lot of that, though she doesn't know much more than I do.  She has many friends to help her with advice, though.  I guess my next question is, I know the fleece has to be skirted and washed and all that... at what point should I add in the dog hair?  I mean, my dog is not a sheep.  lol  She gets regular baths, you know, and isn't allowed to carry much debris around with her, plus, as I've said, the hair is coming off in great, soft, free tufts, and (though it's a real chore) we keep her free from matting, so there's really no... it looks like it should be ready to add in during the carding process? 

And my next question is:  Is this just a really strange thing to do?  My husband looked at me like I was crazy when he came in and saw me pulling the matted stuff out of the fluff and stuffing it in a bag... I said "I'm going to make something from Mina's fur" and he blinked once and shook his head.  Personally, I think her hair is beautiful in color and dreamy in texture, just crimpy enough to hold onto itself but not at all wirey, and considering she could hang out in our Nebraska winter weather for hours before we simply had to MAKE her come inside, it seems like it must be quite warm as well.  Obviously, since this thread (and others) exist, it isn't abnormal or anything, but... Well, as an example, I have a number of things my mother made me when I was a kid that got random hairs from my childhood pet crocheted into them.  This is nostalgic for me, like a little memento of my companion who has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.  But with Mina's fur (and maybe it's because there is so MUCH of it, and this is intentional, and also because Mina is a puppy, and i'm looking forward to many long years with her) it seems like it's less nostalgic and more utilitarian.  I just look at all this fur and think that it would make a lovely texture if spun into yarn.  I'm not looking to make something special... I just think it'd make nice yarn.  Is THAT weird?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2006 11:15:22 AM by Lothruin » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2006 12:22:23 PM »

I don't think it's weird at all! If I look at all the money I spend on fleece and roving, then think about all of the fluff that my dog puts out, it just seems wasteful not to use it. I have a retreiver mix that puts off this loveley soft light golden undercoat, and a shelty mix who has a silky chestnut brown and white undercoat. I can't imagine what I'd pay to find something like that in your "typical" fleece.
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Vildhavre
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2006 03:08:09 PM »

I'm totally asking everyone I know that has a dog if they can save some fluff for me after reading this thread  Cheesy  Unfortunately my parents two dogs have short hair, nothing usable. But my cat on the other side, he's got a wonderful fur and I'm saving every little bit of it  Grin

Lothruin: I don't think it sounds weird at all. Sounds very sound to me. But on the other side.. I've tried spinning fibre from some faux fur fabric I have...
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2006 12:56:10 AM »

Okay, my dog (chewie) sheds a TON of fur every day, so I have been thinking about brushing him, saving the fur in a jar, spinning it into yarn, and then knitting him a dog coat out of it.  Grin Has anyone ever tried this before? Will it work?
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