At Knit Your Dog, we turn your dog’s hair into clothing, accessories, and gifts. Shed happens, and it’s actually a beautiful thing!
So… about dog hair, dog wool, dog yarn…
Knitting dog hair is nothing new, believe it or not! The official term for wool spun from dog hair is chiengora. Not all dogs’ hair can be spun pure; many breeds’ hair must be mixed with more conventional fibers such as sheep, alpaca, or others. The best hair for yarn is the undercoat of a longer-haired, rough-coated dog, such as Chow Chow, Golden Retriever, Samoyed, Newfoundland or other such breed. Guard hairs (the waterproof, outer part of the coat) are not good for spinning, and tail and back end hair is horrible — really wiry and hard.
Because dog hair is not the same as sheep, goat or alpaca, it does not spin in the same way.
Dog hair that has been clipped generally cannot be spun well. Only dog hair that has been harvested by brushing can be spun well into yarn. In order for it to spin, the entire hair shaft is needed. You can read much more about clipped hair here.
How do I get wool from my dog’s hair?
2. The hair will need to be washed to remove dirt and dog smell. The overall weight of the hair will decrease as the dirt is removed (and the volume increases exponentially).
3. Once the hair is washed and fully dry, it is then carded. This process aligns the fibers so that they will spin properly.
4. If the hair can be spun on its own, it will not need to be blended with other fiber. Otherwise, it will be matched to a conventional fiber and blended to make it long and stable enough to spin.
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