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Old 05-06-2006, 12:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JennyLeah
My mom calls her German Shepherd a "German Shedder" for that very reason. :rofling:

I don't spin, and I don't know very much about it at all. But I was just wondering the same thing about my cat's fur the other day. There is a company, "A Touch of Fur," that sells yarn spun from animal pelts. My personal feelings about using animal pelts aside, I imagine there's no reason it couldn't be done more humanely with the fur that our pets shed.
Normally, spinning fur does not involve using the actual pelt of the animal, so no harm is actually being done to the animal. And people who do spin with cat or dog fur (even angora bunny fur) collect it from the natural shedding process or from clippings. A friend of mine has spun fur collected from her family dog, a sheltie, and it looked really neat but was a little scratchy. It works best I think with a dog who's undercoat is very soft and fluffy. I'm thinking a cocker spaniel might provide wonderful fur to work with.
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:39 PM   #12
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I plan on doing it.
I don't spin yet, but I do plan to learn as soon as I graduate from college. We have an Alaskan Malamute and I've been saving his fur from brushings for about two years now. Malamutes blow their coat twice a year and the amount of soft down we get is amazing. I have two large trashbags full. My fur boy is 10 years old and I know he won't be around forever. I hope to learn to spin it and knit a scarf that I can have around just to touch for memory's sake when he's gone.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:10 PM   #13
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Too bad I didn't find this site before my lab/chow passed away. However, another source of fiber occurred to me today - lint from your dryer. Anyone consider this? What a great source of various blends!
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:00 PM   #14
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Dog hair is how I got into spinning
When my beloved Cocker Spaniel girl got old and infirm, I wanted something to remember her by. She had the type of soft coat that you could simply clip and spin (unlike many Cockers whose coat is too harsh, including my current Cocker). That is what launched this hobby. I have spun pure Cocker (very soft) and Golden Retriever (blended with merino wool). I did a small test of pure Samoyed, which was the best of the lot. I also have a long-haired German Shedder, but her coat, even the down is on the harsh side. I would collect combings and blend with something soft if I wanted to spin her coat. I could see this blended with some nice high-loft colored sheeps wool.

I cannot believe that when I got another dog to replace my old Cocker girl, I got 2 dogs who don't have very good coats for spinning. :( What was I thinking? <grins>
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:55 AM   #15
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I spun some yak hair recently. I think it's probably a lot like dog hair. It was very coarse and thick, so the yarn was thick even as a single ply.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:13 AM   #16
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Carolinared -I am happy to send you some dog fluff for your spindle. Its not really like yak at all. It is a lot more like angora rabbit. Soft and slick. Almost too soft to spin well. Every breed is different of course.
My "mo" is a pyranees mix.
It makes a lovely fine yarn. I have only spun it on a drop spindle. But I think a supported spindle would work even better.
The worst part about spinning his fur is that it halos a lot! It has no crimp to really keep it together well. I have not made anything with the yarn but I imagine would shed too. Experienced dog spinners tell me it is best to blend with wool. I have not tried this. They say it cuts down on shedding and haloing and makes it easier to handle. I have gotten quotes for blending of any where from 10 to 90% dog - so its probably spinner preferance.
It CAN be spun unmixed though. Its a good challenge and pretty unique!
If you would like some of my mo's fluff I would be happy to oblige. Just pm me with your address and I will get some in the mail.
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