Has anyone used dog hair as a fiber?

Randy Bear's picture

My partner and I raise and show Shetland Sheepdogs.  They generate a LOT of shed hair, generally the soft, downy undercoat.

I saved the (cleaner) combout hair with the intent to spin and knit with the hair.  The resources I found recommended carding in some wool to allow for a slightly looser twist upon spinning (wool has scales that interlock and allow the fibers to hold together under looser tention, apparently).

Well, I could never figure out the damn spinning wheel and gave up.  If anyone knows where I can send a big bag of clean dog hair for spinning, please let me know.

A friend of ours has Great Pyrenese Mountain dogs, which have the SOFTEST and WARMEST undercoat.  She saved some of the hair she collected for me and I would LOVE to make a scarf out of the hair.

Randy Bear

Randy Bear's picture

Hmmm, read the topic before you post, yes?

drmel94's picture

Well, Darrel and I had discussed this regarding his cat and he showed me this company. You might also try contacting the Peachtree Handspinning Guild. There's contact information for them here. I would say it's not absolutely essential to card it with wool, even though sheep-centric folks might tell you so, and an experienced spinner should have no problem spinning it up. Here in Maine I've seen quite a bit of dog hair yarn at fairs, so it's not terribly uncommon - at least not around these parts.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

hermit71's picture

I haven't used it on any projects but I have tested the fiber at the last convention which I attended and it was interesting though not that unusual. It knit up nicely. I noticed that the breeds' coat type very much makes a difference. The coat from a schnauzer or one of the  terriers that have a wiry top coat over a soft undercoat was kinda scratchy and not good for socks or undies by any means but the fur from say a papillon or even a chihuahua which is softer since they are completely indoor dogs was much nicer to work with, in my opinion. I know the owners of VIP Fibers, Inc and she is very nice and will answer any questions that you might have if you drop her an email.