Weaving With Your Dog

Now that fall is here (in the Northern hemisphere) and the thermometer is slowly dropping, there is plenty of inspiration for weaving warm scarves and blankets. If you're looking for a warm and fluffy material to work with, you might want to consider chiengora. It’s 80% warmer than wool and exceptionally soft. What is this wonderful fiber? It’s spun dog hair, and it’s steadily growing in popularity with weavers and other fiber fanatics.


Chiengora is “harvested” from a double-coated dog not by shearing, but by brushing out the loose undercoat that would otherwise be shed. Once spun, it makes a fuzzy yarn similar to angora. It can also be blended with wool to make it less warm, less fuzzy, and more elastic. 


Worried about your beautiful scarf smelling of wet dog? Don’t be. As long as the hair is properly washed it won’t smell like dog any more than a merino sweater smells of sheep. Have allergies? Those are caused by oils and dander which are also washed away. 


If you think your dog’s fur would make an excellent candidate, you can spin it yourself. If you don't spin, but you still want to turn Fluffy's fur into a wonderfully warm shawl, you can send it in to a number of online companies that will do the work for you. They will process, spin, and dye the chiengora to your specifications and send you the ready-to-weave yarn. With chiengora, you can take your beloved pet with you anywhere.

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