Crafts & Hobbies Information

Using Your Dogs Hair


Dog hair (called chiengora)can be spun into yarn, much like sheeps's wool, alpaca, or any other animal fiber. The process is the same. Dust and oils can be washed out of the spun hair, so there is no "doggie odor." Amazingly, the spun yarn is warmer than wool, easy to care for, and has an angora-like fluffy texture. Until recent times, most dog owners didn't realize the beauty of the colors and texture of their dog's hair could be used in the manner of sheep's wool.

It's really as easy as brushing your dog. There are some guidelines to getting the best and softest yarn possible. When brushing your dog, be sure to collect from the parts where the hair is the longest and softest. This is undercoat. Hair must be 2 inches or longer for best results. Hair should be clean and dry, with no grass or debris in it. Brush the hair from the longest, softest parts of the dog, saving only this hair. It is the undercoat you want, not the coarse top coat. Clippings will not work well for spinning with dogs that have double coats. There is too much guard hair, and the yarn quality will not be as nice as the pure undercoat.

Remove dog hair from the brush and save it in a paper bag. Save hair that is completely dry, and as clean as possible. (Do not attempt to clean it once it is brushed off the dog!) Bathe your dog first, and brush when the hair is dry. Paper allows the fiber to "breathe" and not be trapped with oils in a plastic bag. The best way to store the hair from brushings, is in a paper sack, or cloth bag, such as a pillowcase. Despite what your mother or grandmother used to do, NEVER USE MOTH BALLS! Moth balls contain a toxic chemical that is dangerous to breathe, and it is impossible to remove the mothball smell from the hair. How much do you save? It depends on what will be made with the finished yarn. Most small projects use about 6 ounces of hair.

Transforming dog hair into yarn takes much time and care. First, the yarn is evaluated for spinning. Depending on length, and how the yarn will be used, I determine if the hair needs blending with a soft merino wool. Blending minimizes shedding out, and produces a more durable yarn. Although most people want 100% of their dog's hair to be used in a product, this isn't always possible. The dog's color can still be seen and the fluffy texture is still present in the finished yarn.

From this point, the process is the same as spinning sheep's woolI use a drum carder for the blending process. This carder has metal teeth on it, that comb the wool, so the fibers are lined up and ready for spinning. The fiber is lifted off the drum carder, loosely rolled up, and set aside by the spinning wheel.

The yarn is spun into single strands on a spinning wheel, and then plied for strength. The yarn is then cleaned by hand, using a mild conditioning detergent or dog shampoo, and air dried. It is then wound into balls or skeins and is then ready to be knitted or crocheted into a scarf, hat, ornament, and many other things.

Because it is handcrafted, and personal, a chiengora gift makes a sentimental remembrance. It is better to begin collecting hair while your pet is healthy and younger. People have often told me that it is comforting to have a soft, "pettable" scarf, hat, teddy bear, or other item made from their dog's hair, and it brings back happy memories.

Fran Pike spins and knits with luxury fibers, including angora, alpaca and "chiengora." She founded Rover's Comb to enable people to have beautiful keepsakes made from their dog's long, brushed hair. Her work is showcased at http://www.roverscomb.com


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


Stitch and Bitch
Madison.com
Thu, Sep 20 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Sep 27 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Oct 4 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Oct 11 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Oct 18 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Oct 25 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Nov 1 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Nov 8 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Nov 15 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Nov 22 @ 3:30 pm · Thu, Nov ...



Bubbler Artist-in-Residence Open Studio
Madison.com
Stop into the Bubbler Room to meet the Bubbler's artist-in-residence Jacki Whisenant and learn more about Jacki and why she is wild about the wild things in this world! Draw with her or take on your own interpretation of creatures real and unreal with ...



Scientific Illustration Workshop: -- Tiny Things w/ Bubbler artist-in-residence
Madison.com
Join artist Jacki Whisenant in this workshop that will use FoldScopes (lightweight, portable microscopes that use a smartphone and a stage to see microscopic views of small objects). There are so many amazing things to explore in this world, and it is ...



Ancient Earthworks Society Series -- Petroforms with Diane Fox
Madison.com
Join your AES colleagues and guests at 10:30 AM on Saturday, September 15 at the South Madison Library as researcher Diane Fox introduces us to petroforms (arranged and altered rocks) — an aspect of Wisconsin's ancient record that is both poorly ...



Live, Relax, Enjoy, Play - Zentangle Class (register early, limited space)
Madison.com
"Letting Go" (e.g., judgements, fear, worries, stress, regrets, etc.) stimulates the creative process. Bring your giggles (belly laughs too), "me" playtime attitude, and curiosity as you explore the creative process of ZIA (Zentangle inspired art ...



Banner and Card Making for Confetti Foundation!
Madison.com
Did you hear the news? We recently started working with The Confetti Foundation, a national non-profit who provides birthday boxes to hospitalized kids! Their mission really resonated with us (after all, confetti and celebrating ARE built right into ...



Canvas Throw Pillow Workshop
Madison.com
Throw pillows are an easy and chic way to update any chair/bed/room. Spend an evening DIY-ing something new for your apartment, house, or dorm room! Choose your desired pillow cover (we'll have multiple colors to choose from!), then embellish it using ...



Fall Porch Pot Make and Take
Madison.com
Fall is such a special time of the year here in Wisconsin. From the crisp fall air to the vibrant colored leaves that adorn our trees, fall truly is magical! Why not bring some of that fall magic home with you. We invite you to join us for our Fall ...



Alicia Ashman Darn Yarn Group
Madison.com
Alicia Ashman Library hosts this club for crocheters, knitters, and other fiber-crafters. This group meets twice a month, on first and third Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the library. It's a great place to meet with other crafters, learn about ...



Folk School Class -- Saami Inspired Bracelets
Madison.com
The Saami are a nomadic tribal group that follows the migration of the reindeer in northern Scandinavia. Traditional Saami adornment incorporated elements of their northern environment – softened reindeer leather and sculpted antler. In this course you ...


Google News

home | site map | Shell Art
© 2006