Let me start by saying that those of you who are reading this, will either be excited or repulsed by what I’m about to say. There’s not a whole lot of in-between on this one, so here goes.
Did you know that you can knit dog fur into sweaters and blankets?
Some people have an automatic knee jerk reaction to that idea. We typically think of dog fur as something that is both dirty and a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I think most folks just need a moment to let the idea sink in, since it’s not something that the average person has considered. In reality though, it’s no stranger than knitting with wool. The only reason why it’s never become commonplace, is that it’s not very economical. Most dogs can’t produce the same amount of material as sheep, and their diet is more expensive, so farmers never used dogs. Thus, the public was never introduced to the idea.
As for why some people would do this (and it is a growing niche market) it really depends on the person. Some think it’s stylish and quirky while others just want a nice memento to remember their pet by after it dies. But what makes this idea so intriguing to me, is that dog fur is ridiculously warm. While it varies depending on the breed, everyone who has tried it agrees that dog fur is warmer than wool, with most estimates placing it at around 2 to 8 times warmer. And best of all, you can wash it without worrying shrinkage.
So how do you go about making your dog fur into something useful like yarn? I found a nice short video that will give you the rundown on how this is done with really basic tools.
I should mention a few important details that weren’t included in the video. First of all, the fur needs to be a certain length. 2 inches is considered the best. Anything less than that, and the yarn won’t be very strong. You should also know that it’s not a good idea to shave your dog. You’ll wind up with stubble that is mixed in with the long hairs. The best way to get the hair is by brushing the dog’s coat.
And finally, it’s important to actually shampoo the hair after you collect it. This will not only remove the smell, but will make the yarn safe for people who are allergic to dogs.
So if you own a long-haired dog and happen to live somewhere that gets dangerously cold in the winter, you might want to consider making some of this yarn. And if you’re interested in learning some of the finer details of dog fur knitting, you’d should check out Knitting With Dog Hair which is the best (and probably only) book on the subject.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
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