Questions for spinners re: dog hair

Question #1: I have heard and read that many dog breeds’ coats are spinnable. In the lists I have found, my baby isn’t on there, but I was just grooming him and I did a makeshift carding of the fiber and just kinda twisted it in my hands a bit and it “spun” beautifully, making a uniform shape and staying together, so I think my doll is spinnable after all. I haven’t actually spun anything before, so I need to ask, is that an acceptable “test” for spinnability or is there something else I can do? Don’t have a lot of fiber yet or a spindle.

#2: if you are collecting hair from grooming, like a dog or angora rabbit for instance, where you’re not getting enough to spin in just one sitting, are there rules on how to keep the fibers you groom off so they stay “fresh”? Is this a dumb question? I guess I was just thinking if the oils dried out or something like that, that would be bad. Then I’m wondering if I should wash it as if I was ready to spin it as soon as I had enough to bother washing it or if I should wait until it’s ready to be spun and do it all at once. At this point I just am collecting in a Ziplock baggie.

Thanks so much!

I have a friend who just finished spinning a bunch of dog hair (well, about a small hank’s worth, plied). I think her mom just collected it over a period of time, maybe kept it in a baggy. I don’t think you really have to worry about it that much. But I could be wrong. I haven’t had a lot of experience with prepping fibers.

I don’t know if it’s all that conclusive, but I usually do some finger spinning of a wool that I’m interested in - twist it between your fingers while pulling on it gently.

What kind of doggie do you have? My mom has a cocker spaniel mix and I would love to spin his fur, but she refuses to collect it for me. And unfortunately my dog doesn’t have a undercoat that sheds much, so all I get from her are the coarse outer coat bristles.

mine is an australian shepherd

That’s a pic of him a few months after a grooming, so that’s not even his full coat. He’s a hairy monster and all of it is soft. He looks all white in that pic, but he has a lot of red and brown on him and would make a lovely variegated yarn! (Is that a true sign of a knitter/spinner, when you envision a color card of your dog’s coat? :roflhard:)

The owner of my natural pet store also owns the groomer next door and I asked her if she would consider donating the sheared coats to me of the most spinnable breeds and she said absolutely! I’ll have garbage bags of it for you in no time! This all sounded wonderful until I had visions of not being able to walk through my apartment between the yarn stash and garbage bags of fur. I opted against it, but I am definitely going to start hanging on to whisper’s. That’s something you could consider though if you really wanted to try the dog hair.

Thanks for your help! :slight_smile:

oh he’s a gorgeous puppy, I can see why you’d want to spin his fur!

yeah, I know what you mean about finding an apartment or house full of bags of fur/wool/roving on top of all the yarn. I’m really having to limit myself on the spinning front because of that! My husband accidentally threw out a bag full of beautiful merino because it was in a trash bag waiting to be spun :shock:

Sorry, this is OT – but your dog looks soooo much like my dad’s dog. Abby is an aussie mix, mostly white, and also deaf (I assume Whisper is deaf from the link in your sig?). Abby is amazing, she knows a ton of hand signals, and is a very intelligent, sweet dog.

Anyway, your dog is a cutie! Oh, and good luck with the spinning!

Hi, I have a book suggestion for you: it’s called “Knitting with Dog Hair” and has lots of info about collecting and spinning with dog hair. It should give you all the info you need. I’m not a spinner (yet) but it did seem to cover the spinning aspect of using dog hair very well. I was able to get this book at the library thru ILL.
From what I recall, the book said to just collect the hair in a clean paper sack until you have enough to use.
Good luck!