Can I Really Make Yarn out of my Dog's Fur?

Bronwyn Harris

Knitting and crocheting have seen resurgence and are a way to create special gifts and garments. Today, there are more varieties of yarns than ever, made from wool, alpaca fur, hemp, silk, cotton, and many synthetic materials. Novelty yarns have also become extremely popular, creating all sorts of textures and effects. It is even possible to make yarn out of your dog's fur.

The fur of some cats and dogs can be spun into yarn.
The fur of some cats and dogs can be spun into yarn.

Most yarn made from natural fibers is made from animal fur, hair, or fleece. Cashmere is made from the hair on a goat's stomach, wool from a sheep, and angora from rabbit fur. Although some people might shy away from the idea of wearing a garment made with dog fur yarn, it can be a good way to remember or honor a special pet while making a beautiful keepsake or item of clothing.

Dog fur can be made into yarn using a spinning wheel.
Dog fur can be made into yarn using a spinning wheel.

Most pets nowadays have a comfortable life, with good nutrition, health care, and adequate shelter. All these components improve the quality of their fur. Many varieties of cats and dogs have an undercoat that spins well, is soft, and extremely warm. Unless you have many cats, however, it will take some time to collect enough cat fur for spinning. Dogs are generally larger than cats, and therefore have more surface area and more fur to shed.

Angora is made from rabbit fur.
Angora is made from rabbit fur.

When you decide you want to make yarn out of your dog's fur, you first need to begin collecting it. As you brush your dog, save the fur that comes out and is caught in the brush. Make sure you store the fur correctly; fur must be completely dry before storing, and be stored hung up, in a dry, open, light space, to prevent moths from laying eggs in the fur. An old pillowcase is the perfect receptacle for your fur. Dogs have different lengths of hair and longer hair will be more useful for creating yarn.

There are more varieties of yarn available today than ever before.
There are more varieties of yarn available today than ever before.

The amount of fur you need depends on what type of project you want to knit or crochet. Hats, mittens, and socks each take about 4 ounces (113 g) of fur. A scarf may take about 10 ounces (283 g) of fur, and a sweater around 42 ounces (1.2 kg) of your dog's fur. This depends, of course, on the size of the object to be created, and the thickness of the yarn to be made.

Using pet fur to make yarn can be a good way to save money on buying yarn for knitting projects.
Using pet fur to make yarn can be a good way to save money on buying yarn for knitting projects.

The next step in making yarn out of your dog's fur is to spin the yarn. This can be done yourself, with a spinning wheel, or by a number of yarn companies that will turn fur into yarn for a fee. These companies can be easily found online.

The advantage to using a professional to make yarn out of your dog's fur is that they will not only spin the fur into yarn but will wash it, condition it, and usually treat it with special enzymes that will prevent the "wet dog" smell or any other unpleasant odor.

Once you have created the yarn, you can use it to knit or crochet almost any project. You will need to make sure that the yarn is strong enough for the project you have in mind, as well as being the right texture and warmth. You will have a beautiful handmade item that is close to your heart in no time.

It's best to dye pet fur to the desired color before spinning it into wool.
It's best to dye pet fur to the desired color before spinning it into wool.

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Discussion Comments

anon219662

Siberian Husky hair makes excellent yarn. The undercoat is thick and makes for a very nice knitted product. Save our siberians rescue has been auctioning off knitted husky wool products for a while. You can donate your fur as well.

anon152291

Also a good fur length for spinning is about four inches, 4.5 cm you could try but it will be difficult if it's even possible.

anon152290

The type of dog fur you use has nothing to do with how thin the yarn gets. When you spin the yarn you determine the thin or thickness pulling the fiber thinner or leaving it thick. So a sheepdog could produce lace type yarn, it depends on how you spin it.

anon134344

White Samoyed dog fur makes one of the best furs for spinning. The fur becomes whiter and whiter the more you wash it and it has excellent insulating qualities for mitts, toques and scarves.

FirstViolin

People can laugh all they want, but hand dyed dog yarn is expensive! You can make a killing out of making and selling that stuff!

galen84basc

So does the type of yarn you get depend on the type of hair your dog has? For instance, if you had an English sheepdog you would get chunky, bulky yarn, and if you had a Golden retriever you might get more of an mohair or aran yarn? Is that how it works?

closerfan12

Huh -- I had never heard of this. Can you use dog knitting yarn as sock yarn? I love to knit socks, and this sounds like it would be a fun project.

Can anybody tell me if there are special yarn patterns for dog yarn, especially for socks?

anon37219

My dog's fur is medium length; will it still be able to be spun? Length of an individual fur is about 4.5 cm long. Will it fall apart as I spin it?

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