I’m very happy to spin pet fur - dog, cat, rabbit, goat but definitely not fish scales :-). Your pet is precious and what better way to have a keepsake or memento that lasts more than their lifetime? Spinning dog fur is upcycling at its very best - using the soft fluffy stuff that otherwise coats your furniture and gets vacuumed up and thrown away. And your dog will appreciate the brushing to gather the raw material.
I have been a spinner for the last 15+years and endeavour to spin your pet's fur so that it stays soft and bouncy and light. Sometimes I use a drop spindle, sometimes a wheel and sometimes a charkha. However, this means that you need to provide pet fur that is at least a cm long, clean and free of debris, and not matted or cotted. Kemp - the long and coarse guard hairs of the outer coat - are best removed as they make for a prickly yarn - as do any short 'second' cuts (where a dog groomer has gone back over with the trimmer, for example). 'Sweepings' from the groomer's floor are really NOT recommended! If necessary I can also blend your pet's fur with wool - but this will double the weight, in effect, so please bear this in mind when considering this option. Blending can help very short fibres stay together in the spinning process - but short fibres can also mean the resulting yarn will shed or moult (this should improve over time).
I charge £7.50 per 10g (p&p not included) with a minimum charge of £15. This is based on the final amount spun - not the amount received. There is usually some wastage in the processing (sometimes as much as 16%). Spinning chiengora is a very labour intensive, long process involving washing (or scouring), combing or carding and otherwise prepping the fibre, handspinning into singles and then plying before making into a skein or hank and then washing again. It takes me a full day to prep (ie hand-card into rolags) and spin and ply 100g (just less than 200yards of my default) yarn but spinning fur from a beloved pet is very special and I enjoy doing it. My default is 4ply/fingeringsport weight. A fine, laceweight yarn would cost more.
'Chiengora' (a 'portmanteau' or compound word from the french word for dog and 'angora') is at least 6 times warmer than sheep's wool and has a very fluffy halo - which will get even fluffier with time. The best chiengora uses the soft undercoat of double coated dogs which is combed out (particularly the Northern breeds such as Husky, Malamute, Samoyed etc) - but the longer, soft coats of e.g. poodles (often clipped) are also suitable but be sure to just take the fibres over 1cm in length - any shorter than that and they will moult from the yarn, and get up my nose when I'm spinning it. The coarse 'guard hairs' of the topcoat are undesirable as they can be very prickly and make the resulting yarn itchy. These need to be removed as far as is possible before spinning.
The time the yarn takes depends very much on how much prep work I need to do and how much fluff there is to spin. I will endeavour to be quicker than the stated time.
As well as spinning husky/malamute, I have spun the fur from a much loved (but now deceased) ginger tomcat, whose owner had saved his combings in a silk scarf. These little balls of fur needed teasing apart then blending with sheep's wool as they were so short. However I DID manage to spin it up and made a brioche hat and scarf with the resulting yarn. I have also spun Tibetan and King Charle's Spaniel brushings to make fingerless mittens and spun the composting wool from Jack - a border collie - and managed to make just a small heart with the result. The most recent commission has been fur from a ragdoll cat (from Italy) - which has been amazingly soft and easy to work with.
Thanks for visiting my shop. Look forward to working with you to help you get the yarn you want from your pet.