A couple weeks ago my beautiful one year old German Shepherds starting “blowing their coats.” I couldn’t believe how much fur came off of them! Remus (the perky one on the right) was the first to start shedding back in early spring. I hadn’t thought about saving any of his hair. Now I’m wishing I had so I could have even more to spin. I think next year, I’ll be sure to save each of the dog’s hair separately, because although they are brothers, they have very different coats. Remus has very short, fine guard hairs, while his undercoat is more wiry. Romulus (the handsome laid back one on the left) has very coarse, wavy guard hairs, but a softer, almost downy undercoat. He didn’t start really shedding until a couple weeks ago. His downy coat is the yarn I am currently spinning.
I’d heard about spinning dog hair before, but I didn’t realize that I would be able to get so much fluff out of just one grooming! When I was done raking all the loose fur, which took about an hour or so, I had what looked like another dog lying next to him because the pile of fluff was so huge!
When I groomed him, I had in the back of my mind that it would be fun to spin his fur, but I hadn’t really committed to it yet. So I just let the fluff kind of blow in the wind. That evening, I started doing some research into how exactly to go about spinning this stuff. I’ve spun a very little bit of wool roving, and I’m totally new to spinning, but I was very interested in trying something fun and new. So I spent a ton of time that night just looking around the web, watching YouTube videos and reading up on spinning short fibers.
By the next morning, I had resolved to make a go of it and try this dog hair spinning out myself. If I couldn’t get it to work, at least I had tried, right? So now I had to go back and collect all the dog hair that I had foolishly let just blow in the wind outside. Luckily there hadn’t been any rain or dew the night before, so I was able to collect a pretty reasonable amount of fluff without too much trouble. I did have a few pieces of grass stuck into the fur, but it wasn’t terrible. In fact I was able to fill about two plastic sacks full of smelly, dirty German Shepherd dog hair. Now…. how to go about cleaning it?……