How To...

Published on December 31st, 2013 | by Rosie


Get productive with your pet’s hair

When I was at primary school, my teacher would often bring in big plastic cartons of her dogs’ hair. We’d use the hair to make all sorts of interesting pictures for our families. As an adult looking back it seems a little strange, maybe a little bit gross, but more and more people are using their pet’s smooth, fluffy hair to make beautiful, soft yarn. Maybe Mrs Ferguson was on to something…

One of the most popular animals used for this purpose is an Angora rabbit. We discussed the recent controversy around that recently on the blog here. Its fur is taken and spun to make yarn which is both softer and warmer than sheep’s wool. It’s much more likely for homes to be suited to looking after a rabbit, rather than a sheep. Not only does a rabbit cost less to raise, but it also needs less space.

For avid knitters, the thought of owning a constant supply of their own “free” yarn, is a wonderful one. So much so that people are taking up knitting specifically for that reason. To put it into perspective, one angora rabbit can grow between 56 and 114 grams of usable fur, every 3-4 months. This can then be spun to create up to 100 yards of yarn. (You’re considering doing it yourself now, aren’t you?)


Back in 2007, French photographer Erwan Fichou highlighted the fact that the fur of domestic animals could be used to make yarn, by taking a collection of photographs of dogs and their owners, proudly modelling their home-grown and home-spun creations.

lady dog2   man dog

Some people choose to spin and knit the fur from their deceased pets – it’s a nicer (and warmer) alternative to stuffing an animal, which also benefits them. Now people can be close to their beloved animal for years to come.

What do you think? Time to spin your own?

About the Author

loves changing her hair colour, buttons and the rain. As a relatively new knitter with an Interior Design background, she loves to make cushion covers using chunky yarn. Especially colourful ones.

Last updated: December 27th, 2013.

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