Betty Burian Kirk
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Hair Yarn
Q: Can all dog hair be spun?
A: Nice yarn can only be spun from the hair brushed off of dogs that are double coated. A few examples are: Collie, Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dog, Sheltie, Kuvasz, Husky, Malamute, Chow, Golden Retriever, and Belgian Sheepdog.
Q: Can I ship the dog hair?
A: Yes, email (Betty@bbkirk.com) for shipping information or if you are local you can drop it off.
Q: What do I need to do to the dog hair?
A: Store the hair in paper bags or cardboard box – NOT in plastic bags.
Q: What happens to the dog hair when you receive it?
A: I will wash it and fluff it out on screens to dry. When dry, I card the fiber (align the fiber for spinning). The dog hair is then spun into yarn. When all the yarn is spun, I create a 2 ply yarn by spinning together two strands of yarn. The yarn is then skeined and washed. The finished dry yarn is weighed and this weight is what is used to calculate the fee I charge for spinning.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: I charge $10 an ounce for spinning dog hair that is the undercoat brushed off of the dog.
Q: How much dog hair do I have to have to ship?
A: I will spin any amount, but the minimum charge is $50 so it behooves you to have 5 ounces or more. A hat generally requires around 4 ounces and a scarf around 8 ounces depending on the design and pattern.
Q: Do you blend the dog hair with wool or other fiber?
A: I prefer to spin the dog hair by itself, blending with other fibers has various fiber lengths which don’t spin together well. There would be additional fees for this service.
Q: What can you make out of dog hair yarn?
A: You can make anything out of dog hair yarn that can be made out of wool yarn.
Q: Can I make a scarf or hat?
A: Yes, I will be happy to spin the yarn for you to use.
Q: Will you make something out of the dog hair yarn for me?
A: Yes, I can weave or knit items for an additional fee.
Q: Do you dye the fiber?
A: I do not have a dye studio set up.
Q: What breeds don’t spin well?
A: Dogs with a single coat of hair such as most hounds, most terriers, Dobermans, Great Danes, etc.
Q: Why don’t you spin clipped hair?
A: Clipped hair is difficult to spin because it has various lengths and has a high percentage of guard hairs which are coarse and make a very scratchy and unpleasant yarn.
Q: How do I take care of my dog hair yarn item?
A: Wash it the same way you would a fine wool item. Fill sink or basin with warm water and a little human (or dog) shampoo, soak for several minutes. Avoid agitation. Remove from basin and add warm water. Soak item in clear water to rinse. (Do a final soak with half cup of vinegar if a detergent was used for washing.) Roll item up in towel, then dry flat.