October 28, 2010 2 Comments
Nearly every time we thoroughly brush our dog, my husband makes a comment to the effect of “you could knit a sweater with all of this fur”.
Perhaps that is because the product of a good brushing looks something like this:
But little did I know – though I probably should not be surprised – that there are people out there who take those kinds of comments seriously. Very seriously.
And thus you get “chiengora”.
That’s right – wool spun from dog fur.
For those curious, they’ve taken the word “angora”, which refers to wool made from Angora rabbits, and combined it with the French word for dog. Genius.
Evidently, spinning wool from dog fur is not a new idea, and apparently dog fur was the dominant fibre for the First Nations in North America before sheep were introduced by the Spaniards.
Of course, that was a long, long time ago.
And while I’m sure clothing and accessories made from dog fur are super warm, soft, durable, and water resistant, I just don’t get the appeal. I do realise they don’t smell and that no dogs are harmed in the making, but it’s just downright odd. Sorry.
Pictures illustrate it best, so allow me to demonstrate the strangeness with some portraits of individuals and their wool-producing pets taken by this guy.
Of course, if you disagree and would like to purchase some chiengora products (Christmas is coming!), or perhaps would like something made from your own dog (or even cat)’s fur, Chiengora Fibers out of Revelstoke, B.C. will be able to hook you up.
And to their credit, they might possibly be producing the most “normal” looking chiengora products out there, such as these 100% Pyrenees mittens:
I should note, to procure the peculiar isn’t cheap, and these mitts will set you back $180.
Is the weirdness worth it?
Well, I highly doubt I’ll start saving up my dog’s fur, but I’m sure there’s a market out there somewhere. Perhaps the dog show circuit?
 Greer, J. Suzanne. “Evaluation of Non-Traditional Animal Fibers for Use in Textile Products”. Thesis submitted to the Graduate Faculty of North Carolina State University. (2003)