Spinning Peppa

Have you ever heard of chiengora? Its spinning wool from the undercoats of dogs. The word "chiengora" is a mashup of the words chien (the French word for dog) and angora which comes from Angora rabbits.

This past summer when I first met my friend's dog Peppa and saw all of the fluffy, soft undercoat coming off of her, I asked if they could collect the fur for me so I could try spinning it. Peppa is Bernese Mountain dog/Saint Bernard cross, but her owners think she is more likely a Newfoundland crossed with something. What she really is is a gigantic black and white bundle of love.
Peppa, a large black and white dog
Here is Peppa in all of her glory!

When I next saw my friend this past fall, she presented me with an onion bag full of Peppa's fur. Even though her outer coat is black and white, her undercoat is a lovely soft gray. 

My friend had already given the fur a good brush, but it still had the odd piece of grass in it as Peppa lives on a farm. After carefully picking out the plant bits, the fur was pretty clean, but still smelled a bit "doggie", so I decided to give it a good wash. 

I got out the trusty Soak Laundry soap and gave the fur a thorough wash in a bucket of warm water. Now the fur was super wet, and thinking that I would save myself some time, I put the fur in a mesh bag and ran it through the spin cycle of my washing machine. 

What came out was globs of matted dog felt. You know, that kind of stuff that ever dog owner hates to have to brush out of their dog's fur...
Matted dog fur sitting on a couch
Couch covered in felted fur

So, it was on to the carding brushes for many long hours of turning the matted mess into something I could spin.  

Thankfully, the hard work paid off. The fur was a lot of fun to spin and behaved much like wool. I went for a sport-weight woolen yarn. The resulting two-ply wool was 85 g and 94 yards. Hopefully who ever gets it next will enjoy working with it as much as I did!
hands holding finished skein of gray yarn
Final skein of yarn

It was so fun, I would even do it again! 

If you have some soft, fluffy pet fur that you would like to see me spin, drop my a line at milkweedtomittens@gmail.com


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  1. What inspiring results from Peppa’s (never ending) shedding. It is by far the coolest product to ever come from our farm, and we are so grateful for your imagination.