Multi Media Artist
Processing the Exotic Fibre
Diane receives dog hair from pet lovers who would like yarn made from the hair. (The hair is shed or brushed out, and collected by the owners.)
Once the fibre is bright and clean, the excess water is carefully pressed out and the tufts are pulled apart. It is then laid on screens outside or in a well lit area inside. For the next three days, it will need to be fluffed up and spread apart several times a day.
Next the fibre needs to be carded. The carding aligns the individual fibres in the same direction and produces tube shaped collections of hair called rolags.
Feeding from the rolags, first one spindle of yarn is spun, and then a second on a separate spindle. These two strands are lastly spun together to create a double-plied yarn.
The first step in preparing the hair is to clean it. Washing must be thorough to ensure that the finished fibre will be soft and odour free, albeit gentle enough that the hair doesn't felt. This means soaking the fibre in mild soap multiple times , and finally rinsing repeatedly using vinegar and essential oils such as rosewood.
Et voila! Luxurious chiengora! Chiengora is much warmer than wool, softer, and is water resistant.
© 2016 DIANE REDDEN MULTIMEDIA ARTIST