Spin Yarn From Cat Hair

I sit at my desk at the clinic for six hours a day; often, during the middle of the day, you can ...

Intro: Spin Yarn From Cat Hair

I acquired a long-haired cat that hadn't been groomed in a while. Rather than throw the new cat directly into a bathtub and scrub her, I decided instead to shear her and spin her fur!

Step 1: First Step: Corner Your Unsuspecting Cat

Actually, I didn't corner her. When she was getting used to the house and my existing cat, she was already sequestered in one of the bedrooms, so there wasn't anywhere for her to run. Don't worry - she's not angry; she's a Scottish Fold, and her ears are naturally folded down like that. I believe that she must be part Persian as she has a flat face.

Step 2: Second Step: Butcher the Cat('s Coat)

Using a pair of scissors and a comb, I sheared her fur gently (and over a period of a few days) when I was petting her and we were getting to know each other. She had numerous mats in her fur, and I'm sure it felt good for her to get all of those off her body. She is actually pretty cute now that she looks like a lion!

Step 3: Third Step: Card and Spin the Fur Into Yarn

I spin angora wool from my rabbits, so it wasn't too difficult to spin fur. Before I spun it, I had to card the fur to make the fibers lay in the same direction. Since it was dirty, it had a tendency to mat in my hand when it was being spun.

Step 4: Fourth Step: Make a Keepsake

Both my son and I wanted keepsakes made from the fur, so I knit a little something for each of us. I was able to get 80 yards of yarn from one cat, so I could have made something more significant, but the fur was rough like wool, and I didn't want to risk wearing a keepsake and encountering someone very allergic to cats. :)

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    26 Discussions

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    MaryC288

    10 months ago

    I've been collecting fur from our Ragdoll cats for 6 years now (originally 10 but now 7). There are quite a few pounds of fur & I would be willing to share the yarn 50/50 if someone will spin it for me. I live in the UK so am looking for a spinner in this country. The fur is a mix of light seal, chocolate, & blue from 3 sealpoints, 2 blue mitteds, 2 chocolate mitteds and 3 seal mitteds. All are pale versions of their colours.

    Is anyone interested in a trade of fur for yarn?

    4 replies
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    meralgiaMaryC288

    Reply 10 months ago

    How long is the fur? Do you want it spun as pure fur or a blend with wool? Do you know what type of yarn from it is envisaged, or is it more a case of being spun for what it is/as it comes and deciding what best to do with it after?

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    MaryC288meralgia

    Reply 10 months ago

    The fur ranges from 1 inch to 5/6 inches depending on where it is combed from. I was thinking itcmight need to be spun on thread or a fine wool if nrcessary. I'd imagine it would be a soft yarn variagated cream to sable in colour with some whitecin from the belly fur. If it's fluffy, that's a bonus but I'm not bothered. I was hoping that after splitting the yarn 50/50, that there would be enough to make a throw for the sofa. I have enough to fill a large bin liner! I've been careful to take only clean combed out fur. The cats are bathed twice yearly and are indoor only. We use baby powder in grooming to remove excess oils so they stay fluffy and warm in the winter.

    While I cannot knit (left handed & dyslexic and boy have I tried), I can crochet. I make a lot of crocheted rag rugs for the house and friends.

    As we lost three last year to old age and illness, I've become acutely aware that some day they'll all pass away and a throw seems like the best way to remember their warm hearted unconditional love. Something tangeable that my husband & I both can use.

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    MaryC288meralgia

    Reply 10 months ago

    The fur ranges from 1 inch to 5 inches with some actually longer. I had figured it might need to be spun onto thread or with some wool if necessary but hopefully not.
    I thought it would make a lovely throw for on the sofa. It depends on how much yarn is produced with a 50/50 split. I will have to crochet it as I can't knit - I have tried and not happening for Me. I'm left handed AND dyslexic so...can't get my head around it. I can & do crochet...rag rugs mainly (as a way to get my hubby to give up his old tee shirts).
    As our beautiful Raggies leave us, I feel a need to have something tangeable to remember them with & the warmth of their fur in a throw is
    a wonderful way to do so .

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    meralgiaMaryC288

    Reply 10 months ago

    I'll post your request to ravelry.

    https://www.ravelry.com/groups/feline-twist---spinning-cat-hair

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    TheKitMurkit.

    2 years ago

    Shear, spin, butcher the cat. It reminds of Dwarf Fortress so much.
    I've thought of it a few days ago and have guessed that nobody has ever spun a cat's fur.

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    SynCallio

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Aw man, I'd love to spin my cat's hair. Not just 'cause there's so much of it, either. He's long-haired (possibly a Norwegian Forest Cat mix) with a double coat, and his undercoat is really silky and soft.

    Have you tried washing the hair? Or the cat? It's not the hair that people are allergic to, it's the dander. There are shampoos and washes designed to eliminate dander. Not sure if you have to use them on the cat, or if they might be used to wash loose hair. At any rate, I think it'd be worth the try!

    Also, your cat is adorable. Scottish Folds seem to have flattish faces (see Maru of YouTube fame), though the longer fur makes me think she might be part Persian anyway. I hope she's getting along well in her new home!

    2 replies

    How do you spin it? This is my first time. I have a wonderful grey long-hair cat, and I would love to learn to spin. Can you explain it to me? What do I need?

    1 reply

    I own a spinning wheel and have many years of experience in spinning wool. Some of your local yarn shops may offer classes, but it takes a lot of practice to learn how to spin shorter fibers such as cat and rabbit fur..

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    paperwhite

    5 years ago on Step 4

    I love this instructable! We have two long haired cats--one very pretty calico and a handsome orange and white boy :) We shear the boy pretty regularly, and I've always wanted to see if I could spin his fur, but I haven't gotten around to figuring out how to card it all (no drum or hand carders right now). I'll keep this handy for after his fur grows back and it's time for another trim in the spring :) Thanks for posting!

    2 replies
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    paperwhitemeralgia

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    We almost certainly will, but not until the weather warms up. It's still very chilly and damp here. I'm looking forward to working with his fur :)

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    meralgia

    5 years ago on Step 4

    if you want me to spin your cat's hair, i can spin it for you (for $15/oz).

    3 replies
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    meralgiamearea

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Do you want me to spin your cat's fur (at $15/oz)? Email me at meralgia@gmail.com

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    Jlh0320meralgia

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    i would love you to spin my cats fur. I have approx 12oz. How do I contact you?