Portland dog hair knitting movement gaining popularity

Portland dog hair knitting movement gaining popularity (Thinkstock)

Portland in Oregon, US is home to a niche group of knitters who are trying to bring back one of the area's oldest traditions.

Rather than covering up from the cold in sheep wool, residents are knitting jumpers out of dog hair and have been doing so for generations.

KLCC radio station reports that while the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is renowned for some unusual garments, it is dog hair items which really stand out.

Competent knitter Jerie Lucas told reporters: "Pomeranian is one of the very, very best of course. And the Sheltie, of course the Keeshond, Samoyed, Chow and Golden Retriever."

Ms Lucas, who has been spinning, knitting and weaving dog hair for several decades, explained that she did originally start with wool, however with her dog Bo around her she decided to try and spin is fur and see how it looked.

The fluffy coats feel like they're made from angora, largely using fur from the undercoat, and are surprisingly soft to behold she added.

Ms Lucas went on to say that she's aware of how unusual her craft may be and frequently gets asked whether her jumpers smell like dog, to which she reassures customers that they are perfectly clean.

Spinning dog hair is part of a much older tradition in the community, with explorers in the late 18th century frequently turning to their herds of dogs for sources of warmth.

Distinctive 'woolly dog' breeds were used by early settlers to help pull sleighs and assist with agricultural work.

When their fur was long enough they were sheared like sheep.

However, after Europeans introduced wool and cotton in the mid-19th century and imported sheep yarn was found to be far cheaper, with dogs becoming used primarily for hunting and as companions.

Ravelympics unravels US Olympic bureaucracy

The Ravelympics fought its corner against US Olympic bureaucracy

The Olympics is no stranger to controversy, but a knitting scandal is something very few people could have predicted.

This week the US Olympic Committee (USOC) sent a cease-and-desist letter to wor... read more

Woolfest proves a hit with knitters

Woolfest proved to be a big hit with knitters

Cockermouth's annual Woolfest has just finished, proving a huge hit with all involved.

Heavy showers didn't put off the crowds who made it up to Mitchell's Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth ... read more

Are you joining the Big Knit 2012?

Are you joining the Big Knit 2012?

One of the most annoying things about knitting is inevitably all the leftover threads and balls of wool.

Rather than throwing them away, most people will keep these bits and bobs under the proviso... read more

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Youtube Rss