Gabi Angele is a Bavarian woman who likes to spin yarn – but not yarn made up of angora or alpaca wool, but from dog hair.
The 50-year-old woman from Allgäu region says using dog hair for wool is a natural.
“It’s a lot warmer than normal sheep’s wool. Depending on which breed you use, it is also wonderfully soft.”
Angele should know. She’s been spinning yarn from dog hair for years. She especially likes hair from Samoyed dogs, which are a sled dog from Russia.
“It’s the Mercedes-Benz among dog hair. The wool is super soft.”
Angele learned to spin yarn at an adult education class and bought her first spinning wheel in 1997. She quickly produced yarn from angora mixed with silk and from Persian cat hair.
“Then I got the idea of working with dog hair – not the top coat but the combed out undercoat from huskies, collies or golden retrievers.”
Some dog owners send their dogs’ undercoat to Angele and receive yarn ready for knitting in return.
And what happens when the new pullover gets caught in the rain? Angele insists it doesn’t stink like wet dog because the wool is first washed many times in hot water.
“Sheep’s wool that hasn’t been treated on also doesn’t smell like perfume,” she said.
In the meantime word has gotten out and she’s received orders to make wool for customers in Austria, Italy and Spain.