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Dutchess_III's avatar

Would dog fur make a good stuffing for a pillow?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46938points) June 27th, 2014

Dakota, our white German Shepherd sheds constantly and copiously, especially during the summer. After yet another brush session, and looking at the huge pile of dog fur, my husband said we should make pillows out of it. It’s very soft and fine, and I think it would make a great pillow.

What do you think? And how would I go about this? I was thinking of starting by washing the fur in panty hose.

BTW, this is normal for this kind of dog. That’s what our vet said.

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14 Answers

rojo's avatar

With or without the dog attached? ‘Cause one way would be kinda lumpy and smelly after a while.

wildpotato's avatar

Samoyeds are the main fiber dog, but I don’t see why GSD fleece wouldn’t work. You would use it for the fabric of the pillow though; not the stuffing. The one thing is that most dog fiber has a short staple length and is therefore not easy to spin all on its own – I would blend it (using carders) with baby alpaca or something to make a more spinnable roving.

If you want to actually do this, collect as much of the fleece as possible and contact a professional spinner. Your local fiber shop can point you in the right direction. I’d offer to spin it up for you myself except that at the moment I’m swimming in about 20 raw mohair fleeces I have to skirt, wash, card, and spin.

On a more general note, it is only recently that we have begun to see this sort of thing as odd. Dogs have been used as fiber animals by humans throughout history. I have not yet had the opportunity to spin Samoyed, but I intend to as soon as I can get my hands on some. It’s said to spin up into a fuzzy yet elegant yarn that makes garments drape nicely, like a combo of merino and angora.

flip86's avatar

@syz That sweater thing is creepy. I realize we use sheep wool, but dog fur? Weird. Whats next, human hair sweaters?

Somehow a pillow doesn’t seem as creepy. Not sure how comfortable it would be though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would I want to use it as the fabric and not the fill? It’s very soft.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Huh! I’ve been joking for years about making a sweater. Guess that idea wasn’t so far out there.

jca's avatar

It seems like a gross idea.

Dutchess_III's avatar

People use goose down for pillows. Is that gross?

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: People also used to use human hair in the days of World War 2.

I don’t know, to me dog hair seems gross. Feathers seem cleaner, and feathers used for pillows probably undergo a washing process or something. Maybe I’m wrong. Just my opinion that dog hair seems gross.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I think it’s a great idea. It will probably one of the bestest softest pillows you’ve ever owned.

I have incredibly thick, curly hair and when I used to go to the beauty parlor to get my haircut, the women getting perms would stare at me with envy.
So being the nice guy I am, I would tell them they were free to take my hair home with them. You should have seen those women scramble to grab up all my shorn locks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca In the details I outlined a way to wash the hair. I just don’t see how it’s any grosser than, say, wool.

wildpotato's avatar

@jca Just to put things in perspective…in most animal fiber preparations one discards 20%-50% of the raw fleece (in its just-shorn state) because it is too dirty. This is the fleece of the belly, the lower legs, and the britch (the butt area), and usually has manure stuck to it, urine stains, and is just altogether too matted and dirty to even bother with washing. The remaining fleece does get washed, yes.

Compare this to most dogs, who do not generally have matted, urine-, sweat-, and poop-stained fur to discard. And then dog fur also gets washed, like any other fleece. Additionally, dog fleece is not coated with lanolin, which is a waxy substance that must be removed from sheep fleece with very hot washing and rinsing.

@Dutchess_III You would not want to use it as the stuffing because it will not retain loft under pressure, and you would have a pancake pillow with a piece of felt on the inside. There are uses for felt as stuffing, but it obviously creates a very stiff final product – think of a pouf, for instance.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you @wildpotato. Yeah, the “fleece” we would gather would be from her back and sides. Would need to wash it to get the dander out, and the smell. Other than that, I think it would make a wonderful pillow. Much more comfortable than the synthetic stuff you buy at the store.

syz's avatar

I put Spencer’s out for the birds, and compost the rest.

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