A friend works in Alaska part of the year, and she just returned from a summer’s field work with a lovely present from one of her Alaskan friends.
It may not look very beautiful, but it is muskox undercoat. It is so soft, even softer than angora bunny fur I have bought.
This wool has amazing properties, which may be why it sells for $100 an ounce.
If you wish to purchase this wool, or a lovely hat made from the qiviut, please visit this site as supporting the Native crafts is important to the economy of Alaska.
From the site, OOmingmak Musk Ox Producers Cooperative, this description of this wonder wool:
“Qiviut (pronounced “kiv-ee-ute”), the downy-soft underwool from the Arctic musk ox, is shed naturally each year during the spring months. Eight times warmer than wool and extraordinarily lightweight, Qiviut is one of the finest natural fibers known to man.”
The qiviut is not scratchy and will not shrink or felt.
My friend is going to work with her neighbor that knows how to spin wool, and will try to knit a hat with her qiviut.
This generous gift was given to her by a local that found it on his property, where wild musk ox often visit. The Spring means that the poor muskox is just too HOT. He has to get rid of that lovely undercoat, that layers with his long outer coat, to keep him toasty warm all winter. One doesn’t sheer a musk ox, though I would like to see someone try. The undercoat is gathered after the muskox have rubbed it off in the Spring.
- Guess what anima is related to sheep? (artcrossings.wordpress.com)
- Episode 9 Musk Ox Madness (knittingdish.com)
- On The Farm (lemonsinalaska.wordpress.com)
- Visiting the Musk Ox Farm (regimcclain.wordpress.com)