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100% SPUN MINK and Natural Blends
© Canadian Museum of Nature,
Mink hairs are rather short, but very thick and soft. Minks change their fleece about 3 times per year. For cutting the fleece, farmers handle the mink with gloves, cut the fibre by hand and then sell the fibre to combing mill. The mink fibre is cut and combed from live animals, like angora from rabbits or cashmere from goats.
No animals are hurt during the production of the yarn - the mink hair is hand stripped off the animal and then spun into the yarn. For the animal, it probably feels like brushing (similar to regular brushing for cats) or a gentle massage.
Yarns made of mink hair are beautiful, extremely soft, and very delicate - mink fiber must be spun with another, stronger fiber such as wool or silk, or, if it is 100% Mink - we would suggest to combine the mink with another yarn to obtain enough strength in the finished project.
The natural wild colour of mink's fur is a glossy dark brown. Commercial farming selectively bred much paler colours, and mink furs come in many other natural colours, such as Black, Mahogany, Pastel, Demi Buff, Aleutian (Iris), Sapphire and White. Mink are aggressive animals and must be handled with care. They bite readily and are handled with thick leather mitts.
Wild mink spend up to 80% of their time in their dens, sleeping, grooming and eating food they have carried home. Reference: The Canadian Encyclopedia.com
Believe it or not, there is a Chinchilla Spun yarn, as well as Chiengora - a Dog Spun yarn, and no Dogs are killed! Practically, any furry animal's fiber can be spun into a yarn: foxes, muskoxen, wolves, bears, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, Red Uakari, kangaroos, otters, alpacas, llamas, beavers, - what else? Lets try the Flora - you will find the same sequence, but filled with the plant names. The world of natural fiber and yarns is more diverse than it seems. "Foxes, bears, and the local tribe of musk oxen leave pieces of their winter coat on heather and short trees. Flowers and straws can be spun while freshly cut. Lichen is crumbly, but soak it in water and it turns soft and flexible." - Tóve Skolseg for Ply Magazine. Discover Canadian Opossums »
CAT'S FIBER © Irene & Mr. Sheep Co.
Kotia is our Exotic Breed Cat » who is combed 4-5 times a week for his pleasure and fiber. Close-up »
Note for US Animal Rights Activists:
Please be advised that in Spun Yarn production, animals: sheep, alpacas, llamas, angora rabbits or goats, minks, dogs, opossums are not killed. The fibre is cut or combed from live animals (camel wool is usually collected from the ground as camels shed their fiber).
We sell Spun Yarns, not fur/pelt. For more information on mink fur production, please contact www.bortnfreeusa.org or read Born Free USA's Report
Fur Farming in North America »: "United States is the fifth largest mink producing country in the world. In terms of animal lives this amounts to approximately 3 million farm-raised mink killed annually for their pelts. Additionally, approximately 660,000 breeding female mink are held on U.S. fur farms."
And just to mention: USDA, for decades, experimented and killed thousands of kittens! in its Maryland lab.
P.S. If you have a furry pet (cat/dog), you obtain his/her fiber at least once a week and the same way as mink fiber is collected. Pelt yarns are made of real skins. Skins are cut in strips, which then attached to each other to make a yarn. Pure Mink Hand Spun Yarn Knitted Sample » * Should you have questions about yarns and fibers, please visit Textile School » or ask ».
If you are still skeptic, please contact a Fiber professional, who spins Mink and other natural fibers. E.g., Plum Crazy Ranch Fiber Arts »
Nowadays, we wear banana silk, milk protein, seaweed, chiegora (dog hair), etc. We can even try a natural yarn from gelatin, paper yarn, yarn from fibers produced by bacteria, yarn from nickel-free metal wire, etc. That is Ok while it is free from petroleum by-products!
PURE MINK AND NATURAL BLENDS
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