Tag Archives: bear hair

Fibre of another kind

Bear fibre

This isn’t related to mushroom dyeing, but it does have to do with fibre and spinning and finding things in the forest. Plus, I’m excited beyond belief!

I’ve been wondering lately if I’d ever come across any bear hair while on my forest forays. While we know bears are around, we don’t see them that often. We did see one on the road a few weeks ago, and I marvelled at its thick, shiny coat—the beautiful animal looked as if he’d just been to a groomer. That’s when my thoughts turned to the likelihood that I’d ever get my hands on any of its fibre.

Well . . . on a little detour through the bush today, I came across a pile of scat that could only have been produced by a bear. It was covered in a white, fuzzy mold, and standing straight up out of that were masses of fine, black hair! Being unable to resist any kind of fibre, I just had to touch it. One touch led to another, which led to the plucking of as much of it as I could. It was indeed fine, with a slight crimp, and coated with oil, to the point that it was tacky.

I collected a small handful, which is now soaking in a solution of Orvus paste, after which I’ll steam it for an hour or two, just to make sure it’s clean. (And yes, I did wash my hands as soon as I got home!)

I can’t wait to see how it spins up!