Hello all! Hope you have been having an enjoyable weekend. For those of you who are stateside, hope your 4th of July went well.
Mine didn't, but that's another story.
This week, I'm talking about Qiviut. It's pronounce kiv-ee-yut, in case you didn't know (I certainly had no idea how to say it) and can sometimes be spelled qiveut.
Qiviut is the Inuit word for the wool of the muskox, though it refers specifically to the under-layer of wool. Yes, yet another animal with a dual-layer coat. The outer layer is long, hair-like fiber that is coarse and insulating.
The inner layer is soft and warm, and shed during the warm seasons. Unlike sheep, they are not sheared, and so the wool is collected either right off the animal or from rocks and bushes that the rub against.
This fiber is prized for its warmth and softness, and also for the fact that it does not shrink in any temperature of water. No, ladies and gentlemen, qiviut does not felt! It is a durable fiber when made into a fabric, and last for years if taken care of. It is stronger, and eight times warmer than wool. AND it is softer than casmere. However, all of these things means that qiviut fiber runs quite expensive, especially if it's already been knitted into something.
Most qiviut comes from Canada. In Alaska, however, it is obtained from the pelt after a hunt, or from farmed muskox.
Next week: Flax