Interview with Victoria Pettigrew of VIP Fibers (Pet Yarn)

| October 26, 2011 | 4 Comments
Victoria I Pettigrew

Victoria I Pettigrew

April 2, 2016 Update – I do not believe Victoria is spinning yarn anymore.  I could not get a hold of her when a reader inquired.  So I found these other resources online, if you are looking to get your cat’s hair spun into yarn.  If you know of others, please let me know and I can add them here.  If you find these resources below are no longer valid, please also let me know.

Custom Cat Hair Yarn Spun for You on Etsy and Online

If you saw my post on cat hair yarn, I mentioned that I was going to have the chance to interview Victoria Pettigrew. Thank you to Victoria for taking the time to answer my questions!

Victoria I Pettigrew
Owner/Spinstress
VIP Fibers
www.vipfibers.com
1-866-PET-YARN (866-738-9276)

How did you get into hand spinning yarn made from pet hair?

I started collecting hair from my Chow Chow puppy.  When my husband asked why I was saving her brushings, I said I was going to learn to spin and make a BooBoo Sweater.  The next day he went out on his lunch and purchased me a spinning wheel….I’ve been hooked ever since.  While collecting my Chow’s hair, my beloved Lhasa Apso passed away/  I took what I had saved from her and made a small scarf.  This token from her was very helpful in my grieving process and I thought others may also.

You spin cat hair into yarn, is that correct? 

Victoria Spinning

Victoria Spinning

Yes!  Lots!  What are some of the challenges of cat hair vs. dog hair? Because of the feline nature, their brushing tend to be more “sticky” due to the larger amount of saliva.  Cat hair has a tendency to mat all by itself as if by magic.  Feline hair is also much finer (thinner) than canine, thus providing much more hair per ounce then other pets.

What are the services that you offer?

We hand spin your pet’s brushings into yarn.  What you receive back from VIP Fibers is yarn that is 100% per YOUR pet, ready to knit and wear.  For those who lack the time or knowledge, we also offer a line a finished keepsakes you may order from your pet’s yarn.  From hats to scarves, teddy bears to pillows, blankets to shawls.

If I am interested in having my cat’s hair spun into yarn, what are the necessary steps I need to take?

Brush, brush, brush!  Save all the hair that comes out of the brush.  Brushing will make a much nicer yarn than that that has been cut.  Since VIP Fibers charges by weight in, we strongly recommend that you pick out any foreign debris from the hair as well as mats.

What’s the timeline from start to finish if I sent in my cat’s hair and then waited for it to come back? 

Child’s jacket woven on the 14” HazelRose loom using just 230 yards of Golden Retriever Keepsake Yarn for the entire project.

Child’s jacket woven on the 14” HazelRose loom using just 230 yards of Golden Retriever Keepsake Yarn for the entire project.

Currently we have a 140 pounds of fiber in queue for processing.  Hand spinning is very time consuming and I am the only spinner now.  Our current turnaround time is approximately 4 months from date of payment.

How much does it cost to have my cat’s hair spun into yarn? 

VIP Fibers charges $12.00 per ounces based upon weight in.  This fee covers carding, spinning, 2-ply, skeining and custom labels with your pet’s photo on it.

Have you worked with Radgoll cat hair before? 

Many, many Ragdolls over the past 11 years.

You mentioned that cat hair is lighter than any other pet hair.  Can you expand on that a bit for me? 

Double coated mammals have 2 types of hair…undercoat and outer coat.  The outer coat is thicker in diameter and has a smooth shiny surface.  This is nature’s way of keeping your pet cool as the hair will reflect the heat away from the body.  The second, or undercoat, is much, much finer in diameter and has small barbs on the surface.  The finer hair will “grab” onto each other, thus creating a natural insulation….keeping your pet warm.  This is why double coated pets shed during seasons.  It is also the reason why I firmly believe that no double coated pet  should be shaved.  If you live in a warm climate, brushing out the undercoat will cool your pet and protect them from the heat.

Can you explain how your Charity Donation Program works?  Do you think that could work for a Ragdoll Cat Rescue? 

VIP Fiber’s Charity donation program is our way of helping out all pet rescue organizations.  Ragdoll Cat Rescue would assign one person to collect brushings from Ragdoll owners.  Send us the fiber and we will spin up to 10 ounces for Free.  The yarn can either be auctioned off as is, or a member can volunteer to take the yarn and make a project to be raffled or auctioned.

Can you share with us a story of spinning cat yarn that was especially touching for you?

Oh, I wish I could, but there are sooooooo many.  Our service is only available to those who love and treasure their “fur-babies” and each one has a wonderful, if not tearful, heartwarming story to it.

______________________

What do you think about “wearing”  your cat?  Do you think you would like to have your cat’s hair spun into yarn for you?

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Category: Cat Grooming

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Comments (4)

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  1. Very cool! The sweater is beautiful too! I would be nice to have a part of each of our furballs always with us – so this is a wonderful idea!

  2. Michelle says:

    I used to have a Samoyed whose hair I saved for years, hoping to locate someone who could spin the gorgeous white fur for me. Wish I’d kept it a bit longer. 🙁 Our furbabies do go with us at all times, this just makes it more fashionably acceptable for the non-pet people (should you happen to be in contact with any)! Thanks for the great find, Jenny. I’ll be saving up some blue lynx hair “fur sure”!

  3. Hi Jenny,

    At first I recoiled in horror.

    Then as I read through the post, I started to warm to it and then even like the idea.

    The pictured jacket is beautiful and I’d love to have one made of cat hair.

    Nice that there’s a charity donation program for a rescue shelter involved.

    Never thought I’d come across something like this but I do like it.

    I see that vipfibers offers a whole line of clothing including hats and mittens. Amazing.

    Would be a nice keepsake to have a coat made from collected hair over time one a loved one passes. I couldn’t wear it right away but I would be able to after a while.

    Interesting post – thanx,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

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