The University of Alaska Fairbanks has limited quantities of
qiviut, or muskox wool, for sale. This rare and extraordinary fiber is
available either for spinning or as yarn.
(pronounced kiv-ee-ut) is the Inuit word for the extremely fine underwool
of the muskox, prized for its softness and warmth. Each year, muskoxen grow
a dense layer of qiviut underneath their outer coat of dark brown guard
hair. Their winter coats are unparalleled in insulative value, and keep the
animals warm and comfortable when the temperature drops below –50 degrees F.
spring, muskoxen rapidly shed their qiviut layer in anticipation of warmer
summer days. At the R.G. White Large Animal Research Station (LARS), this
downy wool is combed from the animals as it works its way through the long
guard hairs. No shearing or clipping is necessary. Because shedding is
fairly synchronous, large fleecy sheets of qiviut can be combed from the
shoulder and flank areas of animals.
Qiviut has been described as “the cashmere of the north,” and
is considered by experienced spinners to combine several of the best fiber
properties, such as fineness, length, strength and warmth. Qiviut lacks
scales and crimp found in sheep wool, so it is very soft and non-irritating
and it will not shrink or felt. These same qualities means that care must be
taken when selecting a project with the yarn. 100% qiviut tends to sag; it
will not retain its shape as well as sheep wool. It is better suited for
scarves and shawls. Blending-in a small amount of another fine wool, such as
merino, will add “memory” to a hat or sweater and yet will retain the
wonderful softness and warmth of qiviut. Qiviut also blends well with other
fibers like alpaca, cashmere and silk.
LARS is pleased to offer limited quantities of this
high-quality unprocessed wool for private sale. If you would like to enjoy
the luxury of qiviut without spinning it, we also offer lace-weight and
fingering yarns. Try it for yourself and see why qiviut is a favorite of
northern spinners and knitters!
also sometimes referred to as "qiviuk", "qiveut",
"kiviuk" or "qiviute".
Our highest quality, unprocessed muskox down. Combed from the sides and
shoulder areas, this fiber has very little vegetable matter and minimal
guard hair. This is an opportunity for the hand-spinner to obtain some of
the rarest and finest fiber in the world.
$25 per ounce $280 per pound
$60 per one-ounce skein
Qiviut Blend Yarn
70% qiviut, 10% silk, 10% superfine merino wool,
10% baby alpaca wool. Two-ply, fingering weight. Approximately 185 yards per
ounce. Hand painted. The yarn combines the
lightness and warmth of qiviut with the luster and strength of silk, the
elasticity of wool, and the softness of alpaca. Available in two multicolor
"Midnight Dreams" Fuchsia, blue, green, gray
"Autumn Colors" Rust, gold, green, brown
$50 per one-ounce skein
NOTE: To be contacted by email when products
become available, or if you have any questions, call or send us an email.
Tell us what product you're interested in.
Fiber preparation for spinning:
de-hair the fiber before spinning, grasp a handful of fiber and pull out the
long, coarse guard hairs.
remove the intermediate fibers, those that are fine, but straighter than the
underlying qiviut. The more intermediate fibers removed, the softer your
spun yarn will be. The intermediate fibers can be saved and blended with
other fibers or spun alone for a somewhat heavier, fuzzier yarn.
dandruff on the base of the fiber can be carefully snipped off with small,
curved scissors. Carding is not required, however, if you choose to card the
fiber, cotton cards are recommended. Care should be taken or the fiber will
pill. Qiviut yarn will not felt like wool, but should be washed gently in