Qiviut is the under wool of the musk ox. This under wool is as soft as you would expect, making it ideal for toddler and newborn clothing. The yarn made from this downy under wool can be used to make a wide variety of outerwear for people of all ages.
Qiviut is highly regarded as an insulator and that’s not surprising, since musk oxen must survive harsh arctic winters. These oxen are considered relics of the most recent ice age. Qiviut keeps them comfortably warm, so they don’t need to migrate to escape the extreme cold during winter. The insulator prevents excessive heat loss, so musk oxen don’t need to hibernate to conserve their energy.
Qiviut keeps musk oxen warm even though they are fully exposed to freezing temperatures on the open tundra. Qiviut is found under the musk oxen’s outer coat, which consists of long, thick hair. This guard hair is coarse enough to shield the wool underneath from the snow and wind. Even if snow falls on a musk ox’s back, it can be there for a while without melting from the animal’s body heat because of the wool’s insulating properties.
You enjoy the same insulating properties whenever you wear a coat that’s made of lightweight qiviut. Whether you require tough garments that shield you from the elements while you work or you want to be certain that your children will be protected while they play, qiviut is a good choice.
How Often Do Musk Oxen Produce A New Layer of Qiviut?
A new layer of qiviut is produced each year. Musk oxen naturally shed qiviut every spring, when the temperature changes. They no longer need a thick layer for protection as it becomes warmer. They grow a fresh layer of qiviut for insulation during the arctic summer and fall.
When musk oxen shed their under wool, it comes up through their guard hair. When a musk ox lives in the wild, the shed under wool would hang from the outer coat, making the ox look a little ragged. In a domestic setting, the shed hair is harvested so that it can be used to make warm coats, hats and home goods.
Harvesting qiviut saves the ox the hassle of finding a stone or tree to rub the qiviut off on. Sometimes an ox will simply wait for the wind to blow the loose wool away. Harvesting qiviut does not harm the ox and can in fact, make them feel more comfortable.
How is Qiviut Harvested?
Qiviut harvesting takes place while musk oxen are naturally shedding their under wool. On a farm, those who care for the animals will notice that the oxen are starting to look a little unkempt. This is an indication that the under wool is being shed and is hanging off the outer guard coat. The wool is then harvested at this stage by combing it.
Since the under wool is shed in a synchronous manner, the person harvesting it can comb it from the ox in just one large sheet. Hand-combed qiviut is considered a rare luxury. An adult ox will usually shed around 4 pounds of qiviut each spring. Some will shed more, if they are bigger oxen.
The combed fiber has to be scoured but before that happens, it has to be sorted. All the fiber of a certain length is placed together. The fiber is also sorted according to quality and then, any guard hairs that may have been combed out along with the under wool are removed.
After qiviut is harvested and sorted, it has to be spun into yarn. This is sometimes done by people who live in the same area where a farm is located, if not by the handlers themselves. After spinning, qiviut yarn is distributed to knitters in some cases, who then use it to make a variety of garments. These garments may then be marketed to the public.
The sequence just described may vary slightly for some farms. For example, qiviut yarn may sold to a designer who already has their own brand and does their own marketing of the final product.
Sensuous Qiviut – Worth The Price
Since qiviut is harvested only once a year, it can be quite expensive. Despite that, it is worth the price. Qiviut is one of the softest fabrics known to mankind. It is exceptional and is harvested from animals that are currently only found in a few locations around the world. If you’re looking for luxury fabric or luxury yarn for a gift, this is an excellent choice.
The hand-combed variety is of higher quality than qiviut which is gathered after it has fallen on the tundra. This is because when qiviut is exposed to the elements, it starts to deteriorate. Hand-combed qiviut is harvested promptly, so it is strong and retains all of the properties that make qiviut yarn sought after among designers.
Qiviut is one of the most expensive and luxurious fibers in the world because of its ability to keep you warm even in the harshest winter conditions. It is very soft and is known as the golden fleece of the Arctic. If you compare it with sheep’s wool, it is at least eight times warmer. You will get eight times the protection from the cold that you’ll get with a wool coat made from sheep’s wool, with a greater degree of softness and comfort.
Qiviut is finer than even cashmere, so it will cost more. You’ll enjoy it more than cashmere and it will not felt or shrink. This sumptuous fiber is safe for most people with allergies and should not irritate your skin. It is lightweight, so you can move around comfortably in any environment, instead of feeling bulky and cumbersome as you travel to work or move around outdoors for leisure.
Some people find sheep’s wool prickly and irritating. Qiviut is not like that and is softer than almost any other fabric used for clothing, even those that come from plants. The price remains fairly constant, so whether you obtain qiviut from Alaska, Greenland or Canada, it is going to be expensive.
Luxurious Qiviut Yarn
Qiviut yarn may sometimes be blended with other fibers. For example, some designers like to work with qiviut after it has been combined with merino or silk. When combined with merino wool, qiviut enhances its properties, making a garment up to nine times warmer.
You can use pure qiviut wool on its own as well, to make a qiviut hat or qiviut sweater by hand. These items may also be purchased in luxury stores and from skilled artisans. You can sometimes find qiviut blankets in just the right shade to match your decor or if you wish, you can knit whatever you desire.
Qiviut yarn is often available in small batches which are dyed by hand. The rich shades of yarn that are available will inspire you as you create beautiful garments for your loved ones. You can use a skein to knit a number of small accessories, including mittens for your children or a cowl to complement your favorite outfit.
Hypoallergenic Qiviut Fiber
Qiviut is a good alternative to sheep wool for people who are allergic to the latter. Qiviut will not irritate your skin, so you can freely knit and enjoy your own sweater in various colors from this type of wool. The fibers are also not irritating, as even cashmere can sometimes be and qiviut provides you with a sense of warmth and luxury on any occasion.
Qiviut gets softer with every wash. In this respect, it’s probably similar to cotton, which is one of the few fabrics that have this property. Most fabrics tend to become harder to wear and are more likely to irritate your skin after extensive laundering. Qiviut just keeps on getting softer and more comfortable, so you, your children and your friends always enjoy the best sensations as you work and play.
Exceptional Protection from the Cold
Qiviut is one of the softest fabrics available and yet, it still manages to protect you from freezing temperatures. It is exceptional in this regard, providing up to nine times the warmth of merino wool.
Over 60% of the fiber is composed of air ducts. This is what gives qiviut its outstanding insulation properties. Despite that, it’s lightweight because it has a finer diameter than cashmere. This is another area in which qiviut is outstanding. When the fibers become wet, it will not compress.
This quality is highly unusual for a natural fiber and it gives qiviut several advantages. If you knit a sweater from qiviut, you can relax when you wash it because it won’t shrink. Even if you wash it in warm water, it will remain the same size. Qiviut makes it easy to give gifts to people who don’t have the time for special types of laundry.
Some fabrics carry a distinctive odor but qiviut is unusual in this respect. If it gets wet, it won’t smell. If it’s dry, it’s still free of any unpleasant odors. You can work in it or attend a meeting without worrying about how you will smell or look because the performance of qiviut will be consistent.
A qiviut blanket will keep you warm in the worst winter conditions. The most lightweight alternatives are made using 100% qiviut but options are also available that combine qiviut with silk. Some qiviut blankets are knit in panels and then seamed together by hand or machine. It is sometimes easier to obtain qiviut jackets, socks and scarves than it is to select blankets, which require more wool and are always in demand..
Qiviut Sweaters and Cardigans
Sweaters and cardigans made from qiviut are available for both men and women. You can find these at several designs that complement your own unique style. Sweaters for men and women may combine qiviut with other fibers, such as silk and extra fine merino wool. This makes the garment more affordable while ensuring that you can enjoy the benefits of qiviut.
You can also knit your own qiviut sweater or cardigan. While qiviut yarn is not usually readily available in lighter colors, you can find it in vibrant shades such as red. These attractive yarns can be used to knit a warm cardigan for a female friend. Skeins of blue yarn in different hues are also offered, making it easy to create any design that you choose.
While sweaters made of qiviut and other fibers, like merino, are soft, those made from pure qiviut are even softer. You can tell the difference just by looking at the finished garment. Of course, these are more expensive but they deliver value due to the durability of the fabric and its protective qualities.
A qiviut sweater will last a very long time and it is much lighter than that made from a blend of qiviut and other fibers. Handmade sweaters that are meant to fit you will always look good. By choosing shades that match your existing wardrobe, you’ll have a versatile garment that can take you through every day of winter.
Qiviut Dolls and Children’s Gear
Qiviut dolls are made using several materials, including qiviut. These make great gifts for both adults and children, due to their exquisite workmanship. These dolls are soft, extremely cuddly and very cute. Since there are several types available, you can start your own herd with just one and slowly build your own collection.
Give dolls to a loved one who will enjoy their softness. Other types of fur may be used on these dolls, such as fox fur and beaver fur. Your gift of a doll may be complemented with a scarf made for children. Kids’ scarves may combine qiviut with other types of fiber, such as silk and merino wool.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.