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About Qiviut Fibre

Freshly combed qiviut fibre

Qiviut Fibre Properties

  • significantly warmer and softer than sheep's wool
  • ultra lightweight and quick drying
  • unparalleled insulating qualities
  • non-shrinking & non-felting
  • hypoallergenic
  • natural colour: gray-brown
  • staple length: 3.5–7 cm (1.5–3 inches)
  • 100% natural fibre: sustainable, ethically sourced, and fully biodegradable

  

extremely soft 100%-qiviut knitted headband

100% qiviut yarn, knitted in our 'Akutuq' (undyed natural) shade

Qiviut is a fibre unlike any other. The delicate undercoat of the Arctic muskoxen has long been used by Inuit--and is now know more widely as the highest-quality fiber in the world. It is cherished because of its rarity, softness, and unparalleled warmth. Qiviut is said to be 8x warmer than sheep’s wool and as soft, if not softer, than cashmere. It is an amazing insulating fibre and is comfortable to wear in any weather.

Pure qiviut, when treated properly, is non-shrinking, non-felting and non-abrasive. The more you handle and wash qiviut, the softer it feels.

Umingmat (Muskoxen)

plush sealskin toy muskox stands in front of ulus 

black sealskin plush muskox made by Jean Ekpakohak, Ulukhaktok

'Umingmak' (plural: umingmat) is our word for muskox, which translates to 'the bearded one.' The muskox is an ancient species that has been around since the time of the mammoth. Most live in the Arctic, namely Canada, Alaska, and Greenland. Muskox wool (qiviut) has been gathered and used by Inuvialuit for generations.

The muskox has a three-layered coat. Qiviut is the soft downy undercoat beneath the secondary hair and the longer coarse outer quadrant. After processing 6 pounds of raw muskox fibre, we normally yield about 3 to 5 pounds of fiber that is ready for spinning into yarn.

Muskoxen guard hairs

Qiviut is one of the lightest and warmest of all the natural fibers. The more you wear and wash qiviut, the softer it becomes. Said to be as warm, if not warmer than goose down, pure qiviut is non-shrinking, non-felting and safe for people who are prone to wool allergies.

Qiviut is simply second to none when it comes to insulating fibers. It maintains its heat retention qualities even when it is wet! Qiviut is an heirloom fiber that can be treasured for generations.

qiviut, wool, and silk blend cowl knit cable-style

cabled cowl knit in our Kunik blend (qiviut, merino wool, and silk)