Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fur Yarn

A post all its own:
Fur Yarn

I'm in shock or awe. It gasts my flabber. I really, really don't know what to think about this product, but I found it today and can't keep it to myself.

It's the product of Paula Lishman in Canada. She takes a fur pelt (yes, a real one, we'll get to that in a second) and cuts it into very thin strips, then basically fuses it around a core of cotton to stabilize it and pulls it into a round shape so that it's fur on all sides, radiating out, rather than a flat strip of fur ribbon.

I find this to be astonishing, fascinating, and innovative way to create a yarn and a business. Rock on, Paula. Business & techinical? A+. Superfantastic. Seriously, I think it's brilliant and wacky and playful and it seems like it's long established and I know how much work that it. Wow.

Aesthetics and "moral"? No grade. I can't grade it. Aesthetics because, well, I don't even care for fun fur, or eyelash yarn, or nearly anything that could get categorized as a "novelty" yarn. Even "fuzzy" yarn is dodgy. But to each one's own, and also, I have often found that anything I categorically reject will inevitably show up somewhere, sometime, looking totally cool and fresh and just right.

As for it being real, actual fur, I think my string of reactions went something like:
Wow! Isn't that totally un-pc? I thought fur was over.
Oh, but she's in Canada...
What? So what if it's in Canada?
Funny, there's something about it being more northerly and colder and more into being a big wild place - like Bison in Montana seeming more sensible than Bison in New Jersey, though it's sort of the same thing.
Fur, man - weird.
Dead animal.
Ew (gut level gross-out).
Ew (political level gross-out).
But it's not like she's the only person using fur - it's still in fashion, still used, still available.
And it looks like she's using at least some that would have been trapped/killed anyway in the processes of normal wildlife management. I won't apologize for NOT being squeamish about that - we build houses and communities where other wild things live and in the course of co-habitating, we want things like clean water, and unflooded roads, and electricity, and not too many trees cut down by beavers, and not so many house pets and livestock killed by coyotes and ... it's all part of a modern human and nature ecosystem. There are lots of individual aspects of that which you can think about, be for or against (people shouldn't live there, people should live there with the consequences, people should live there in a primitive way, trap and release vs. trap and kill, release where, kill how...)
But that's a whole other complex set of issues.
Then there's the old set of questions about having fur, using fur, glorifing fur, even the leftovers of non-farmed sources, perpetuating a fur industry - you could argue that fake furs keep the look of a fur in fashion and so more furs are produced.
But then where does that stop? Does a leopard print t-shirt really encourage people to get a real leopard fur coat or rug? A shower curtain we had when I was young was printed with ferns, but I'm certainly not interested in getting a real fern shirt or rug.
And where are the economic impact studies on these things, anyway? We can theorize all day, but who has the evidence about how it really affects the fur industry...

Yes, I find this all TOTALLY FREAKING FASCINATING. Maybe you're all glad now that I don't post more often. But if you're still here, you deserve a picture.



Anonymous Cindy said...

WEIRD. Just...weird. I'm very much in the no-buying-fur camp, because populations of animals get wiped out if things like this take off, and it's not humane, etc., but I see why you're fanscinated. It's like fur deconstructed or reconstructed or something. Not sure I like the look, though -- it's kind of 80s/overdone.

9/22/2006 12:08 PM  

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