Musk Ox

Musk Ox Manufacture

Musk oxen are an animal very similar to the bison. They are related to smaller animals such as goats and sheep. They live in cold climates, in places such as Alaska, Siberia, Greenland and Canada. Musk ox meat was part of the staple diets of the Inuits and to reduce the amount of waste produced, they started to wear the skins of the animals. Musk Oxen became extinct in the 1800s in Greenland, but were re-introduced by people in the 1930’s

Due to over hunting Canada banned the hunting of Musk Ox between 1917 and 1969. Today it still regulates the amount of animals hunted. By the late 1940’s Musk Ox was highly desirable, both for the meat and the hides. The hides at this time were being used for blankets, clothing and shelters.

Musk ox hides are available either as fur pelts with the long shaggy hair attached or as leather, with the hair removed. Today Musk ox are no longer endangered because of the CITES regulations, only a certain number are allowed to be hunted, and because Musk Ox hide is not as popular as it once was, this quota of animal hunting is usually not reached. The Musk Oxen that are killed are usually for their meat, the hide is just a by-product used to reduce waste.

Properties of Muskox

  • Usually black or dark brown
  • Lightly grained
  • Durable
  • Lasts well
  • Soft
  • Can be available in many different colours
  • Limited quality
  • Luxurious
  • Supple
  • Thin
  • Warm to wear
  • Comfortable
  • Rich Nappa leather
  • Like most animal skins, each piece is individual

Uses of Muskov in Fashion Past and Present

  • Bags
  • Wallets
  • Purses
  • Inuit Sleeping robes
  • Moccasins
  • Gloves/Mittens
  • Jackets
  • High Quality Products

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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