During my early summer photo ventures into Alaska’s Arctic, I’ve collected qiviut from the willow bushes along the tundra. What is qiviut? It is the super soft undercoating of the muskox. In June, as the summer warmth comes to the Arctic, the muskox shed their winter coat. I’ll be traveling to the Arctic a handful of times in the next 6 months, and in June I hope to take some daytime breaks and search the tundra for qiviut caught in the branches of the shrubs. It is a nice daytime break for a walk, under that relentless summer sun that forces the photography schedule to from 10pm to 5am. One thing I learned from the people who spin this into yarn, is that when collecting the qiviut, you should handle it gently. Don’t cram it into a pack or bag, but rather leave it loosely collected, which makes the cleaning process much, much easier. And the cleaning and separating the guard hairs can be a very time consuming task.