If I lived just a few miles further north, above the 49th parallel, we wouldn't be having this discussion. However, since I am an American, I am subject to the Marine Sea Mammal Protection Act of 1972. That means no seal fur for me. No, I don't care about wearing some damn fur coat around town, I've got plenty of bling already. It's just that seal fur is an amazing natural fiber, noted for it's translucency and magic when added to a dubbing blend. There are a fair amount of natural substitutes, like mohair or angora, but it's just not the same.
I remember catching this article on the Global Fly Fisher a while back when I was debating on whether or not to head up to Hudson Bay and start clubbing some baby seals. Okay, maybe I wasn't that hard up, but I had debated on whether or not I wanted to head up to the 'Peg and risk smuggling some goods across the border. Fearing an anal search and seizure, I started looking for other alternatives. I don't need to end up in Federal pound-me-in-the-ass-prison over a square of fur. I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, but floss and just about any other fine rayon, dacron, or ployester strand material would make a great substitute. Even the stash of Bernat Boa I have been hording. Plus they come in just about every color of the rainbow.
Enter the trilobal fiber. Antron, Z-Lon, Z-Yarn, Sparkle Yarn, whatever you want to call it, this stuff is the bomb for adding highlights to a blend. Just like Needloft, the STS trilobal blend from Hareline offers a bit of sparkle, only in some wacked out colors. I have yet to find Kingfisher Blue in any of Needloft's catalogs, and I definitely don't need to deal with the hassle of dying such an odd color, so I don't mind picking up a bag of this stuff for highlights. It looks exactly the same as Angora, is the same diameter, and is just as translucent when put up to light. Only cheaper.
I recently sat down to make a new olive dubbing blend. I've got a few all synthetic blends, but wanted to create a blend that incorporated a bunch of natural fibers. Funny, how I range from going from all synthetic materials back to digging natural fibers. Evolution. It was a veritable smorgasboard; I threw every fine fiber I had under the sun into that container. Mohair, angora, wool, rabbit, hare, rug yarn, STS trilobal fibers, floss, and Bernat Boa (polyester). The grinder had a workout.
I present Wet Seal dub. A fusion of natural and synthetic. About to make some fish sweat.