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The Makings for a Good Sweater

The long, thick coat of the muskox reaches almost to the ground, and makes it look larger than it really is.

The coat consists of two parts: long, coarse outer hairs, called guard hairs, that shed rain and snow; and a soft, dense, wool-like underhair called "qiviut". The combination of the heavy guard hairs and insulating qiviut protect the muskox from the severe cold and winds of the Arctic.

No wool is as warm and light as qiviut, and it has been called the rarest fiber in the world. It can be woven into clothing articles - like scarves that are sold in many tourist shops in Alaska.

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