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Turn Your Pet’s Coat into a Coat for Yourself!

 by danielle on 31 May 2014 |
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Have you ever been cuddling your fluffy cat or dog and thought what a wonderful coat their fur would make?
Historically, the Native American Salish tribe used the fleece of the extinct Salish Wool Dogs in their designs. Modern day craftspeople are now using the fur of cats and dogs of today to create interesting and unique designs.

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Hair of the Dog Designer Yarns is one of a number of companies that allow you to send in your pet’s fur to have it spun into wool.
The company was founded when Nancy, the owner of Afghan hound, Chili, noticed all the fine quality hair she was collecting when she groomed him. She was sure she could make something useful out of it and so learned to spin yarn and knit.
A grocery bag full of fur is generally enough for a project such as a woven purse or dog yarn hat.
Breeds such as the American Eskimo, Cow, Newfoundland, Golden Retriever, Malamute, Maltese, Samoyed, Husky, Saluki, Poodle and shepherds have fur ideal for weaving. Long-haired cats, including Persians, Ragdolls and Himalayans, have similarly useful fur.
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Surprisingly, dog and cat wool is usually about 70% lighter than wool derived from sheep or llamas -  and it's far warmer.
But does dog fur smell? No, says Nancy, as dog yarn is thoroughly cleaned and de-odorised in the cleaning process. Apparently dogs are known to still be able to sniff out the smell of another dog no matter how thoroughly it is treated however - so beware! 
Dog and cat fur can be dyed just like regular wool to create any colour garment or accessory you desire.
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Doumé Jalat-Dehen is another spinner who works with pet fur to create versatile clothing. Jalat-Dehen’s work has been captured by photographer Erwan Fichou’s series Dogwool, which displays owners with their dogs wearing canine fur clothes manufactured in her studio. 

Books such as Crafting with Cat Hair by Kaori Tsuaya help interested readers create their own cat fur fabric and handicrafts and home. 


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