UK news

Meet the pet owners who send their dogs’ clippings to be spun and woven into canine couture 

Can you get any closer to your beloved four-legged best friend? One woman has found a wonderfully creative way to do so.

Now you and Fido can both go for a dog walk wearing the same coat — his!

Jane Crewe, 56, a mother of four from Edinburgh, started knitting using hair from her giant, fluffy Samoyed dogs two years ago.

As well as making hats, gloves and scarves for herself from her own pets, seven-year-old Samoyed sisters Phaedra and Artemis, she also uses her spinning wheel to make thread for free for friends who send her their dogs’ hair.

Jane, who has been knitting more conventionally using sheep’s wool since she was five, says: ‘Northern breeds of dogs like Samoyeds have a double-layered coat and the undercoat is very soft and insulates their skin in extreme cold. 

Can you get any closer to your beloved four-legged best friend? One woman has found a wonderfully creative way to do so. Now you and Fido can both go for a dog walk wearing the same coat — his! Jane Crewe, 56, a mother of four from Edinburgh, started knitting using hair from her giant, fluffy Samoyed dogs two years ago

‘They blow — or shed — the undercoat every year and that’s the best for spinning.’

The craft of spinning wool from dogs’ hair is called chiengora. The word comes from chien, the French for dog, and angora, the soft fur of a breed of rabbit. It dates back as far as prehistoric Scandinavia.

Jane Crewe, 56, has found a wonderfully creative way of getting closer to her dogs

Jane Crewe, 56, has found a wonderfully creative way of getting closer to her dogs

It might all sound a bit barking but, as the four women featured here show, making woofy jumpers is the height of fashion.

It’s wonderfully soft and fluffy . . . like a good-quality mohair 

Jane Crewe started knitting using dog fur two years ago after getting her pets, Samoyed sisters Phaedra and Artemis, both seven.

She researched the Siberian breed and discovered that she could make yarn from their fur.

Mrs Crewe, 56, who works front of house at Edinburgh Zoo, said: ‘You brush it off and can get three standard supermarket bagfuls a time.

‘You can use it single-ply, whereas with sheep’s wool you might use two- or four-ply.

‘It’s a terrific fibre to work with — very soft and fluffy like a good-quality mohair or angora.

‘And because these breeds don’t produce the oils that weather-proof other dogs’ coats, you don’t get that doggy smell.’

Laughing, Mrs Crewe, who also lives in the Scottish capital, adds that her husband Martin, 61, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, thinks she’s ‘mad as a box of frogs’.

She makes hats, gloves and scarves for herself — but Martin hasn’t asked for a dog jumper yet.

She started knitting using hair from her giant, fluffy Samoyed dogs two years ago. As well as making hats, gloves and scarves for herself from her own pets, seven-year-old Samoyed sisters Phaedra and Artemis, she also uses her spinning wheel to make thread for free for friends who send her their dogs' hair

She started knitting using hair from her giant, fluffy Samoyed dogs two years ago. As well as making hats, gloves and scarves for herself from her own pets, seven-year-old Samoyed sisters Phaedra and Artemis, she also uses her spinning wheel to make thread for free for friends who send her their dogs’ hair

A fitting tribute to my beloved mountain dog

When Kalie the Pyrenean Mountain Dog passed away aged 11 more than a decade ago, his owner Sandie Tadd was heartbroken.

But she has kept his memory close thanks to a jumper made with fur from a ‘massive moult’ he had when he was 18 months old.

Mrs Tadd, 71, who breeds and shows the giant dogs with her husband Rod, says: ‘It was about three bin liners’ worth.

‘A friend made the jumper for me about 20 years ago. It’s something of a lost art these days with Pyreneans because there are relatively few of them in the UK.’

When Kalie the Pyrenean Mountain Dog passed away aged 11 more than a decade ago, his owner Sandie Tadd was heartbroken. But she has kept his memory close thanks to a jumper made with fur from a 'massive moult' he had when he was 18 months old

When Kalie the Pyrenean Mountain Dog passed away aged 11 more than a decade ago, his owner Sandie Tadd was heartbroken. But she has kept his memory close thanks to a jumper made with fur from a ‘massive moult’ he had when he was 18 months old

Mrs Tadd is pictured with another of her dogs, six-year-old Jacko — or Champion Jacko du Haras de Chante-Neige, to use his far grander pedigree name — admiring her wearing the jumper.

But it was a rare outing for the garment.

‘It’s lovely but I’ve only worn it about three times,’ says Mrs Tadd, from West Wittering, West Sussex.

‘I didn’t have it lined so it’s very itchy — and it’s so warm you have to take it off after about 20 minutes, however cold the weather is.’

‘When we have breed get-togethers, people bring items knitted from their dogs and hang them up on display.’

Now they will be with me forever

Three different dogs produced the hair which went into making former civil servant Betty Corrigan’s treasured cardigan.

Her first Samoyed, Kaza, died aged 13, followed later by Rory, another Samoyed, at the same age. 

Now she has only eight-year-old Niko (above with Betty), also of the same breed.

Three different dogs produced the hair which went into making former civil servant Betty Corrigan's treasured cardigan. Her first Samoyed, Kaza, died aged 13, followed later by Rory, another Samoyed, at the same age

Three different dogs produced the hair which went into making former civil servant Betty Corrigan’s treasured cardigan. Her first Samoyed, Kaza, died aged 13, followed later by Rory, another Samoyed, at the same age

‘Kaza was very special to me because he was my first. 

I kept some of his fur because I just wanted to know that I had something of him still and kept it in a big bag for about five years,’ says Betty, 65, who lives with husband Alex, a retired ambulance worker, near Falkirk in Scotland. 

‘I found out about knitting with dog hair from a Samoyed website. 

‘I sent some of all three of their hair off to a lady who spun it and sent it back, then I knitted the cardigan myself. It cost about £100 to get it spun.

‘I’m wearing my dogs. It’s something that will be with me for ever.’ 

Cosy scarf is a perfect keepsake 

Michelle Parker says her stylish scarf is a ‘great keepsake’ of her much-loved pets — and people are surprised when they find out it is made from dog hair.

She paid £185 for it to be created by Andrea Devine, who specialises in spinning dog hair at her cottage in an Essex village.

Michelle, 54, a design consultant who works on commercial interiors, supplied 15 oz of her four-year-old Samoyed Luka’s undercoat for the body of the nearly 5 ft-long scarf, and 7 oz from Keisha, 12, a Keeshond, for the pom-poms.

Michelle Parker says her stylish scarf is a 'great keepsake' of her much-loved pets — and people are surprised when they find out it is made from dog hair

Michelle Parker says her stylish scarf is a ‘great keepsake’ of her much-loved pets — and people are surprised when they find out it is made from dog hair

Ms Devine also knitted the scarf for her.

‘I think it’s just a great keepsake to have of them and will be even more so when they’re gone,’ says Michelle (pictured above with Luka), from Leeds, West Yorkshire.

‘It’s also lovely and warm and plush.

‘I wear it very occasionally. People don’t realise it’s made from dog hair when they see it. They just think it’s a nice scarf.

‘They tend to be quite surprised when I tell them it’s made from my dogs.’

 Source link

Back to top button