Australian businesswoman and yarn fiend Marion Wheatland has devised a way for you to give your four-legged best friend be they a dog, cat, guinea pig, or rabbit the homage they deserve.
By collecting your pets hair, Wheatland can turn your bestie, dead or alive, into a keepsake for life, by spinning their wool into an item of clothing, a rug or a photo frame. Hurrah.
Wheatland was approached by a student at one of her yarn spinning classes with a genuine and really weird request: to spin her some yarn from her poodle Mango so she could wear it when she was cold.
Never one to turn her nose up at a peculiar request, Wheatland set to work making a warm winter vest of poodle, a beanie quickly followed and before long, the pet-oriented garment requests came galloping in.
That is when Wheatland started her pet yarn business, Spinning Pets Yarn.“Some people think we’re crazy but animals are part of the family,” Wheatland told Mashable Australia.
How do you turn your dead animal’s coat into a keepsake?
We use horse hair for violin bows, sheep’s wool for literally everything that requires warming and goat’s hair to make the scarf of choice for rich old ladies. So why not take all that hair your pet sheds on every precious, fabric-based possession you own and turn it into something useful and warm?
The first step is gathering your pet’s excess hair. You then turn it into yarn via a process called spinning.Not a new dance move, spinning is actually the procedure of twisting fibres in a spiral and winding them onto a bobbin.
Wheatland often receives requests from bereaved pet owners asking to have her create a memento from their beloved family friend and, depending on how long ago the animal died, she’s more than happy to oblige.
For one previous client, Wheatland made enough yarn from the hair of a deceased pet for just a small square. “If you can catch the fibre before the animal really goes down hill, there’s nothing wrong with it, it can still be used,” she explained.
And use it she has, andnot just on a small scale.
Wheatland also has been known to spin husky hair into beanies to raise money for huskies, to spin in Antarctica to raise money for conservation and to teach spinning classes to get the local community involved in her extraordinary hobby.
What, pray tell, is the world’s most wearable dog you ask?
With the help of a wool classifying company, Wheatland has even been able to develop a scale for measuring the comfort factor for different types of pet fibre.
Unsurprisingly the breed of dog with the highest comfort factor (so far) is your bog standard Schnauzer with a comfort factor of 90, followed closely by the Samoyed and Newfoundland sitting cushy at 80 and bringing up the tail end is the Airdale Terrier with a pretty average comfort factor of 49.
Ignoring the novelty factor of it all, Wheatland has a fairly matter-of-fact approach to the whole practice.”It’s a great way to have that personal connection to your animal,” she said. “we wear sheep, goat, arctic fox, squirrel, your mother or grandmother even wore mink, so why not your pet.”
It’s definitely more humane than wearing fur and with the added benefit of it being entirely free.
It’s not weird you’re weird!
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