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Woman Spins Cat and Dog Fur into Textile Yarn as a Keepsake for Their Owners

45-year-old Theresa Furrer, a lifelong knitter and crocheter, is helping pet owners keep their beloved animals close to their hearts by knitting their hair into garments and accessories they can wear.

Theresa is part of a community of artists that specialize in a form of yarn spinning known as “chiengora”  – ‘chien’, the French word for dog, and ‘angora’, from the yarn spun from the soft belly fur of the angora rabbit. They basically take dog and cat hair and spin it into yarn that can subsequently be used to make soft clothing or accessories for grieving pet owners. The 45-year-old Pittsburgh woman says that she understands how some people might find her craft somewhat creepy or even gross, but she is not fazed by it at all.

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Woman Recycles Dog Hair into Beautiful Sweaters, Ponchos, Gloves and More

Chiengora – the art of spinning dog hair to make warm clothing items – has been around for thousands of years, and is still used today by people in extremely cold climates near the Arctic Circle. Now one Chicago-area woman wants to make Chiengora clothing available to dog lovers looking for a way to always stay close to their beloved pet.

Jeannie Sanke, from Evanston, Illinois, started practicing Chiengora – “Chien” is French for dog and “Gora” is  derived from angora – two years ago, and has since created all kinds of custom pieces from dog hair, including sweaters, ponchos, mittens and fluffy cup holders. She sells her creations on the Etsy online store, and regularly posts photos of her newest items on her Facebook page, Knit Your Dog. Most of her clients are dog lovers who want to feel their pet’s fur on their skin as often as possible, and especially owners who have lost their loyal friend and want something special to remember them by.

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