One of the funniest expressions I tend to get from viewers of my fiber art comes from when I tell them that sometimes I use dog hair in my needle felting.
You use what?
After all, what’s the best way to make sure that the unique color and texture of your beloved canine’s fur is captured than by using his own fur!?
I’ve had owners request to have custom portraits needlefelted of their dogs, and if it is a unique breed or has a unique coloring, I’ll ask if they mind sending some of the fur so I can incorporate it into my all-natural fibers. All it takes is a few minutes of brushing to get the undercoat (note: this is more successful with dogs that have a dual coat versus those such as a Parson Russell Terrier), place it in a baggie and mail away!
Some questions you might have:
Q: Do I need to bathe my dog first?
A: While it’s not necessary, it is appreciated, especially if your dog prefers to roll in a new “cologne” on a daily basis.
Q: Can I cut the fur?
A: Please no! First of all, that would not look good on your pup, second of all it may not set well into the fabric. A simple brushing should do the trick, especially during shedding season.
Q: Does it matter where I get the hair from my dog? Back? Stomach?
A: It does, but usually if you just do a general full body brushing and include all that hair, it’ll get mixed up just fine.
Q: Is this a requirement for a custom portrait?
A: Not at all! It’s just something fun I like to do every once in a while. Like I said, it offers a more unique color and texture, plus it can be your own secret that within this portrait is your own pup’s fur.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any further questions!