Okay, nobody panic! No animals were hurt in the making of this article or anything in it. The kind of fur I'm referring to is dog fur. The fur is taken from the dog during the grooming process. Specifically, you save the fur that comes out during brushing or when cutting the dog's fur. The fur is then hand carded and spun into yarn. All sorts of products are made from this fur, including the hat and cape shown in the picture above by Anastasia and Nina in Russia.
Instead of throwing this fur in the garbage, you can make all sorts of warm and wonderful products out of it. This has been going on for centuries, apparently. Many Eskimo and Indian tribes have used dog fur in their textiles. They have even found textiles using 'chiengora' (dog fluff) in archaeological digs. The fur is extremely warm and waterproof. I wouldn't recommend walking your dog while wearing a sweater made of it's fur though. As you can see from the picture above, you may be stopped by the fashion police!
This may seem like a pretty gross idea to some people. Or maybe even most people. But when you get right down to it, how is a sheep's wool any different than your dog's fur? If the choice is to throw it away or make something useful out of it, why not? The fur supposedly does not hold it's smell once it has been cleaned properly. It's apparently even wet-dog smell free if you get caught outside in a shower.
If you're not a dog person, you can save your cat fur too to make something out of. The same process is used where the cat is groomed, often shaved like a lion, the fur is saved and spun into yarn. The yarn is then used to make something out of. A company called Catty Shack Creations will do the whole process for you if you're not into DIY. They make purses as "keepsakes" as a pet and have a list of groomers that you can take your cat to. The groomers then gather and send the fur to them to make something out of.
Another company for people who are unable to DIY is called Pet Yarn Chic. They do everything from spinning the fur into yarn for you to making completed projects such as mittens, scarves, hats, infant wear, wraps and wrist warmers. If you are into doing it yourself, visit Amazon to buy the book called Knitting with Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know And Love Than A Sheep You'll Never Meet by Kendall Crolius. I swear Amazon has everything. Now all I need is start saving that fur instead of vacuuming it up. It might take me a while though with only a shitzhu!