Tragically, there exists a cruel industry where fur is made into fabrics at the expense of the lives of several different types of animals. Boycotts and rallies help to raise awareness of this awful business as well as force it to scale back dramatically. Furthermore, there are safe, kind alternatives to incorporating fur into clothing that does not require the killing of innocent animals. The Newfoundland dog is just one example of a source of fur used in a quirky activity called "fur spinning".
Many pet lovers find it easy to weave the fur that comes from the Newfoundland's bristly, water resistant, double coat of lengthy hair. A Newfoundland's inner coat is softer and finer. On some members of the breed, the fur is wavy while on others it is straight. And the colors can be everything from usually black to a rare gray and on to a similarly frequently found brown. And the Newfoundland sheds this beautiful hair throughout a year while shedding the undercoat twice a year. There is even a program, Fur For Health, that is fueled by the abundance of shed Newfoundland hair. Donated fur is sewn in fabrics that are then sold so proceeds can go towards maintaining the health of the breed.
If you want to try fur spinning it is important to not cut the hair but rather gather it by using a comb or your fingers during grooming sessions during a heavy-duty shedding period. Once you collect the dog fiber or "chiengora" as it is sometimes referred to as, you need to blend it with a longer fiber such as Alpaca fur since the textures are similar. Then turn all of the individual strands into one piece of yarn by using a spinning wheel, the cheaper drop spindle, or the easier to use electric spinner. Or you can just as easily give the fur you have collected over to a professional weaver to construct whatever piece you'd like.
There are several different things you can craft the fur into. Throws, hats, scarves, socks, and even clothing for your pet can be sewn with the right kind of know-how. The fur can even be dyed (once it has been collected!). One thing to remember is that no matter if it was crocheted or embroidered, dog fur is not as durable as cotton or other manufactured fabrics. Because of that, it is important to take care of the garment and not to ever machine wash them. Only wash them by hand and with the gentlest of detergents.
Fur spinning is not a mainstream activity, but it is an innovative way to make use of all the hair a pet sheds regularly. Some fur spinners even cite the fact that even after their beloved pet has passed, they have a comforting token that is a part of their pet to remain with them forever.