If you’ve ever had an ethical dilemma about using fur in furnishings, this might be a solution: cushions made from fur that has been shed natually or collected after grooming.
Animal supporter and weaver Dalia Holsman has combined her two loves to create unique, ethically-sourced homewares such as a huggable snuggle bunny cushion made with real rabbit fur.
The snuggle bunny cushion is part of a range of specialist weavings Dalia creates for fellow animal lovers, which include the collected shed fur from rare and unusual animals from all over the world.
“I look at the opportunity to work with fur as a tribute to the animal it came from,” Dalia said.
“This is why I only ever work with ethically-sourced fur, usually gently combed from the animal or collected after grooming.”
While Holsman is especially fond of rabbit-weaves – she owns and adores two of her own – she also finds it a “great privilege” to work with ethically-sourced furs from exotic creatures such as Vampire Deer from Nepal, Soay Sheep from Scotland, Himalayan Marmot, Guanaco camels from Nepal and the softest forest foraged possum fur from Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
Many of these are protected in rescue shelters, where the sale of their naturally disgarded fur helps keep the shelters running and saving other endangered animals.
“I know that the purchase of shed or combed fur that would normally be thrown away is helping save other animals,” Dalia said.
She can also create one-off cushions using a client’s collected pet fur – a comforting keepsake for the owner.
Dalia said her pet memorial cushions can be made from most animals as long as the fur is around 5 cm long. The fur needs to be spun into yarn before it is woven into a cushion.
“Depending on the animal’s fur, it can take a day to spin enough for a cushion, for example, as it must be blended with another fur such as cashmere and Angora. Once I have the yarn, it can take up to 15 hours to weave.”
“Every piece I weave is a labour of love,” Dalia said.
“It is difficult to weave animal fur but so worthwhile to create the pieces I do as I get to remind others how incredible these creatures are by creating one-of-a-kind creations for humans to enjoy.”