Paris-based photographer Erwan Fichou devised the concept for his series Dogwool after observing discarded hair from nearby salons floating in the street, reminding him of tumbleweed. Intrigued whether it would be possible to spin the human hair he had seen into a workable material, he contacted Doumé Jalat-Dehen, who is known for fashioning wool out of dog hair. To create the wool, fur is collected through regular brushing before undergoing traditional wool-making processes. A laborious process from beginning to end, it can take up to 7 years to collect enough fur to make a jumper similar to those pictured. It then takes approximately 2 hours for a specialist like Jalat-Dehan to turn the collected fur into a ready to knit, 50g ball of wool.
Jalat-Dehan put Fichou in contact with a selection of her clients who had crafted clothing out of the wool she spun from their pets’ molted fur. Inspired by the people he met, Fichou set out to photograph these relationships, “I am not very interested about the supposed ability of photography to represent reality, but the possibility images can offer to build projections and interactions” he explains. The resulting images show the pairs brimming with pride, bonded in both love and ensembles.