Snug as a bug

Snug as a bug

The creation of our snug range has been quite a bit of fun but has also proven to be a surprisingly grounding process.

Over the past few months, we have had the pleasure of exploring the most beautiful Australian-grown cotton and wool textiles. I knew that we created some incredible fabrics and fibres in Oz, but I didn’t really know, you know? That all changed when I started ordering samples from local and interstate manufacturers and producers. The Queensland-grown cotton was ridiculously smooth and fine. The NSW organic wool – seriously, when I opened that first special box and ran my fingers through the organic merino roving…just wow. These textiles were far superior to anything I had ever seen in retail stores, and my respect for Australian farmers and manufacturing exploded. I couldn’t wait to begin dyeing, cutting, crocheting, felting, and any other technique I could think of to find the best end result for a snuggly place for cat to sleep. Considering that the average cat sleeps 15 hours per day, we figured that this was something we should get right.

Aside from the joy of the creative process, the birth of the snug has also sent us into our thinking corners to contemplate. The cotton snugs were gorgeously bright, machine washable, and super durable, but all of our animal testers were snobbishly indifferent to them (rude!). The un-felted roving snugs were deliciously soft and as plump as clouds, and the test kitties fell over themselves to get to them, but the cat’s kneading quickly destroyed the delicate fabric. It was Horror City when I presented the first prototype to Cat-1 and Cat-2 and their enthusiastic nestling resulted in plumes of airborne wool floating around the room.

And yet, we persisted. Merino wool is a super fibre. It’s breathable, microbial, hypoallergenic, water repellant, flame retardant (all important if your cat is a smoker), and multi-climatic. And cats have a special relationship with wool; they are drawn to it. To top it off, we found White Gum Wool in Tasmania, with their incredible ethical farming practices, and we fell a little bit in love. Despite our failures and frustrations with its delicacy, we knew that this was the material we absolutely had to use.

But this journey hasn’t just been challenging and enjoyable for me alone. Everyone here at bosscat has also had lots to smile about. They’ve taken great pleasure watching me accidentally shrink a snug to Barbie-size in the washer; me trying to crochet and keep my wriggling wool away from the pouncing cats; me dyeing my hands green to the wrist. Yep, all very amusing.

At the end of the day, we decided on a lightly felted wool texture, achievable through our in-house dyeing process. We think it walks the tightrope between softness and durability. Cats will mould, shape, and redesign this bed to their own specifications, and after a few months it probably (definitely!) won’t look as pristine as it did when it came out of the box. But what we do know is that our many cat testers have given them their purr of approval. It’s a daily battle in our house between the feline children to decide who has sleeping rights in the snug..

Ill-mannered kittens? Bad parenting? Possibly, but we like to think it’s a bed worth fighting over.

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