Step Into Spring - Groomer to Groomer

Queen Of Color

Step Into Spring

By Dawn Omboy

Spring is fast approaching and it is time to strip off those heavy winter coats, and maybe slip into something a bit more comfortable and stylish, like a nice bright spring sweater.

Well, today we have just the thing for Kimchi, the white Pomeranian, who not only enjoys her lighter stylish sweater, but loves showing it off much to the delight of her family. To create this look we are going to use a new semi–permanent hair color that is made to fade out in about eight to ten washes, eliminating the need for clipping the coat short to rid it of color.

Before beginning this clipping and coloring adventure, Kimchi is bathed, blown out and dried so we can begin her sweater transfurmation by first cutting in the sweater outlines and fringes.

Fig. 1) Clip the neck area behind head with a 5 or 7 blade and continue this in a circle around the entire neck. Don’t go too far down, as the area just below will need to remain long to become the collar of the sweater.


Fig. 2 & 3) Next, decide just how large you want the collar to be and, using your shears, cut in the collar line all the way around the neck area, using your clipped neck area as a guideline.

Fig. 4) With this done, you are going to move on to setting the cuffs on the front legs. Also using your shears, make a cut below the elbow all the way around the leg and another just above. This will create the illusion of a fluffy trim at the cuff of your sweater. Actual placement of this cuff is strictly up to you and where you think it would look best on the dog you are putting it on.

I cleaned up the legs a bit after this so I could see the definition between the sweater trim and the leg of the dog.

Fig. 5) The next step I took was to place the bottom trim of the sweater by using the natural lines of the dog. I made a cut with my shears, lined up from the placement of the front cuff trim, going in a curving line up the front of the top of the rear leg, over the hip and across the back.

Fig. 6) My next cut would be from the tuck-up, up and curving slightly to the center of the back where it would meet up with the other side.

You now have two lines cut in and this is your outline for the trim at the bottom of the sweater. Now repeat the lines on the other side of the dog and bring it all together, meeting in the middle on the back of your dog.

Fig. 7) Now is the time to remove the excess coat in between the fluffy trim of your sweater. By cutting this short you will be able to easily dye in a pattern of your choice. Using my clippers and a 5f blade I cut the entire coat off other than my sweater trim. This included trimming the legs shorter.

Fig. 8) Using a tint brush, I applied the color medium by first placing the brush at the base of the hair next to the skin and brushing it outward to the tip of the hair. Do this from the top and bottom to outline, and then go back and fill it in by brushing sideways.

Fig. 9) Once the trim is all complete, the sweater is ready for a fill–in. For this one I chose to do a simple spring plaid with complimentary colors that would blend nicely when overlapped. With firm bristle paintbrushes, first practice on paper towels to see what it will look like.

Fig. 10) Start with one color and paint on stripes in one direction, completely on the inside of the sweater. Then with a second paintbrush, paint on the lines so they cross over each other. You can go back and add a little of the first color at some of the cross points to blend it and give it the over under weave look.

Fig. 11) Once all the color was applied, I set a timer for 30 minutes to give the color plenty of time to stain the coat before washing. This particular product seems to rinse very clean unlike many other true semi–permanent color products. Because this is a client’s dog, make sure to rinse, shampoo twice and rinse again so no color will come off the dog, which could cause a possible customer complaint.

Once dried, finish the groom as you normally would and leave the trim of the sweater fluffy. You will notice as you go back over the body with your clippers that the color really pops as you tighten the trim. This sweet little spring sweater is sure to get plenty of attention and make everyone smile. I know I sure did!  Visit Queen of Color on Facebook to see video of this little cutie in action as she steps into Spring. 

Making the World more Colorful, one dog at a time… Queen of Color.
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