Around Christmas 2015, Steve Hawley contacted me to see if I could use my patented K9 CleanCoats design to create K9 Kevlar bodysuits. He wanted to take his best friend, Renee, on trips in the side-car of his Royal Enfield.
Firstly, I had to source Kevlar. Most manufacturers did not want to supply me with the relatively small amount I needed to make the proto-types. Thankfully, Blake Whitrow, Heathcoat Fabrics, Tiverton was able to send me some. The Heathcoat staff were intrigued at the prospect of the world’s first motorcycle suit for a dog.
Having acquired the Kevlar, the next problem was cutting it. It is designed to be a very tough, non-tear fabric. I then had to source Kevlar shears as it minced my sewing scissors! However, once I’d got the shears it was all steam ahead. Thankfully, it is easy to sew.
Having finally achieved what I hoped was a good proto-type, I set off to meet Steve down in Warwickshire. We put Renee in the yellow K9 Kevlar bodysuit & a cosy K9 CleanCoat on top to keep her protected from the rain & wind-chill.
Steve & Renee set off, with her sitting up in the side-car. Previously, she had laid down out of the wind-chill. She was enjoying being warm.
Tom Rayner, a Producer from Associated Press, made a news film about Steve & Renee & their K9 CleanCoats. This was shown in the USA on NBC & USA Today. You can view that here or on the Home page of the K9 CleanCoats website.
Last week, & following the publicity in the US, I did an interview for Adventure Rider Radio in Canada. I spoke about how I got into making dog coats & K9 Kevlar bodysuits. The stories of Ara & the Clarkes’ travels with their dogs are fascinating. You can listen to that by clicking here or on the link on the Home page of the K9 CleanCoats website.
Davey Beaton’s Patterdale Terrier, Wilson, was my first trike customer.
Davey was kind enough to let me & Toto have a go!
When I created this made-to-measure bodysuit design to keep my own little dog clean, warm & dry it never occurred to me I’d end up making them in Kevlar for the world’s hairy bikers!