What are ethical sheepskin rugs?
Our ethical sheepskin rugs are handmade felted fleece rugs also known as “vegetarian sheepskin rugs”, “cruelty free rugs” or “sheep friendly rugs”. They are an excellent alternative to the traditional sheepskin rug. They look just like sheepskin rugs, however if you turn one over you will see that the base is made of wool rather than hide.
The rugs are made by a technique known as “wet felting”. This is the use of hot water and agitation to encourage wool fibres to stick together. For more information on how I make felted fleece rugs, click here.
Made in the UK
Our rugs are made by hand at our smallholding here in SW Scotland, UK.
Felting – a magical process
There is something magical about felting. It is a kind of alchemy; the combination of hot water, soap and agitation coming together to produce a whole new fabric never ceases to amaze. But when you think about it, wool fibres will felt naturally given half the chance, so making these rugs is simply taking advantage of a wholly natural process. Keeping things natural is important to us so we’re careful about the products we use to wash the rugs afterwards and we wouldn’t dream of dying them. Sometimes I brush the locks out depending on the type of fleece I’m using. I tend to keep the curly fleeces curly and only brush out the straighter fleeces for a different look. To see what goes into a felted fleece rug, click here.
Each rug comes with a story
These ethical sheepskin rugs are great for many reasons. From a practical point of view they’re great because you can wash them. They can even be machine washed on a cool wool cycle and they come out lovely and fluffy.
From a spiritual point of view they’re great because each rug is more than “just a rug”. Every rug I make has a connection to the sheep who provided the wool. At shearing time, I label up each fleece as it comes off the sheep and carefully bag them up. When I come round to making rugs later in the year I know exactly which fleece belongs to which sheep.
Sheep friendly and sustainable
One of the best things about these ethical sheepskin rugs is that the same sheep can provide a rug year after year. Making these rugs is very much in keeping with what we try to achieve on our smallholding; a sustainable living. The proceeds from the rugs goes towards paying for our flock’s winter feed, sheep nuts, straw for their winter shelter and anything else they need. It’s a great way for the sheep to earn a little bit towards their living, whilst helping people to stay warm and have cosy homes.
Lots of uses for ethical sheepskin rugs
There are so many uses for an ethical sheepskin rug. As well as the more traditional rug scenarios, many people are now putting them in their bathrooms as bath mats. They are also great as baby’s play mats. The tactile nature of these rugs is very appealing. A friend of mine has one under his desk at work to keep his toes warm, he says it’s great for de-stressing.
You can buy our ethical sheepskin rugs from our shop – please have a look – they come in many different sizes so there should be one to suit you.
For more inspiring ideas click here.
Ethical sheepskin rugs uk