Felted fleece rugs are totally “sheep friendly”. No sheep are harmed in the process of making them, hurray! They may look just like sheepskin rugs but if you turn one over, you will see the base of the rug is made entirely of wool, not a hint of hide in sight.
Making each rug is a labour intensive but enjoyable process. It takes me several days to make a rug as everything is done by hand, see how I make them here:
This rug is made from a “North Country Mule Hog” fleece from Marwhirn Farm in the village who keep Scottish Blackface Mules and North Country Cheviot Mules.
Hogs are “teenage” sheep who have brilliant quality wool thanks to not having yet had lambs. The stress of lambing can sometimes affect wool quality so when I work with a hog fleece I’ll know that usually the wool is going to be great.
North Country Cheviot Mules are lovely sheep with their silky soft, springy, creamy coloured fleeces. They’re the result of crossing a Blue Faced Leicester tup with a North Country Cheviot ewe. While Cheviots have dense, springy, tightly packed wool, the Blue Faced Leicester has luxuriously long and silky wool. As you can imagine, the combination of these characteristics brings about a sheep with a truly lovely fleece.
This rug is a biggie, it measures approx. 41 inches in length from top to bottom measured at the longest points, and approx. 29 inches across the middle at the widest part. These measurements don’t include the locks, the locks measure between 5 and 6 inches making the rug appear bigger when it is laid flat.
Please note, although I soak, wash and rinse each rug I make, (sometimes I’ll wash a rug several times over depending on how adventurous the sheep has been on her travels through the pastures and what she has collected on her fleece over the year), it’s likely you’ll still find little “meadow reminders” hiding away in the wool. Hopefully not too many though! I go through each fleece after it’s been washed and dried and pick out any remaining “meadow bits”, but as you can imagine, it would be impossible to remove every single little seed.
If you should ever need to wash your rug yourself, it can be gently soaked in warm water using a wool/silk detergent followed by a refreshing vinegar rinse to keep the pH happy. More washing info is included with each rug I send out.