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 Texel x Herdwick fleece. It comes from our friends Christine & Russell who run a smallholding in Dumfries where they keep a flock of several different breeds of sheep as well as ponies and dogs. They have a similar ethos to us, each of their sheep have names and are friendly and cuddly.
Texel x Herdwick sheep have creamy coloured, thick and springy wool. Click here for further info about this breed and the wool characteristics of these lovely sheep.
This rug has big, fat, “puffy” locks, with longer more “flowy” locks around the “legs”. This “britches wool” is long and wavy and completely different from the wool making up the rest of the fleece. It’s also a bit courser than the rest of the fleece and a little “sheddy”. Please don’t worry though, this is minimal shedding and once the wool settles will become less and less so. Most sheep tend to have this special type of wool around their back legs, it doesn’t only look cute, but the longer, courser wool is naturally water repellent which is quite handy considering sheep spend most of their lives out in the elements!
The rug measures approx. 28 inches in length from top to bottom measured at the longest points, and approx. 20 inches across the middle at the widest part. These measurements don’t include the locks, the locks measure approx. 3 inches with even longer locks around the “britches” 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 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.
Should you 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.