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 collection of fleeces I have from our next door neighbours at Craiglearan Farm. They keep a flock of Cheviots who have luxuriously thick, bouncy, ivory coloured wool.
Cheviots get their name from the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. They are friendly sheep and are known for being able to thrive in places other sheep wouldn’t. They are also known for being very kind and caring mothers.
This is a big “hog” fleece rug. All the fleeces I have from our neighbours are from their “hogs” and are of super quality. This fabulous wool quality is due to hogs being “teenage” sheep who haven’t yet gone through the stresses and strains of lambing. Every single fleece from this batch is lovely and produces a big, thick, yummy, scrummy, luxurious rug.
The rug measures approx. 43 inches in length from top to bottom measured at the longest points, and approx. 24 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.
The most noticeable feature about this rug is its softness, and if you pick it up you‘ll also notice how weighty it is. There’s a lot of wool in this rug and overall it’s very cuddly. The locks are a little longer than is usual for a Cheviot, and “puffy” and each one has a curly tip which disappears in older Cheviots. This curly tip is a leftover from the lamb’s fleece who start out in life with baby curls. For more info on the Cheviot breed and wool characteristics please click here.
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.
If you’d like to wash your rug yourself, it can 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.