What are felted fleece rugs? 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:
Dark woolled Cheviot: This rug is made from a collection of fleeces I have from our neighbours across the valley at Craiglearan Farm. These lovely neighbours of ours keep Cheviots who have luxuriously thick, bouncy, creamy coloured wool.
Cheviots are easy going sheep and there are lot of them around here because they’re very suited to the harsher terrain of the North of England and Scotland. In fact they get their name from the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. They are naturally 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.
You may be wondering why this rug is shades of brown & grey if Cheviots are traditionally creamy-white? Well, this would be a good question and the answer is that while most Cheviots have pale creamy wool, every so often a recessive gene pops up and a darker woolled sheep appears, seemingly out of nowhere.
These darker woolled Cheviots are very special and a reminder that early sheep were largely shades of brown, grey and black. The creamy-white sheep we see today came about through many years of selective breeding, white wool being more desirable due to it being easier to dye.
The texture of the darker wool is a little different from white Cheviot wool. It is courser and has a less crimp within the fibres. The wool feels more like primitive wools and I enjoy working with it because it’s like stepping back in time.
Fleece description: I decided to brush this fleece out because courser wools respond really well to brushing. The brushing has made the fibres feel really soft to the touch and showcases the natural bounciness of the wool. Cheviot wool has lots of body to it which you can see in the close up photos in the gallery.
The colour of the fleece is predominantly grey with a bit of brown peeking through here and there. It’s an exceptionally pretty rug and is somehow reminiscent of a teddy bear.
Rug measurements: taken from the back, measurements are: approx 33 inches from top to bottom, and approx. 21 inches across the middle at the widest part.
Organic ingredients: I’m a huge fan of using homemade and/or organic products for everything around the house, including washing wool. This rug is washed in “Sonett” olive oil laundry liquid for wool and silk. It is then rinsed in spring water with a splash of our homemade apple cider vinegar with a few drops of organic lavender oil (as a moth repellent).
A little disclaimer: 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 in her wool over the year), it’s likely you’ll still find little “meadow reminders” hiding away in the fibres. Hopefully not too many though! I do 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.
Please also note, natural wool rugs can be prone to a little shedding after having been washed but this will calm down once the fibres settle.
Rug care: last but not least, if you’re wondering how to care for and wash your rug, please don’t worry, I include an info sheet with every rug I send out.