Felted fleece seat pads are totally “sheep friendly”. No sheep are harmed in the process of making them, hurray! They may look just like sheepskin but if you turn one over, you will see the base is made entirely of wool, not a hint of hide in sight.
Making felted fleece items is a labour intensive but enjoyable process. It takes me several days to make something as everything is done by hand, see how I make them here:
This seat pad is made from a Herdwick fleece, the fleece comes from friends of ours who run a smallholding in Crocketford near Dumfries. They keep several different types of sheep and have recently added Herdwicks to their family. They’re all super friendly and like ours, all of them have names.
Herdwicks are the iconic grey sheep with smiley faces you see roaming the Lake District in the North of England. They’re great little sheep and very hardy, in fact perfectly suited to the rough terrain and climate of this part of the world. Their woolly coats are double coated which means they have a special, insulating downy layer close to their skin, and a longer, courser layer of wool on the outside.
Herdwick wool is predominantly grey, and depending on the age of the sheep, can be a little darker or lighter. Baby Herdwicks are born black and lighten as they age. Some Herdwicks have a touch of brown in their wool but grey is pretty much the main colour.
Texture-wise, Herdwick wool is on the courser side. For this reason I decided to brush out the wool once I’d made the seat pad as courser wool responds really well to being brushed and becomes magically soft. The result being this seat pad has a soft bouncy feel to it and would certainly keep you warm and cosy whilst you sit at your desk working away at your computer, or whilst you’re sitting in your favourite chair watching a film or reading a good book after a long day.
Taken from the back (not including locks), the seat pad measures roughly 18.5 inches in diameter. Locks measure between 4 and 5 inches and are long and flowy with a hint of a curl at the tips.
I’m a huge fan of using homemade and/or organic products for everything around the house, including washing wool. So after felting, I washed the seat pad in “Sonett” olive oil laundry liquid (for wool and silk). Then I rinsed it in spring water with a wee splash of homemade apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of organic lavender oil as a moth repellent.
A little disclaimer: although I soak, wash and rinse each felted item I make, (sometimes I’ll wash something 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 can be prone to a little shedding after having been washed, particularly longer woolled fleeces such as this one. This will calm down once the fibres settle.
Last but not least, if you’re wondering how to care for and wash your seat pad, please don’t worry, I include an info sheet with every item I send out.