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.
I made this rug from a Jacob fleece I acquired from a farm in Devon. http://farmerdixon.co.uk/
Jacob sheep have THE MOST GORGEOUS fleeces, soft, thick and tactile. They are also spotty! Not only do they have fabulous fleeces, Jacobs are fun sheep with plenty of personality. Interestingly, it is thought that the Jacob sheep originated in the Middle East and came to Britain via Spain on the Armada although nobody knows for sure. One thing we do know is that they get their name from Jacob in the book of Genesis in the old Testament of the Bible where it is written that Jacob took every speckled and spotted sheep from his father-in-law’s flock and bred them to produce even more spotty sheep. Who knows, perhaps the forefathers of the Jacob sheep we know today did indeed originate in the Middle East?
This rug is a medium sized rug, measuring 28 x 20 inches measured on the back at the widest parts (not including locks). Locks measure between 3 and 4 inches and are soft, dense and bouncy.
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 and everything is done by me alone. The bigger the rug, the longer it takes.
My husband Adrian and I run a small holding in the Galloway Hills of South West Scotland. We keep a flock of Coloured Ryeland sheep as well as hens and two rescue dogs. We try to live as sustainably as we can and we like to use what we produce in creative ways.
In keeping with our holistic approach we like to use our fleeces in creative ways. In the past we sent all our fleeces away to be spun into yarn but now we keep most to make felted fleece items. Friends and neighbours have taken to giving me their fleeces too which is why I can happily offer many different types of fleeces. I love the way that by making these rugs, the same sheep can provide a rug year after year.
Please note, although I carefully wash and rinse each rug, you may still find tiny bits of hay/grass/seeds hiding away in the fleece.
Should you need to wash your rug it can gently soaked in warm water using a wool/silk detergent followed by a refreshing vinegar rinse to keep the pH happy. It can also be popped in the machine on a wool cycle at no more than 30’c, however, please note there might be a risk of shrinkage or changing of shape. Last but not least, never be tempted to use fabric conditioner or softener on wool unless it’s one specifically for wool. But please don’t worry, I include detailed care and washing instructions with each rug I send out.