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.
This rug is from a collection of fleeces from our friends who keep a happy flock of Herdwicks, Herdwick x Texels and Mules. They have the same philosophy as us, running a small operation which allows them to get to know each sheep, give them names and build up a friendship with them.
I made this rug from a fleece belonging to one of friends’ “Mules”. Mules are great little sheep – they are the offspring of a “hill bred” mum and a “lowland” dad. This particular fleece comes from a Mule with a “Swaledale” mum and a “Blueface Leicester” dad. Both these breeds have fabulous wool; creamy in colour, long locked and lustrous. Mules are specifically bred to bring the best characteristics of lowland and hill bred sheep. They make terrific mums and are hardy enough to sustain a Scottish winter out on the hills. But I love Mules for their gorgeous fleeces, every rug I make from a Mule fleece turns out lovely and the wool is a joy to work with.
This rug measures approx. 30 inches in length from top to bottom measured at the longest points, and approx. 20 inches across the middle (not including locks). Locks measure between 3 and 4 inches. This rug would make an ideal bedside rug or even a luxurious bath mat. There’s a lot of wool to this rug so it has quite a lot of weight to it and drapes well, it would look nice placed on a chair, ottoman or bench to soften a room, or simply draped over the arm of a sofa to snuggle into on chilly evenings.
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:
My husband 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 be gently soaked in warm water using a wool detergent followed by a refreshing vinegar rinse to keep the pH happy. To keep the wool soft, don’t be tempted to use fabric softner, it causes havoc with wool fibres. Further washing and care info will be sent out with the rug.💝