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 the second I’ve made from a collection of fleeces from a friend’s farm nearby. Christine and her husband Russell run a smallholding in the rolling hills near Dumfries. They keep dogs, horses and a friendly flock of Mules, Herdwicks and Herdwick Texel crosses. Christine also runs a successful farm-sitting business and has looked after our flock on several occasions. She is a real gem.
I made this rug from a fleece belonging to one Christine’s “Mules”. “Mule” in sheep terminology is the offspring of a lowland dad and a hill bred mum, in this case dad was a Bluefaced Leicester and mum a Swaledale. Both of these breeds are “wool breeds” and have superb fleeces; long-locked, soft, dense and fluffy.
If you look at the other rugs I’ve made you’ll notice each one is named after the sheep who donated the fleece used to create the rug. In this case, as the fleece came from our friends we’re not sure which sheep it belonged to other than it comes from one of their breeding ewes. It didn’t feel right for the rug to be nameless so I’ve christened it “Molly” short for “Molly the Mule”.
The “Molly rug” measures approx 30 x 24 inches including locks. (Locks measure approx 3.5 inches). This rug would make an ideal bedside rug where footfall is light and barefeet will get to benefit from its softness. It would also work well placed on a chair or bench to soften a room, or draped over the arm of a sofa. Alternatively it would make a great addition to a nursery as a baby rug.
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. To see how I make them click 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. We send some away to be spun into yarn but keep some back to make felted fleece rugs. 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 these rugs yourself, they can be popped in the machine on a wool wash at no more than 30’c, or they can be gently soaked in warm water using a wool detergent followed by a refreshing vinegar rinse to keep the pH happy.