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:
This rug is made from a collection of fleeces I have from our neighbours across the valley. They keep Cheviots who have luxuriously thick, bouncy, creamy coloured wool. Click here to learn more about Cheviot wool.
Cheviots 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.
This fleece comes from a “hog” (also known as a “shearling”) so it’s lovely quality as still contains lambs wool. Furthermore, hogs being young “teenage” sheep have yet to go through the stresses and strains of lambing and this is reflected in the quality of the wool.
Cheviot wool is creamy-white in colour and densely packed with a springy quality to it owing to the helical crimp within the fibres. To touch, it is “fuzzy” soft, fluffy, and very bouncy.
Taken from the back, measurements are: approx 34 inches from top to bottom, and approx. 26 inches across the middle at the widest part. These measurements don’t include the locks, the locks measure between 4 and 5 inches with even longer more flowy wool around the britches.
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, 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 rug, please don’t worry, I include an info sheet with every rug I send out.