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 made from a collection of fleeces kindly given to me by our neighbours. They keep a flock of Cheviots who have gorgeous fleeces; long woolled and luxurious.
This particular rug is made from a Cheviot “hog” fleece (a “hog” is a young sheep who’s been sheared for the first time). The youngsters have silky, curly locks of wool in amongst the denser, straighter, “grown up” wool. This makes this particular rug quite special as the curly locks make up quite a lot of the rug and are really cute.
This is a medium sized rug measuring approx. 30 inches in length from top to bottom measured at the longest points, and approx. 18 inches across the middle at the widest part. These measurements don’t include the locks, the locks measure approx. 4 inches making the rug appear bigger when it is laid flat.
You might notice on the underside of the rug there are some lighter spots at one end, this is where I’ve needle felted in some extra locks after washing and drying, the light spots are the wool fibres which have been pushed all the way through by the needle fixing them in place.
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. The bigger the rug, the longer it takes. This rug took me about a week to make, see how I make them here:
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 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.