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 Yssi’s fleece, one of our Coloured Ryeland girls. She’s a young girl, just two years old, and has the nicest fleece of our flock (shhh, don’t tell the others 😉).
Yssi’s fleece stands out from the crowd for a number of reasons, but the first thing you’ll notice is how much wool she has. When Yssi is fully fleeced, she looks like an enormous, fluffy teddy bear. Ryeland wool is naturally on the springy side, it’s fine but at the same time very dense. Yssi takes this to the extreme leading to that classic “before and after” moment at shearing. During the lead up to shearing you think Yssi’s an enormous sheep and should perhaps go on a diet, but once her fleece is off you realise she’s actually quite a slim bean and wonder if it’s the same sheep!
The other reason Yssi’s fleece is so special is the colour. It’s a pretty mixture of browns, greys, creams and beiges. It brings to mind a box of assorted chocolates; milky, chocolate and plain and is just as yummy. I’ve tried to show the colours in the photos, it really is very cute.
This is a smaller 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. 3 inches making the rug appear bigger when it is laid flat.
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.