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 Sparkle’s fleece. Sparkle is a member of our flock of Coloured Ryelands. She’s one of the more mature ladies in our flock and spends her time sharing her wisdom and stories of her youth with the younger members. She has a sweet nature and a pretty fleece which is silky soft to the touch. Her wool is different shades of beige, cream and brown. Each lock of wool is “crimpy”, like a concertina, which gives her wool a springy feel. At the tip of each lock there is small curl which you can see if you zoom into the pictures. Click here to meet her.
Coloured Ryelands are a short-woolled breed. While not sporting the long, glamourous locks of their longer woolled cousins who swish by shaking out their wavy manes, Ryelands have bouncy, oh so soft wool which is at the finer end of the wool micron scale and classed as “medium to fine”. Coloured Ryelands have the added appeal of being a variety of different colours from black to brown to beige to grey, through to silvery white.
While not being the easiest of wools to work with, (Ryeland wool takes a little longer to felt than other fleeces), also the shortness of the wool means it’s quite fiddly to handle, I always think it’s worth the extra effort. Ryeland rugs always turn out to be very cute 😊
Because of the time it takes to work with Ryeland fleeces I tend to make smaller items, so this rug is a “smally”. I think it would be ideal as a baby mat.
Being wool from our own flock, it is totally chemical-free as we don’t use pesticides here. Click here for more info:
I’m a huge fan of using homemade and/or organic products for everything, 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 on her fleece over the year), it’s likely you’ll still find little “meadow reminders” hiding away in the wool. 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.
Finally, if you’re wondering how to wash your rug yourself, please don’t worry, I include an info sheet of “woolly washing tips” with every rug I send out.