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 Yogi’s fleece. Yogi is one of the younger members of our flock of Coloured Ryelands, click here to meet her: She’s a confident young lady and spends much of her time nibbling on hedgerows. Yogi is very special due to her unusual, caramel coloured fleece, the only caramel sheep in our flock in fact! Her wool is dense, “puffy” and very springy. This springiness is because of a concertina like crimp running through each individual wool fibre The overall feel of the “Yogi rug” is “fuzzy soft”.
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, and in Yogi’s case, caramel!
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.