Just like the rugs I make, these cushions are 100% sheep-friendly, no sheep are harmed in the process of making them. They are made from only felted wool which is then sewn onto a cotton or linen back. They are very soft and cuddly, just like our sheep in fact!
To make these cushions I use up the left-over locks of wool from my rug making.
I’ve written a bit about the cushion making process here and you can see some photos of how I make them too. I really enjoy making them, they are a great way to use up every last bit of wool, but best of all, I love working with natural fibres and transforming “scraps” into something useful and lovely.
This cushion is made from lambs’ wool fleece from our flock of Coloured Ryelands. The wool is extra soft because it’s from the first clip so still contains baby wool, (our lambs are just over a year old when they are sheared). As is characteristic with Coloured Ryelands who are very dark when they are young, this cushion is dark brown with a black undercoat and lighter brown flecks on top where the sun has started to lighten the tips.
The locks of wool are roughly two inches long and I’ve not brushed this one out because the natural curl is so cute 😊
The back of the cushion is “Oxford seeded” 100% cotton in a neutral “natural” shade which I would describe as kind of creamy or off-white. You will notice there are two buttons on the back. This is to allow you to remove the cover for washing, click here for washing tips:
Inside the cushion there’s an “inner” which I have stuffed with wool glorious wool! These are the bits that don’t make it onto the outside of the cushion. They are washed and sifted through for bits of grass and hay etc. I then add some drops of cedarwood essential oil to the stuffing as a moth repellent. Did you know that moths cannot abide cedarwood?
I think you’ll agree this cushion would look cute anywhere in the home and lend an air of rustic charm to whichever room you decide to place it in.
Take a peek at the blog on our home page to see what we get up to here on our smallholding but here’s a brief summary meanwhile; my husband and I 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 use what we produce in creative ways.
We do not use chemicals on our sheep, we are lucky, there are not many flies up here in the hills. In the summer we spray them as a precaution, but use an organic product based on lemons. As we cuddle our sheep frequently and use their fleeces to make things with we prefer to keep things natural.
Until recently Ryeland sheep were considered to be a “rare breed”. This is partly why we chose to keep them as we wanted to boost numbers. They are also the ideal sheep for smallholders as they’re friendly and easy to handle. As an added bonus, they happen to be a top quality wool breed.
I love the way that by making cushions (and rugs), the same sheep can provide cushions and rugs year after year. Best of all, the proceeds from the things I make from their wool goes straight back to the sheep to buy their hay, straw, sheep nuts, mineral licks … all those things that sheep need to be happy. These days our little flock is pretty much sustainable and we can keep them until they die naturally of old age because as long as they’re chomping away on the pastures they will keep on producing wool 😊
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