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.
I made this rug from Vi’s fleece. Vi is one of our Yorkshire lassies who, along with her two friends Ursi and Vera, joined us from a farm in Yorkshire a couple of years ago.
Vi is one of our breeding ewes and one of the most enthusiastic mothers we’ve ever seen. Vi absolutely loves the whole process of motherhood, starting from tupping time where she jumps right in batting her eyelashes and making herself known to Mr Tup, right through to having lambs where you couldn’t see a more contented mum.
As you can see from the second photo I think you’ll agree that Vi is a very cute lassie. Not only does she have a sweet smile, she has an eye catching fleece in different shades of cream, brown and beige. Her fleece is also soft, tactile and actually, a bit wild! Once it gets going it will cover her whole face. I am often out there with my scissors giving her face a wee trim. Sheep like to be able to see and get quite nervous if wool starts to grow over their eyes.
On closer inspection you will see a tight crimp running through the individual wool fibres. This crimp is what makes Ryeland wool so springy and bouncy. You will also notice how fine the fibres are which is what makes the wool so soft and Ryeland sheep so cuddly.
The “Vi rug “ is almost square in shape, it measures approx 24 x 26 inches including locks. (Locks measure approx 1.5 inches). This rug would make an ideal bedside rug where footfall is light and barefeet will get to benefit from its softness. It would also work well placed on a chair or bench to soften a room, or draped over the arm of a sofa. Alternatively it would make a great addition to a nursery as a baby rug.
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 at: felted fleece rugs at auchenstroan
My husband 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.
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 which smells lovely. 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 and wonderful bonus, they happen to be a top quality wool breed.
In keeping with our holistic approach we like to use our fleeces in creative ways. We send some away to be spun into yarn but keep some back to make felted fleece rugs. 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 these rugs yourself, 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.
A final wee note, regarding postage, should you wish to order more than one rug please contact me as I might be able to combine postage costs depending on where you are and size of rugs you would like.