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 using Yssi’s fleece from when she was first sheared at just over a year old. It is creamy grey in colour with flecks of darker grey and caramel. The fleece has the characteristic long, dense locks of young Ryelands, and being Yssi’s first fleece, it is made up of her “baby wool” plus a year’s growth so is extra thick, soft and cuddly.
Yssi is a remarkable young sheep, she was born without a bottom hole so had a delicate operation at just a day old. She has gone on to become a big confident girl with a sweet character and the most incredible fleece. She looks like a big teddy bear as I think you’ll agree from the photos.
The “Yssi rug” measures approx 24 x 26 inches including locks. (Locks measure approx 3 inches). This rug would make an ideal bedside rug where footfall is light and barefeet will get to benefit from its softness. Due to its shaggy nature it would also work well placed on a chair, ottoman or bench to soften a room, or simply draped over the arm of a sofa.
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:
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.
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. For more information on rug care, click here: