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 Witchy’s fleece. You can see Witchy in the gallery of photos grazing away happily. Witchy is a confident young girl who really came out of herself when she became a mother for the first time to Yogi two years ago. Witchy didn’t have an easy start in life (see Witchy’s story) so we were overjoyed when she went on to become a mother herself.
Witchy’s wool is soft and fluffy, her locks are fairly long for a Ryeland sheep who are a short wooled breed. I would describe this rug as “squishy” to the touch and very strokable.
The colour of Witchy’s wool is grey with the tiniest hint of beige near the tips. Witchy has natural highlights so the locks of wool are darker nearer the base which you can see in picture 8 where I have parted the wool.
When I laid out the locks to construct this rug, I noticed some of the wool still had green paint on it from when we gave the flock their annual vaccinations for pneumonia and pasturella (soil borne diseases). We marked each sheep in turn with a small spray of green paint on the bottom so we knew which had been vaccinated and which hadn’t. Usually this paint washes off with the rain but for some reason despite several soaks and a wash there is still a hint of green showing in the wool. I’ve taken a photo so you can see, thankfully it’s hardly noticeable, but it’s there. I guess you could say it makes this rug unique 😊 Please see last photo for a closeup.
The “Witchy rug” measures approx 24 x 24 inches including locks. (Locks measure between 2 and 3 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, 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 these rugs 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 info on how to wash your rug, please click here: