Just like the rugs I make, these scarves look just like sheepskin but are in fact totally “sheep friendly”. No sheep are harmed in the process of making them, hurray!
I made this particular scarf using wool from a very pretty Swaledale-Mule fleece. The fleece comes from a farm nearby, in Dumfries where our friends Christine and Russell live. They keep a variety of different sheep and are lovely people. Their operation is very similar to ours and all their sheep have names and are friendly.
To make this scarf I took the fleece and selected the nicest locks which I laid out into a long “scarf shape” onto a layer of carded wool batts. Then I felted everything in the normal way with soap and warm water. Once the piece was washed and dry, I stitched in a brushed cotton lining for extra softness. Click here to read more about how I make sheep-friendly sheepskin:
I mainly lined the scarf for aesthetic reasons as I like the finished look of a lining 😊. I also wanted there to be absolutely zero itchiness. We’ve all worn woolly things our Grannies knitted for us as children and know there’s nothing worse than that itchy wool feeling! So, being a scarf I didn’t want to take any chances and added a brushed cotton lining just to be sure. To be honest though, Swaledale-Mule wool is fine and non-scratchy. Mule wool is great because it has the softness from the Blue Faced Leicester which is super fine and very sought after by spinners and knitters. Click here for more information about Mules and how fabulous they are:
I’m a huge fan of using homemade and/or organic products for everything, including washing wool. Once the scarf was felted, I washed it in “Sonett” olive oil laundry liquid for wool and silk. Then I rinsed it in spring water with a splash of homemade apple cider vinegar with a few drops of organic lavender oil as a natural moth repellent.
A little disclaimer; although I soak, wash and rinse all the felted items I make, (sometimes 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 look after and wash your scarf, please don’t worry, I include care and washing tips with every felted item I send out.