Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My First No-Kill 'Sheep Skin' Rug

Rug Designed But Not Yet Felted

After shearing, the fleeces are skirted two times. The first time what comes off is pretty much garbage--good for mulch and that is about it. When I skirt them later for the second time, there is often some really nice stuff that gets pulled for a variety of reasons like excess veggie matter or mats for instance. It can be a bit heart breaking to throw some of it away.

Enter the 'no kill sheep skin' rug! These things are way fun to do and so far I've made two out of the bag full of skirtings. Combining some roving for the base and the individual locks from a variety of fleeces and felting it together is the basic concept. Keeping the lock structure intact is important to give it the 'fresh off the sheep' look. They are lovely soft to step on, even though they do still have some veggie matter in them (hey, just like my real on the hoof fleeces-ha..).

Care of them should be minimal--a good shake out weekly or on occasion a soapy soak in the tub, a rinse and a flat surface to dry on.

They are fun to make and because they are fairly small in size, I can easily 'roll' them in the bathtub. I'm looking forward to making many more--I'm even eyeballing a couple of trashy lambs fleeces for future NK Rugs!

Here are a few pictures of the unfinished and finished rug:

Another view of the rug after assembly but before felting

Rug has been wet-felted and is in the drying process

Finished NK Rug
Rug has dried and been 'picked' to bring locks back up and also some needle felting was done to reinforce thin areas.

This little rug is already in it's new home, where it will help keep a spinner's toes warm this winter.


Rae said...

What a great idea! I have a friend who would probably love to try this. I'll have to send her a link to this post. Very cool!

Mim said...

I love felt and this is great for all the wool that doesn't process into nice roving! Do you roll it? Wondering how the lock structure stays in tact after rolling, if you do.

Louise said...

Those are really beautiful, and different from anything that I have ever seen!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great idea!

Kelly Bartels said...

This is beautiful. I love that you call it your no kill rug. What a great marketing idea for that piece if you decide to do more.

Lana C. said...

This is awesome. Such a beautiful, organic rug - or rather - piece of ART!

Lana from FarmLifeLessons

Christine said...

That is a hoot, I love it!

Vicki Lane said...

What a nice idea! I'll bet the cats like it.

Drug1234 said...

Such a creative idea this is ,that you must get it patented.I like the headig "no kill rug".




Tina T-P said...

Very cool - yes, it just about kills me when The Shepherd skirts fleeces - I see so much that is beautiful wool, but full of chaff. Good Job...T.

Kathy said...

Cool beans! What an interesting idea. Leave it to you, Tammy, to reinvent the flokati rug - Shepherdess style! You go, girl!!!

Heather Woollove said...

How wonderful! I love felting in the grease, too!!