Friday, July 06, 2012

Raw Felted Fleeces

River Oaks Mystery's lamb fleece is long and silky and VERY soft.  44" x 40"
The heat wave finally let up and I was able to get outside and do a raw felted fleece last night.  This fleece is from River Oaks Mystery, she's out of River Oaks Camille and Sommarang Hansel. I wasn't sure if she was Ag Gulmoget or not.  I sold her to an old friend last summer with the agreement that I would get her fleece. Well, here it is and she definitely wasn't Ag. I would love to have her back in my flock!

This is River Oaks Mia's lamb fleece felted into a lap blanket. It is very soft and shorter than Mystery's. 38" x 36"
Mia before shearing.  Next year COATS are a must!

My Shetland Mule wether Socks before shearing.
Socks' fleece felted into a couch throw. He's got a lot of fleece, this one measures 60" x 29"
 I know many people make these for use as rugs and they felt them down very hard so only a few locks remain. But I keep mine soft to be used as couch throws/lap blankets. I spend all year drooling over the beautiful fleeces in my flock and this way I can enjoy them in the house too.
I've got three more HUGE Border Leicester/Cormo cross fleeces to make into blankets and one coarser fleece to make into a rug. Now is the time to get them done. They are too messy to do indoors.

14 comments:

  1. Becky, these are lovely. I've been meaning to email you re: these. Would you please give a direction sheet on how to do it? I have several fleeces that half felted on the hoof (not coated, too much humidity and heat this spring before shearing) and I would like to "finish" the job and make rugs/throws like these. Thanks!

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  2. Hi Theresa,
    Here's a link to the post where I show how I do it:
    http://riveroaksfarmstudioblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/felted-fleece.html
    I'm not saying that is the right way to do it, I worked out my own method after gleaning tips from other blogs like Heather's Wool-love Functional fiber art blog. And Elis Vermeulen has a nice pictorial post on her blog about how she makes hers.
    I do it all by hand now because I don't want to get my rolling machine all dirty.
    If your fleeces are already felted you're halfway there. :)

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  3. Thanks Becky. Found Elis's post. I'll use my sander :-).

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  4. Becky--Your latest raw fleece pieces are just AMAZING!! I love the way you make these soft blankets out of your lovely fleeces...and what a wonderful way to keep your animals with you always! XXO--

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  5. I always love seeing your rugs. They are so beautiful and I agree--a wonderful reminder of a favorite sheep.

    Tammy

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  6. Love your fleece. After I learnt how to make a rug with raw fleece, I immediately love the raw fleece. Your sheep are gorgeous.

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  7. Those are stunning! Is this something a total novice could try?

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  8. I always feel badly when I sell a lamb and then see her a year later. The "I should have kept her" feelings are funny aren't they?

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  9. Thanks for all the comments everyone. Making these felted fleeces is a very efficient use of time and energy. But it takes a lot of energy. LOL
    Just took another looka at Elis' photos, they look so clean and tidy. The water that seeps from my raw fleeces is more the color of coffee, those of you who have washed fleeces know what I mean. With this process you're washing and felting the fleece at the same time.

    Coco -- I wouldn't suggest this for a total novice. It's a bulky project and wet wool gets pretty heavy. I'm going to try making some raw fleece pillows out of the 13 pound Border Leicester/Cormo fleece I've got. A smaller project like a pillow or purse is definitely more manageable. Good luck!

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  10. Love your new header photo, and the rugs, too!

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  11. Thanks Michelle, the snow scene looks refreshing in the midst of the heat and humidity we're having now.

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  12. Please could you post up the directions for felting a half way felted fleece? the link no longer exists.
    Thank you.
    Rebecca

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  13. Hello Sprout, I don't advocate using partially felted fleeces for this project unless you're making a rug or a pet rug. I choose the cleanest fleeces with very little VM. But if you're thinking of fleeces that are in the rise, the post about that is still there, here's the link again, you will also find it on the right side of this blog under "Popular Posts" if you scroll down far enough. http://riveroaksfarmstudioblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/felted-fleece.html
    That post was one of my first attempts at doing the process. I have refined the process considerably since then and now I teach classes on the method that I developed through trial and error. I know there are ways of doing these fleeces using a washer but I'm not real familiar with them. Good luck!

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