Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fleece Felting

This is such fun! The result is amazing and the process is really satisfying. Hard work, sheep fleece smells and colours, planning and thinking, some more hard work rolling, a lot of water and soap, checking, and then... voila, a beautiful sheep fleece to be used for whatever you want, while the sheep is happily growing another fleece for next year's usage.

Yesterday I attended a fleece felting workshop. Honestly it has attracted me to learn to felt a whole fleece a long time now, but I would not know what to use the final fleece for. Then, the teacher of the workshop showed me that you can do a lot more when felting fleeces, e.g. you can felt several smaller pieces to be used a sitting cushions on a bench or chair. This was really attractive to me so yesterday I learnt how to do this. And here is the result:

The 'whole' fleece.
I dreamed of a light brown or brown-greyish fleece, not too big. Hennie, the teacher had a lot of fleeces to choose from: a gorgeous (and huge!) grey Racka fleece, several Oussant and Skudde fleeces in white, brown and black, white Dutch 'heideschapen' (also huge) and more which I do not remember. My choice was this chocolatebrown Oussant fleece with sunbleched tips on the neck and back.

I have parted it in two halves, for the sitting cushions, but you can still 'see' how the fleece has covered the back, neck and sides of the sheep before shearing.

This are the two separate sitting cushions:

The one to the right must be the tail side of the fleece. The shape is more square than the other halve. The side facing the grass is covered with brown mountain sheep fleece, much like the brown colour of the Oussant. This mountain sheep fleece is felted too and this keeps the Oussant fleece staples together.

The fleece in the pictureto the left must have been the neck side of the fleece. The side facing the grass is covered with a lighter colour of mountain sheep fleece, which you can see at the borders of it.

I feel that this is not the last time I attempt fleece felting!

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