Custom Felts

Sunday, 23 July 2017

How to wash raw sheep fleeces.

Well heres my way...

have approx 60 fleeces all ready to be sorted. I'm going to be busy this summer.
 I store them in potato sacks ( bought from ebay. Is there anything you cant buy from ebay?) 
Its much better than using binbags as the fleeces don't sweat.

So the first thing is to open the fleece, sometimes it comes in a roll from the shearer.

The edges of the fleece are dirty and not worth using have plenty of time and energy! So pull these off. This is called skirting although I could think of other names for it!  Then check the area between the shoulders, this area gets a lot of weather and can sometimes, already be felted. Get rid of this too, although I use it to line my hanging baskets, its much better than moss! 

Next check the fleece for any areas with lots of what Is known as VM vegetable matter eg, grass, dead insects, bracken, ( it can be sharp watch your hands) i have even found barbed wire in the fleece! 

Below is a Jacob fleece and Sprout, my border Terrier who loves anything sheepy.

The next thing is to find something to wash them in. I use my husbands building tubs but if you are washing smaller quantities, a washing up tub or bowls would be fine. Or your bath..
The first thing is to soak the fleece. I do this in warm water, not hot, just to let some of the dirt come away from the fleece. I like to leave them for at least a few hours and depending on the British weather, it can be a few days! 

You can see some are dirtier than others. You never know until you soak them.

Next drain the water away and gently hand squeeze your fleeces.
Now fill your vessel with hand hot water BEFORE adding some detergent. I use washing up liquid. 

Add the fleece and make sure it is emerged in the water. Don't agitate it too much as this will start to felt the fleece. 
You should be able to see the the lanolin come to the surface.

You can leave this overnight before draining and squeezing once again.
If the water is this dirty, repeat the washing process.

Next rinse a couple of times using warm water until the water is clean. 
Here I have one soaking, one ready to rinse and two ready to spin.

For the next stage, you can let the fleeces dry naturally but it always seems to rain where I live. So what I do is put the fleeces into laundry bags ( not full fleeces of course) and put them on a spin cycle in  my washIng machine.
Here they are drying in the conservatory.

And now dried, waiting to be carded.

I hope this has helped and inspired some of you to work with your own fleeces. 
With love 

Lisa x
For workshops, wool and kits, visit my facebook page

Monday, 15 May 2017

Fleece time

I can't believe how quickly this year is going by and already we are at the sheep shearing season.
Last year I had my first go at cleaning some fleeces. It was hard work but very rewarding. I did 7 last year, given to me by a good friend.
A few weeks ago  I asked her if I could have them this year, she asked how many I wanted, when I said all of them, she replied do you know I have 60 now! 
So me who never says no, spent last Monday from 10am til 6pm sorting through 60 beautiful fleeces

Jacobs, lonks, zwarble, woodland, texal and some mixed. My back was killing me but my hands were lovely and soft from the lanolin. Luckily there were lambs and a puppy to cuddle between the fleece sorting. 

Now what to do with it all??

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Easter bunnies workshop

And what an amazing day it was. The sun was shining we had hot cross buns and tea and coffee flowing.
Such a lovely group of ladies. We felted, chatted and laughed all day. 

One lady sent me this one after she had worked on him a little more. Isn't he just so cute! 

I'm so pleased with how this workshop went. 

Lisa x

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Time flies

How fast is this year going? Or is it just me? 
I have been busier than I ever thought I could dream of. I can't believe that four and a half years ago I had never heard of needle felting and now look how it's taken over my life. 
I've started doing workshops for two local craft shops as well as my own and I've been busy making new workshop ideas too! 
And...... And...... And...... I have finally had my first sale on my Etsy shop! Whoop whoop! 
As it's coming up to Easter shortly, I decided to try and master bunnies for a workshop. 
What do you think? 

I have a workshop booked for the 25th March. It should be fun! 

Sunday, 8 January 2017


Well it's the start of another year and I'm hoping for it to be a life changing one, well part of my life anyway.
I have had a busy christmas, busy felting that is. 
Here are some of the things I've been working on. Some are for future workshops too.
For workshop details check out my page