NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: old untreated fleece uses?  (Read 184 times)


  • Joined Sep 2016
old untreated fleece uses?
« on: February 22, 2019, 07:37:11 pm »
ok crafters... heres one for the think outside the box people!!!
I have 6 unprocessed hebridean fleeces just laying in the barn, cant help but feel its such a waste! especially knowing that i have 6 more coming this spring!
Ive tried to contact local crafters and no one will take such a small batch other than costing an absolute fortune.
What creative uses have you all found with them?
Im thinking they may be great as a lining under the pond membrane to protect from plant roots but that would only take about two! any other ideas?
theyre from spring 2018 so getting a little old now....
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: old untreated fleece uses?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 08:46:48 pm »
Many spinners have stories of fleeces 10, 12 and even 19 years old that were perfectly usable... ;)

But I have to say, Heb is not one that is easy to store well, and often is felted or part felted even before it leaves the sheep.  So that may explain the lack of enthusiasm from your local crafters. ;)

One thing I do understand Heb does well, precisely because it usually will felt easily as a fleece, is make rough and ready dog bed mats or even floor mats.  And Fleecewife tells us you can use Heb fleece and spiky (ie, not smooth) pebbles to fill a pothole for a reasonable and reasonably long-lived improvement.  But I haven’t done either of these things myself, so I’d really better shut up and let those who’ve actually done things advise you ;)

Except to say, of course, that the very best thing to do when you have six sheep, is to learn to spin :spin: yourself :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Sep 2016
Re: old untreated fleece uses?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2019, 10:25:46 pm »

Except to say, of course, that the very best thing to do when you have six sheep, is to learn to spin :spin: yourself :)

thanks SallyintNorth, id love to learn to spin but with a farm to run, full time university and family life i am very time poor at the moment!
definitely a skill for the future though :farmer:

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: old untreated fleece uses?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 11:51:13 pm »
Goodness, Isla, I'm wondering when you find time to sleep!

Old fleeces are useful for putting in the bottom of trenches for runner beans. They rot down well on the compost and, so I've heard, make a good mulch in the veggie garden.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: old untreated fleece uses?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2019, 12:45:29 am »
There's nothing wrong with 2018 fleeces if you have stored them properly!  Have you checked them over for quality?  Some Heb fleece is wonderful and some, as Sally says, is already felted on the sheep (this can happen if you don't get them shorn early enough).

Yes, potholes can be filled with fleece and Heb is the perfect candidate.  It can also be used for repairing muddy paths.  You can line hanging baskets with it, or I use it to keep the compost heaps warm - although I have never had it rot down properly.  If you use it as a mulch make sure you remove it before you rotavate!

I have to admit that I have so many Heb fleeces that I use the stinky tup ones and any badly felted ones as an addition to the bonfire - I know, naughty me!

I always check over my fleeces carefully straight after shearing, and with only 6 sheep you should be able to give them a quick once-over.  If they have nice long locks, the same length roughly, and not too much vegetation in there, then leave them to dry in the sun for an hour, then roll them, push them into a woven polypropylene feed sack or similar (no holes), label, tie up the top tightly then hang them in an airy, dry place such as a barn (not dumped on the floor).  They will keep for several years like that, so you can build up your numbers gradually each year and by the time you've finished at Uni you should have enough to send off for mill spinning.  This will give you a quality product to sell, Hebridean knitting yarn, which is a rich dark brown and makes wonderful outdoor jumpers. The finished balls of yarn look so much better than raw Heb fleece, especially if it has black alpaca added to about 15%

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


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