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Author Topic: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?  (Read 551 times)

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« on: May 19, 2019, 02:42:09 pm »
I think selling sheep skin rugs from your sheep can bring some money back to the smallholder farmer.

Obvious choice of breed would be something with nice wool - Shetland, Leicester Longwool, lots of rare breeds, but what about sheep that shed their wool? Would the rugs look nice? Would they be "fluffy" enough for people to want them?
 ???
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 03:44:36 pm »
I’m not sure how much wool regrows on a self-shedding sheep, but you might find these ideally suit the baby sheepskin market.  As in, sheepskins for babies. Only about an inch of staple is needed; the processors tell me to send my sheep to the abattoir about a month after shearing for these types of sheepskins.

Longwools are in fact not ideal for sheepskins, Devonia tell me, or at least, not unless sent off reasonably soon after shearing.  Max 4” staple length, they tell me, or the fibre becomes matted in the processing.

Other processors may use different techniques, but that’s what Devonia say. 
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

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 04:40:48 pm »
Oh ok.
What breed/type of sheep would be good for normal rug type skins?
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2019, 08:39:17 pm »
Might be an idea to find someone that sells rugs - ebay or whatever and ask them what sort of sheep they use.
I used to have some made many years ago, and didn't find it mattered what breed. (But none were self shedding.) Given that I used the skins from lambs or hoggs that were slaughtered for meat, then these had never been shorn and had a nice fluffy length to them. Is a self shedding fleece, if used at the stage before it starts to shed, any different to any other? :thinking: [size=78%] [/size]
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2019, 09:14:34 pm »
Oh ok.
What breed/type of sheep would be good for normal rug type skins?

Jacob and Shetland are probably two of the best.  People love a bit of colour, and my Shetland and Shetland x skins are in a league of their own softness-wise.  Pure Shetland not huge, but quality and colour make up for that. 

It’s not much of a money spinner though.  It costs us £32-35 per skin (irrespective of size) and only the very special - coloured and or super soft - sell readily for much more than £50-£55.
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 12:03:13 am »
The best skins we have ever had were from young Jacobs.  The skins are large, longish wool, totally soft and plush, with a slight sheen and beautifully, individually patterned.  We would sell them for nearly twice the price of our other skins. They don't tend to get tangled in use as many other breeds do.  We never put them on the floor as rugs, always on chairs or beds - way too nice to walk on!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 12:04:56 am by Fleecewife »
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Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 12:31:50 am »
I guess we need to try some self shedding sheep!
I just checked the gotland sheep skins sell for a looooot more than anything else! £200-300!!!
Are they made of gold or something???
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2019, 02:10:53 am »
It may be a different process and processor for a long woolled breed.  Devonia don’t like more than 4” or so.

Or they’ve sent them off when the fleece has only regrown that much, of course.

Gotland is super soft, and a lovely colour, so yes, would fetch a premium.  And not common, so if someone wants one... 

Not native to Britain, of course, so maybe doesn’t fit your spec. 

Oh, that’s just made me remember.  Zwartbles skins are actually very nice. Huge and thick. Personally I don’t rate Zwartbles for spinning but they make great skins - and these you would be happy to have on the floor.  Not British, again, though.  And with 58 plus British breeds and types, we really ought to be able to find you one that will suit! 
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2019, 08:49:46 am »
A product of any kind is worth what someone will pay for it.
Our Gotland's fleece was not long, but every year it cotted horribly so I never got to spin it.  Nor did I make it into a skin as Gotha the Gotland died one day in the field.  I can't imagine they would cost more than any other skin to process, but they are beautiful and well marketed in Britain. I suspect that is the trick -  a sheep with a desirable and unusual coat, and spend a lot on marketing to a niche customer base.
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2019, 02:18:58 pm »
A product of any kind is worth what someone will pay for it.
Our Gotland's fleece was not long, but every year it cotted horribly so I never got to spin it.  Nor did I make it into a skin as Gotha the Gotland died one day in the field.  I can't imagine they would cost more than any other skin to process, but they are beautiful and well marketed in Britain. I suspect that is the trick -  a sheep with a desirable and unusual coat, and spend a lot on marketing to a niche customer base.

Very true.  That, and be able to ask a sensible price.  Which I am completely cr4p at.  ::)
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

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 05:28:36 pm »
From within the fleece world, someone once said to me: 'Think of the highest price you dare, then double it!'  That was for deliciously special fleece, and people loved them.  But like you Sally, I'm absolutely helpless at selling things - I have been known to insist on bringing the price down if someone offers more than I think whatever it is is worth  :o
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 07:00:03 pm »
From within the fleece world, someone once said to me: 'Think of the highest price you dare, then double it!'  That was for deliciously special fleece, and people loved them.  But like you Sally, I'm absolutely helpless at selling things - I have been known to insist on bringing the price down if someone offers more than I think whatever it is is worth  :o
Lol
You should meet my father in law - we went to see a customer who wanted a discount - they ended up spending £600 more than initially agreed looool
I was like  :o

I'm still choosing the sheep...
Anyone tried friesian or British milk sheep?
I'd really like to see skins from self shedding sheep... hmmm....
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 07:01:34 pm by macgro7 »
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 08:14:40 pm »
Actually British Milk Sheep Fleece is very nice to spin :spin:   But I’ve never seen one of the sheep in the flesh! 

I’ve seen a Friesland flock. It was all very like a cow dairy setup, lots of keeping sheep indoors.  Pretty, and biddable, the sheep, but it wouldn’t be for me.  And they’re not British of course, although maybe that’s not a cast iron requirement? 
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

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2019, 09:20:35 pm »
Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/organictannery/ on Facebook.  They have lots of different fleeces which they put pictures of before during and after from different breeds which may give you some information to work from.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Tim W

  • Joined Aug 2013
Re: Selling sheep skin rugs from wool-less sheep?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2019, 08:47:53 am »
We cured 80 skins from Wiltshire horn lambs many years ago
They all sold very well , supple/soft skins with a thin covering of wool
May depend on when you kill the lambs and how much fleece they are carrying at the time --think we did ours with 8 month old lambs in the winter ?

Hair sheep skins and Dorper skins in particular are sought after by the luxury leather makers in Czech



 

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