The Fleise Hoose (Fleece House) is The Hirsel’s wool processing project. Starting with our own flock, we’ll be washing and combing/carding fleeces in preparation for them to be used for spinning, felting, and weaving. Once the system is tested and operational, we’ll open up the service to other Scottish (especially heritage breed) flocks.
We aim to make the washing and carding service as sustainable as possible, using and re-using water from the same spring and rain water catchment systems that serve the rest of the farm. The system will eventually be adapted to allow us to use any discarded (and filtered to SEPA standards) water on our fields, and the discarded wool and VM will be added to our compost piles, to enrich our soils.
In addition to washing and carding the fleeces, we’re also turning the more ‘cotted’ and solid of them into felted rugs. They look very like sheepskin rugs, but without the sheep having to die for them. They are lovely, sustainable wool products for your home.
We’ll also have actual sheepskin rugs on offer soon. When a Hirsel sheep has to go to the abattoir, we show them the most respect we can, by letting as little of them be classed as ‘waste’ as possible. (We also bring the horns home for the same reason, and cure them for use in art projects.) These sheepskin rugs and horns will be listed on the Farm Shop page when available.
A sheep’s fleece is 50% carbon, captured from the soil in the grass they eat. In our effort to use every bit of the sheep as possible – wool for long lasting products, discarded wool for composting, skins, horns and meat – we’re creating more ways to lower our carbon footprint, while increasing the health of our farm’s soils and flora. It’s all part of the way we’re continuing to learn to live in harmony and cooperation with the land, at The Hirsel.
We’ll be processing our own fleeces through the spring and summer of 2021. We plan to open up to other Scottish flocks in time for the 2022 shearing season, if not sooner.