Raw Felted Fleece: A New Approach to the Sheepskin Blanket
Traditional sheepskin blankets with a tanned leather back require that the sheep make the ultimate sacrifice. Yet it doesn’t have to be so! Instructor Becky Utecht has developed a modern approach to an age-old craft. Using felting techniques, students in this course will start with an unwashed sheep fleece and transform it into a luxurious, wooly and warm blanket, all without harming a sheep, but retaining the lovely natural form of the fleece. Shepherds and fiber lovers will appreciate the efficiency of washing and felting a fleece at the same time, and fans of fuzzy blankets and rugs will enjoy discovering the different types of wool available, as there will be ample conversation about the nuances and qualities of different breeds. Note: students will need to bring an unwashed fleece to class, something the instructor can help you track down by prior arrangement.
Students should have previous felting experience and a good understanding of the felting process. They must have the physical ability to roll and full a wet fleece. Students should expect to get dirty.
North House is looking forward to hosting this course on campus in the safest way possible. Students will be asked to wear a mask at all times on campus, and to practice social distancing of 6 feet, as well as adhere to other safety protocols.
You will need the following tools for this class:
- a skirted, unwashed fleece weighing between 1-5lbs. More information and ideas about where to procure this will be provided after registration. Expect to spend $25-$75
- 2-3 old bath towels
- garden watering can with sprinkler head
- plastic bag for wet items
- 5 gallon bucket
- apron (optional)
Lots of layers, including a raincoat and footwear. We will plan to have open windows and lots of outdoor activity when possible.
Sunscreen, sunhat, again for extra outdoor time
Please be sure to bring a mask(s) that fits you well and can be worn for an extended period of time.
Feel free to bring your favorite tools and whatever materials you might feel appropriate for this course.
- your favorite bar soap and felting tools
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.