Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Massage felt slippers from Skudden sheep wool and Baltic amber

These hand-made massage slippers are felted from natural wool of Skudden sheep raised on an organic farm in Lithuania. The sheep are sheared manually and the wool is washed with fresh water and cleaned without using chemicals. It is combed in a local combing shop without applying bleach or paint. The footwear also contains natural amber from the Baltic Sea processed in a special way using a patented technique preserving the unique valuable properties of the amber. 
The combination of the Skudden wool and the amber has an increased effect on the human body: the rough wool of Skudden sheep and the amber from the Baltic Sea massage the feet, improve the bloodstream, reduce pain, soothe inflammation and improve the mood. The wool keeps the feet warm, but prevents sweating. Its effects are similar to those of the combination of acupuncture and light massage; they are further enhanced by small pieces of amber and amber dust processed precisely for this purpose and embedded in the insoles of the slippers. 
These slippers contain natural amber from the Baltic Sea called succinite. This 70 million year old amber is found exclusively in the area of the Baltic Sea. The unique active agents of this mineral are succinic acid and succinic oil. Their healing effects on the human body made the Baltic amber very valuable among the ancient civilisations. 
Wool and Baltic amber are natural antiseptics. Microorganisms and mites can not survive in wool as it is air permeable, and can absorb moisture up to the 40 % of its own weight, but is dirt-proof. Baltic amber has been widely acknowledged as a natural antiseptic due to one of its ingredients – the succinic oil – and as a preservative, while the succinic acid improves metabolism and makes you younger.

Facts about Skudden sheep

  • Skudden sheep are grown in the farm of Kęstutis and Inga Samušis under the most natural conditions and in line with animal welfare standards. The wool is cut manually, washed using only water (non-carbonised) and combed in the local combing shop. No paint or bleach is applied in the process. 
  • The Skudden sheep are considered one of the oldest aboriginal breeds and has changed little throughout the centuries preserving its pure genetic line in the world of thoroughbred sheep breeds.
  • Due to the wars and exiles from Lithuania, East Prussia and Pomerania, the Skudden were at risk of extinction following the World War II. Only through the efforts of a few sheep farmers in Germany the viable population was rebuilt from the remaining 160 Skudden sheep found and brought to Germany in 1940 and 1990 from Lithuania and several other locations across the Baltic Region. 
  • The population of this breed is still at risk, and the Skudden sheep are declared a protected and endangered breed. 
  • There are merely around 150 Skudden sheep in Lithuania. 
  • The main advantage of the Skudden sheep has always been their original genetic purity; they are undemanding, resistant to adverse climatic conditions, diseases and parasites, and easily adapt to various environmental and nutritional situations. Sometimes they are referred to as landscape sheep. Due to their nutritional habits, the Skudden are ideal for field and pasture grazing and landscaping; their ecological advantage is the ability to consume a considerable amount of diverse species of plants. The Skudden willingly feast on shrubs and weeds, such as thistle, and eat fallen tree leaves – most of other sheep breeds would ignore this kind of food. Inhabiting the Baltic region throughout the millennia, the Skudden have adapted to the local conditions and are perfectly resistant to climatic factors and diseases, and undemanding in terms of food. Throughout the centuries, adverse climatic conditions have also shaped the unique structure of the Skudden wool. The wool of these sheep is coarse and heterogeneous. It consists of short downy underhair, very thin intermediate wool fibre, and long aristate fibre. The underhair regulates air pockets in the thick wool layer depending on the condition of the animal, while the aristate fibre protects from rain and snow. The wool of the Skudden is suitable for both felting and spinning; it can be distinguished for its natural colour and the gloss of the mohair wool, and can be straight or crimped depending on the animal.

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