Friday, February 3, 2012

Ecological felted slippers from Skudden sheep wool decorated with Lithuanian linen

These hand-made slippers are felted from natural wool of Skudden sheep raised on a Lithuanian farm. 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.

Wool 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. The coarse, organic wool of Skudden sheep has an increased effect on the human body: it massages the feet, improves the bloodstream, reduces pain, soothes inflammation and improves 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.
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.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment