Seat cover from local sheep hides

I apologise right now to vegans and vegetarians.  This post is about my latest engagement with my friends’ nose-to-tail approach to the sheep that they have working on a bush block they are rehabilitating in a rather wonderful way.  Confronted with the option to use hides from local animals tanned by a local craftsman… how could I refuse?

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These are Wiltshire Horn sheep hides–Wiltshire Horns are not famous for their fleece, in fact they shed rather than requiring shearing, which can be a distinct advantage in the climate these sheep live in.  The skins do not have a lot of fleece on them at all.  The question for me was whether I could stitch leather–but these hides were quite supple.  So I decided to try,

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I have been making my own car seat covers for some time.  The bought kind involve underpaid labour in China, far too many fabrics that will never biodegrade, ugliness and… let me count the things I don’t like about them.  Having a car is enough of a problem.  I cut a seat cover up for a pattern years back and since then have made and worn through several made of upholstery scraps and recycled curtains and suchlike.

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It was easier to make the cover than it was to take a decent photo on an overcast day.  I did apply a razor near the seams to get the pile as low as I could prior to stitching–and I did measure three times before applying the scissors–that was about it for special techniques.  Next year I might even make a mate for this one, as I think my friends have found takers for all the hides they had this year!  Please feel free to suggest what I might make with the small scraps that remain.  I am all ears!

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Filed under Sewing

17 responses to “Seat cover from local sheep hides

  1. Susan

    I applaud you for doing the right thing re these hides, I don’t eat meat BUT I ABHOR waste!! thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful hide and a great effort. It would be disrespectful just to get rid of the skin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. purplejulian

    WOW you are an eco-hero 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb

    This reminded me of when I was young and my grandparents would make items out of deer hide. I am not sure how big your scraps are, but they would make moccasins (complete with beading), and bookmarks. I also know a person who makes mini books using hide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. My grandparents also had an extraordinary range of skills, gut deer hide wasn’t among them and I was too young to witness the treatment of rabbit hides–as these were the feral animals many poor Australians had access to and would trap for food, for sale and for pelts. My uncles and father trapped many of them as boys and apparently did treat hides–but by the time I came along it was all about rabbit casserole. I have been blessed not to experience that hard times my parents and grandparents did. Gosh, moccasins! That would never have crossed my mind. I’ll be giving that serious consideration. Thanks, Deb!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s amazing…would never have thought of that. But if they shed, do you end up covered in sheep hair? Love the freckles.
    For the scraps: bag closures (with D-rings, for example)? coin purses or wallets? wrist cuffs/bracelets – perhaps lined with some of you lovely dyed scraps? stitched into lengths for a belt? key ring holders? Sheath for favorite scissors or knife or other valuable tool? The strip that holds knitting needles in a roll-up case?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thanks for all these suggestions! I think the sheath and roll up needles case might suit me best… The hair that is still on the skins won;t shed, but it is rather short–nothing like the sheepskin seat covers that you can sometimes buy here, or the inside of an ugg boot. That said, I think it will be comfortable and long lasting–and wonderfully freckled!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nopalito

    You’re a marvel! Perhaps the scraps could be used as soles for your famous slippers, sewn in place with a strip of hide?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an awesome idea… well within reach of my current skill levels. I am less sure about sewing on with a strip of hide, that sounds a bit above and beyond 🙂 Thanks for all your thoughtfulness. You’re an inspiration.


  7. Loved the seat covers. My last batch of seat covers were made from cheap bath towels – definitely didn’t fit as well as yours lol . We tried some leather work when the kids were younger. I enjoyed it but it never took off here 🙂 But I do have the hole punch with assorted sized holes and a few other tools that have come in handy over the years. That’s a bonus 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear I have company in the seat cover making business! I haven’t ever really taken to leather work either, but I was taught how to mend leather goods years ago on the condition that I in turn would teach others, which I have certainly done.The hole punch sounds like a useful thing to have about 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Tina!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: I’m just a girl who can’t say no to knitting slippers | Local & Bespoke

  9. Pingback: Sheepskins now available! | Trees, Bees & Cheese

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