Canadian lambskins

HELPING BABIES WITH SLEEP ISSUES

Know babies with sleep issues? We do. We’ve been there. We’ve found a way to help babies with sleep issues.

Babies with sleep issues

Mable’s skin feels good on her lambskin

So often the restless sleeps of babies result from discomfort, inside and out.

One reason is that there are usually so many plastic and rubber and other artificial fibres in a baby’s world. Those materials inhibit temperature regulation, and natural circulation. Anyone who has worn a nylon shirt in the heat, then changed to a cotton one, understands this.

Artificial materials, often petroleum byproduct derivatives, may also be a source of allergens.

Lambskins and sheepskins are hypoallergenic.

Babies with sleep issues

Nico sits propped up in his baby seat

The natural fibres of lamb and sheepskins help the skin breathe.

Wool traps air and has a lofty, supportive resilience, helping babies with sleep issues.

Our grandson would sleep but not deeply, startling awake easily. His mom started using one of our lambskins and noticed an almost immediate difference in his deeper, more relaxed sleep. On the occasional night when the lambskin was missing – air drying after washing – the baby’s sleep was noticeably worse.

Babies with sleep issues

Nico’s first daytime nap on his lambskin

One friend and good customer wrote: “Nico is now 6 months and has just started to nap regularly. For the first few months the collicky and incredibly light-sleeping redhead would only sleep during the day while we wore him.

Recently I have started to be able to put him down while he slept…but only if it’s on the sheepskin or lambskin. I think it’s because it’s so soft and warm that he won’t be startled when his head or cheek lays on it.”

Lambskins are easy to move to strollers, car seats, or to visit Nana, taking familiar comfort with a mobile child.

Babies with sleep issues

Sonya’s black lambskin fits her stroller perfectly

An important factor for new parents is that Topsy Farms lambskins and sheepskins are entirely washable – if you follow our instructions. Just soaking in Eucalan in a washing machine, skipping the rinse, spinning, then air drying actually nourishes the fibres, softening the leather and increasing the comfort.

Babies with sleep issues

Nico naps soundly on a sheepskin

 

 

 

We wish we’d had Topsy Farms lambskins when our kids were little.

Wool Products at Topsy Farms – The Wool Shed

The Wool Shed at Topsy Farms is our at home outlet store for beautiful pure wool and sheepskin products.

It hasn’t always been so. It appears to be just a scruffy farm outbuilding, built far too close to the road by today’s standards. However you can’t tell its heart or history by its faded covering.

Old farm outbuilding now used as Topsy Farms' Wool Shed

The Wool Shed, ready to welcome visitors

The interior of the Wool Shed, showing a wall of yarn hats, throws, blankets, baby productand cottonstuffed wool beddings

The interior of the Wool Shed – photo by Megan Balough

The Wool Shed was built about a century ago with a double purpose.The south portion was designed to store great blocks of ice, cut by hand from the lake, and stored with layers of sawdust helping to insulate. That supply was vital as the only source of refrigeration in those days. The north portion of the small structure was the milk house, used for cooling the cows’ production of the day, destined to be picked up by horse and wagon or cutter, to be delivered to one of the Island cheese factories.

Icicles hang in front of the Wool Shed sign

The Wool Shed is open 7 days a week, all year

Two generations of the Eve’s family lived here for many years, planting the huge black spruce trees. (Our older son now lives in the bungalow built next door for retiring mom/grandmother ‘Peachy’.) They had electricity by then; still used the milk house portion for awhile, but eventually the shed was just used for storage.

When Topsy’s first group arrived at the recently abandoned farm, the shed became a crammed storehouse, then a much-needed tractor repair workshop. Some of the machinery couldn’t fit in, but the tools and mechanic/farmer were sheltered.

When the commune amicably dissolved, former members were repaid, and the impoverished remainder were fed one winter, by the candle production housed in the Shed.

Once our new workshop was built, the Shed became a music centre for our younger son and others. It sheltered a drum set and speakers, providing some privacy for teenagers. The budding musicians traveled from high school in Napanee, made glorious noisy experiments, with sufficient autonomy (but not too much) from the older generation.

Wool throws hanging on a display rack, showing different colors and designs

Wool throws vary in design and colour

University years enabled yet another evolution. Four coats of high quality primer and two more paint coats covered most of the music group’s wall ‘creative writing’, and the Wool Shed evolved to its present glorious new life.

It is open any day, all year (please phone first).

About 1200 sheep are shorn annually – the fleece being one of the most renewable resources that could exist. It is transformed in P.E.I. to a high quality, all-Canadian wool made into blankets and throws, yarn, wool, and many hand-crafted products.

The Wool Shed has the largest variety and inventory of pure wool Canadian blankets and throws in Canada.

Visitors love the feel of our sheepskins, either trimmed ‘medical’ skins or luxurious ‘shaggies’. Lambskins are also available: smaller, softer, and ideal for new born babies, or the seat of a chair. Also available is unbleached cotton-stuffed wool bedding, pillows, mattress pads and comforters. These will give you an experience of sleeping on a cloud – or the next best thing. Many hand-crafted items are available from Topsy Farms only by visiting the Wool Shed – you’ll find it worth it. For outing information, see https://topsyfarms.com/uncategorized/great-outing-amherst-island-day-weekend

The heart of this old building beats strongly.

Belly Wool

When our flock is shorn each spring, the skilled shearers follow the same routine with each sheep. First the ewe is positioned on her bottom, leaning back and looking very relaxed, while the electric shears clean off her belly wool and the area around her udder. That wool tends to be contaminated by fecal matter, soil, burrs etc so is tossed in a separate place by the wall, before the rest of the fleece is removed, all in one piece. When the roustabouts gather the wool and sweep the area, the belly wool is moved and bagged separately. The fleece is flung onto a skirting table and any chaff-filled or mucky bits are removed and tossed towards the belly wool bag.

When we ship all our best fleeces – packed in eight foot bags – to P.E.I, the poorer-quality belly wool stays in the barn taking up space.

Frankly it is a nuisance.

I’ve used a good quantity of it for outdoor mulch in areas where I don’t plan to turn over the soil. It is great under hedges and beside the Wool Shed entrance, under flower pots. Nesting birds in the spring appreciate it greatly. We haven’t otherwise found use for it.

Once a year, it’s just a necessary clean-out barn chore to haul the belly wool to The Canadian Wool Growers in Carleton Place (near Ottawa). I believe they sell it for felting and carpets. The wool bags that filled the trailer and truck contained 1593 lbs of wool. Christopher says we will be paid enough to cover mileage.

As you see by the photo, we haven’t yet taken the brute strength and lugging out of all our farm chores. Don upstairs dragged the bags to the edge then lowered them to Ian and Chris who packed them carefully into Jacob’s truck and the farm trailer. Once well tied, they made the trip safely.

So, we are now all cleaned out and ready to do it again.

“Thank you for the gift of the Eucalan. You know we will take good care of the sheepskin, the lambskin and wool blanket.”

Thank you for the gift of the Eucalan. You know we will take good care of the sheepskin, the lambskin and wool blanket.

Dark lambskin on white sheepskin

“We were blown away that … you opened up The Wool Shed for us tardy Torontonians, showing up 2 hours after closing. We truly enjoyed … learning more about my favourite “miracle fabric of nature”.

Thank you for the gift of the Eucalan. You know we will take good care of the sheepskin, the lambskin and wool blanket (my favourite type of blanket)… very classic style.
Thanks also for the peas, we ate them on the ferry. They were sweet and they did tide us over till we got to Kingston.
Thank you for the story of the new lambs of spring.”
– Mike, July, 2011
Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous en français à info@topsyfarms.com, ou par téléphone: 1-888-287-3157. Demandez à parler à Sally.