Friday, August 7, 2009
Stunning dress made of wool
Little Bo Peep bride marries in stunning dress made of wool from her own flock of sheep
Louise Fairburn, who is an award-winning sheep breeder, decided to get married in a fleece from her own flock.
She designed the gown and took wool from her favourite rare Lincoln Longwool, Olivia.
Bo Peep bride: Shepherdess Louise Fairburn married in a wedding dress made of wool from one of her own flock. New husband Ian wore a woollen waistcoat made from the same sheep
And she extended the theme to the rest of her big day, putting her groom Ian, 42, in a waistcoat made from wool.
Mrs Fairburn even carried a Bo Peep-style crook and the ring bearer's cushion was made from a fleece.
Guests were given chocolate sheep-shaped favours and even dined on lamb dishes by celebrity chef Rachel Green.
Blending in: The design of Mrs Fairburn's incredible woollen wedding gown was inspired by the unique 'dreadlocks' of her flock of rare breed Lincoln Longwools
But it was the dress that was the highlight of the wedding in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, near their farm in Risby.
'It always occurred to me what a waste it was to turn this beautiful long wool into carpets,' the 38-year-old bride said.
'But I saw an advert with dresses made out of carpets and it twigged that I could have a dress made of wool.
'I suppose I am sheep-crackers, but the idea just came to me and I designed the dress myself with a little bit of help.'
Lamb from the couple's flock was served at the reception by celebrity chef Rachel Green, and the beloved sheep were even pictured in the wedding album
The dress, which cost £1,500, took a spinner and dressmaker 67 hours to make. But it was worth it, as her husband said he was 'blown away' when she walked down the aisle.
'I took one look at her, my lip curled like a young sheep's does and I started blubbering,' he said.
Mrs Fairburn added: 'I wanted this dress to look like any other wedding dress and for people not to realise it was wool until they got close and that's what we achieved.
'I just wanted to prove that you could do something fantastic out of the yarn and ended up with something that was beyond my wildest dream.
'I want to prove to people that wool is not just something for knitting bobble hats from, and that our native breeds can have just as big a presence today as in the past.'
It was love at first sight for the couple, who met when Mrs Fairburn was looking for someone to install a farm track at her home. After searching in the Yellow Pages, she came across Mr Fairburn's firm.
He said: 'I opened the Land Rover door when I arrived and said that's the girl I'm going to marry.'
Now the couple are successful sheep breeders, and won top honours at last year's Lincolnshire show.
RARE BREED WOOL
The Lincoln Longwool is the largest British sheep, developed to produce the heaviest, longest and most lustrous fleece of any sheep in the world.
Its versatile fleece was the basis of eastern England's prosperity until the coming of cotton and the breed was exported around the Empire.
It is now one of Britain's rarer breeds, classed as 'at risk' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, with fewer than 1,000 registered breeding females in the UK.
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