Burlap Shearers Moccasins

The Petting Zoo

I was surprised to learn recently of Burlap being used for shoes. Whilst still at the local country show held in Brisbane – the Ekka, we went to the Petting Zoo for the boys to feed and cuddle the Baby Animals. Upon exiting the petting zoo we ended up at a stage decorated with Burlap sacks, so of course it immediately caught my eye!

Shearing Presentation Stage


We noticed the presentation was about to start so we decided to sit down and rest out feet for a while. The presentation was about wool and the shearing industry. A shearer came on stage and demonstrated how to shear a sheep and prepare the fleece for bailing. The children were quite enthralled with the whole process.

But what I found most interesting was that shearers wear a special type of footwear called a ‘Shearer’s Moccasin’. These are made out of soft leather and help the shearer to slide across the ‘boards’ of the shearing shed floor. In days gone by, shearers would make these themselves out of burlap sacks. They would cut up the wool bales and make them into moccasins so they could move around the shed floor easier. I am constantly surprised the history and versatility of the humble Burlap Sack. So many uses and so little credit!

Explaining the History of Shearers Moccasins


P.S. If any of you happen to have a photo of any old Shearer’s moccasin’s made from Burlap I would love to see it.

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