Sheepskin rugs, (also know as Lambskin rugs) and Lambskin cushions are one of Australia’s favourite items. They have many uses in everyday activities. The uses are endless, the advantages of the Natural product are many, and their popularity has never waned. But before you invest in a sheepskin, here’s what you should know…
One Myth is that Sheepskin is only perfect for cooler months. In reality, sheepskin is suited to all-year-round use. Warm in winter and cool in summer. Full of that natural texture and warmth, Australian Sheepskin will bring a new dimension to your décor. They’re also a very popular choice for babies’. Both for Sleep, Play and in infants, tummy time, offering a soft spot, and a friendly feel, on the floor for your little one.
However, buying a sheepskin isn’t as simple as just picking one with a nice colour or wool pile. Here’s what you should know before you select a Sheepskin or Lambskin.
The use of the words: skin, hide, pelt and to a lesser extent mat and rug, are all interchangeable. They refer to a single Sheepskin or lambskin that is unjoined. The term rug and mat is also used to describe the total product of multiple joined skins. Eg a Double rug is 2 skins joined together, Quad rug is 4 skins joined together.
Rugs can be of any shape. Common options include rectangle (or square) depending on how many skins are joined or Round.
Rugs (multiple skins) can be a natural edge, which means the edges have not been trimmed. Or they can be straight cut, which means the edges are trimmed in a straight line. Round rugs can be straight-edged or scalloped (to give a flower petal effect).
A runner is 2 or more skins joined end to end as in a hallway runner
Is Sheepskin Natural? and how are they made?
All hides and sheepskins are a natural byproduct of meat production, which reduces the waste that might otherwise be disposed of. They have undergone stringent eco tanning processing and checking to be sold by OZwool.net. This is not always the case with some other manufacturers.
Are there different breed types
There are different breeds of sheep, each breed has a different wool pile profile, which makes it suitable for different uses and to give different looks. In Australia the most common are merino, but others such as Suffolk, Border Leisters, Romney Marsh are also popular. Because sheepskins are natural even within a breed there are different looks and feel of the wool pile that again makes then suitable for different looks and uses. A Lambskin is a Young Sheep, generally unshorn but it can be shorn. A Longwool Lambskin rug can be distinguished by the long twisting point to the pile.
Short Wool Pile or Longwool Pile
The length of the wool pile depends on 2 factors: When it was taken and what processes occurred during processing. The wool pile is often trimmed during processing to suit a number of purposes, eg Car seat covers are approx 26mm, Babycare is approx 24mm, Boot liners are approx 18mm, Jacket liners can be 16mm, paint rollers can be 6mm, Ugg boots are generally 14mm. Of course, there are other lengths, some babycare use 12mm or 20mm as it is cheaper (but does not give the support), Cheaper car seats will use 12, 16 or 18mm – again cheaper but has the potential to wear faster.
Longwool is as long as possible but generally 60 to 70mm. It can be longer, and sometimes if the actual rug is small then will be shorter eg 45-50mm
People tend to prefer Longwool for floor use or throws and short wool for throws, infant and bed underlays. But the choice is yours as everyone is different. Consider the use, what you like and the practicality of the use when selecting.
Faux means Fake, so a faux sheepskin is a fake sheepskin made from polyester or acrylic wool fibres. They can hand the water better so a popular as bathroom rugs.
Will my Rug be exactly the same?
Please remember that natural Australian Sheepskin is just that a natural product, so things do vary. However at OZwool Australian Sheepskin or reputation is built on consistency. Order 2 and they will be as close as possible to each other. Order one this week and it will be as close as possible to the same product brought 1 or 2 o 4 years ago. We have Grandmothers that have brought for multiple grandchildren over the years, all sight unseen. We have people that buy a baby gift for all there mates over the years – all sight unseen. We stand by our product.
Colour dyes may transfer
All sheepskin has either whitener or been dyed, the dye is the same dye as used in your dress, t-shirt or jeans. Undyed or unwhitened sheepskin is not that attractive, hence while people like the idea it is not very popular. Natural undyed spotty skins make be available at times – please ask if you want these.!
How to care for your sheepskin
Good sheepskins can be washed or drycleaned. Follow any washing instructions that came with your hide. We recommend what the Tannery’s recommend – the WoolSkin Woolwash. NEVER use normal detergents as they will remove the natural oils from the leather hide, commercial wool washes may also do the same thing. It is always a good idea to keep the skin away from strong natural sunlight as this can damage the leather backing and fibres and fade the colour.
You normally do not need to clean a sheepskin. Regular vacuuming and a gentle brush with something like a Dog Brush is all that is often needed. You can blot up spills or wipe with a damp cloth. Let the hide dry naturally away from direct sunlight.