Caring for sheepskin – it’s simple.
It is easy to look after sheepskin and still enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful natural fibre.
Sheepskin is very easy to look after. The fibre’s unique structure gives it a natural durability and robustness. It even repels dirt! Even so, a little care and attention won’t go astray.
Rules of the wool and a few things to remember:
- Avoid direct sunlight. This stops UV damage or fading of darker shaded products
- Shake rugs, cushions, bean bags regularly, if it can handle a shake, liven it up!
- Dry vacuum rugs regularly (with a plain suction unit*)
- Attend to spills and stains as promptly as possible
- Remember not to rub, brush or massage wool skin products when they are damp or wet
*Turbo and revolving brush vacuum cleaners can damage the wool fibre and cause “frizziness”. These are a strict NO!
Regular vacuuming with a plain suction vacuum cleaner will help to maintain wool fibres. Longer wool rugs benefit from occasional brushing with a wire pet brush (pet slicker pad). Small spills can be sponged off with a damp cloth. Avoid exposure to strong direct sunlight as UV will damage the natural fibres and fade dyed sheepskins. Do not store in damp or wet conditions as the natural leather pelt may deteriorate. Treat sheepskin like one of the family.
Brushing is effective on unshorn, long wool products only. After washing, the wool fibres will likely revert back to their natural curly state. Brushing with a wire wool comb when wet, and once dry, will help restore the fluffy appearance and natural “loft” of the fibres. Please ask your nearest sales office about an Auskin sheepskin care brush.
Air-dry your sheepskin by hanging it on a line or laying it out flat – although please remember, not in direct sunlight. It is important to stretch sheepskin during the drying process, this helps to retain the shape and prevent excessive shrinkage. You would be brave to tumble dry, iron or bleach your sheepskin – please do not do this!
Dogs, pets and children all love sheepskin, but rest assured small stains and light soiling can be spot cleaned easily with a damp cloth and mild detergent. For a more thorough clean, and to gain the best result, dry-cleaning is recommended. Auskin natural sheepskins can be hand or machine-washed in warm water (40°C/104°F) using a mild liquid detergent that is suitable for hand washing dishes, on a ‘gentle’ wash cycle. Please note that machine or hand washing may affect the appearance of the natural wool fibres and the leather pelt. Products with cotton or other backing material are generally not suitable for machine or hand washing. Dry cleaning is recommended for any products with backing materials. It is best to dry clean dyed products as colours may bleed.
Hand or machine wash in warm water, gentle washing cycle. Use a mild liquid detergent that is suitable for hand washing dishes.
- Note: 40°C is equivalent to 104°F
- Do not bleach
- Dry flat or on a line
- Do not tumble dry
- Do not iron
- Dry cleaning is recommended
Dealing with Spills & Staining
To avoid permanent damage, accidental spills and stains should be dealt with immediately – or in… ahem… two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Before using any stain treatment, make sure you have “contained the stain”. This will stop it spreading further. Note that different types of stains require specific cleaning methods.
The most common culprit for soiling is the dreaded ‘dirty shoes on the rug’ scenario. A cleverly positioned front door mat can stop potential offenders traipsing their way through the home with weapons of rug destruction on their feet. Dirty disaster avoided!
Staining occurs when pigments chemically bond with wool fibre. Once this bonding has taken place, removing the stain without some damage to the wool pile can be extremely difficult. It is very important to attend to spills and stains promptly. Frequent and moderate cleaning is advised. This will help to avoid more serious measures to recover sheepskin products to their full glory.
Dealing with liquid stains:
- Blot up liquids immediately using a paper towel or clean cloth. In the event of any large area spills, we would recommend putting a clean towel down and standing on it to absorb a much liquid as possible.
- Scoop up solids immediately using a knife or spoon – try not to push the substance further into the wool pile.
- Rub wet wool pile… ever! This will damage the wool pile and can spread the staian further.
- Drown the wool in water or any other liquid. This may cause watermarks on the surface and/or damage the backing of rugs.