By its very nature sheepskin has self-cleaning properties - welcome news to busy parents! Yes you can wash sheepskin and we will guide you through how to do this. First of all though we have some easy steps to help look after your sheepskin fleece and keep it in fantastic, natural condition without having to wash it - avoid the work and hassle if you can!
• Brush and air regularly - this will help keep your sheepskin smelling fresh and will remove the majority of stains and spills once they have dried. Use a stiff, wire brush which is specifically for use with lambskin fleeces - the wires are angled to reach deep into the fibres and loosen any spills and debris.
• Remove light spills with a damp cloth, this is a much better option than washing regularly. If you wish you can use a small amount of specialist shampoo and a damp sponge. Rinsing and blotting a small amount of the fleece is a much easier option than a full wash - and no-one is washing for the fun of it!
Washing your sheepskin:
Yes you can wash your sheepskin rug or pram liner but there are some important guidelines to follow to keep the lambskin in great condition.
1. There are a number of options that the different suppliers give for washing sheepskin including a cool hand hash, gentle machine wash on a wool cycle (no higher than 30°C) or professionally dry cleaned. If you intend to wash the sheepskin yourself we always recommend a cool hand wash as best - not the easiest but definitely the most gentle option for the lambskin.
2. Always use a specialist wool shampoo containing lanolin - this will help maintain the fleece and replace the natural lanolin that is in the skin.
3. Do not spin or tumble dry - this action will pull the natural fibres together making the skin dense and stiff, not something you want from a super soft fleece!
4. Air dry flat - do not leave the sheepskin in direct sunlight or use any form of heat. Air drying can take up to around 5 days - its a slow process but the cooler the room and the slower the drying process, the better the results. Speeding up this process will shrink the leather and this draws the fibres closer together and the fleece loses its softness.
5. While drying the skin should be stretched periodically back to shape. It is a good idea during and after drying to 'work' the leather. This will maintain its supple feel and can be done by pulling the leather back and forth across a hard surface (the corner of a worktop or table works well).
6. Remember to give your sheepskin a good brush once it is dry to loosen up the fibres - press deep into the fleece and use a wire brush.
PLEASE NOTE: The leather may harden slightly following the washing process but following use will return to its normal softness. The more it is 'worked' and used the softer it will become again.