For many spills and dropped crumbs, then simply brushing with a sheepskin brush will remove most of the dirt. Allowing stains to dry and brushing them afterwards is often helpful though be careful not to pull the hair away from the fleece if there is something really sticky in there! Spot cleaning with a mix of water and a small amount of sheepskin shampoo will also take care of the majority of marks and smaller stains. This is often all that is needed to keep your sheepskin looking and feeling in super soft condition.
If you feel that your sheepskin pram liners do need to be washed then we always recommend handwashing. Whilst sheepskin can be machine washed, and many manufacturers advocate it, we like to proceed with caution. Over the years we have tested lots of different washing machine brands and have found that the wool cycle in machines can vary significantly. The natural fibres of sheepskin need gentle care and not every wool wash is as gentle as it needs to be. Too much heat and variable spin speeds can take their toll on the soft touch of the sheepskin most often causing the leather to shrink slightly. Any shrinkage in the leather will in turn pull together the fibres and the results are a sheepskin pram liner that doesn’t feel quite as soft.
To avoid this always handwash using a specialist shampoo that contains lanolin. This will replace the natural moisture that is present in the lambskin and is removed with washing. The perfect place to wash your sheepskin pram liner is in the bath – plenty of space to gently agitate the fleece without any excessive pulling or twisting. Gently wash the fleece without scrubbing – the dirt should easily lift from the fibres with a little shampoo and movement between the fur.
To dry your sheepskin pram liner, gently squeeze out the excess moisture and reshape it if needed whilst damp. Rolling the pram liner in a large bath sheet and patting it dry will remove much of the water and speed up the drying process.
Next you need to be patient... it can take a few days for the pram liner to dry, and this must be away from heat and sunlight to prevent shrinkage. Drying flat in a cool room is perfect. If you find the leather is a little less supple once dry, then gently massaging or ‘working’ the back of the leather over the corner of a table or worktop will soon soften it again.
A handy care set containing shampoo and a wire sheepskin brush is good to have at hand for spot cleaning and keeping the fibres aired and free from dirt. The same shampoo can be used for a full wash should you ever need it.