There are a number of ways to wash your sheepskin – we always recommend hand washing in cool water as this is the gentlest way to clean the fleece and will reduce the risk of the leather shrinking.
First, make sure you use a specialist woolshampoo containing lanolin – this is important to replace the natural lanolin in the skin which keeps the fleece soft.
It’s easiest to wash sheepskin in a cool bath (temperature no higher than 30°C) there’s plenty of room to move the fleece about and gently rub it to remove the dirt.
Gently wring the water out of the sheepskin by hand and hang it over the side of the bath until it no longer drips water. Most of the water will drip to the bottom of the fleece and you should be able to wring more moisture out.
Stretch the sheepskin into shape and as its drying over the next few days keep stretching the leather periodically to keep it nice and supple.
Dry on an airer or outside away from any direct heat – drying slowly in a cooler temperature will ensure that the leather doesn’t shrink.
Give your sheepskin a good brushing once it’s dry with asheepskin wire brush. It is possible that the leather will feel a little stiff to begin with – this will improve over time the more it is used. If you want to speed up the softening process then ‘work’ the leather over the corner of a hard surface such as a table or worktop. Your sheepskin will soon be as good as new.