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Sheepskin Seat Cover | Soft as a kitten, hard as nails

sheepskin seat cover on a motorbike

After an hour in the saddle without a sheepskin seat cover, many bikers experience ‘bikers bum’ and it can actually be quite sore.

It’s not just that some bikers are more suited to a Nissan Micra either, there’s nothing manly about ignoring the early signs of a pressure sore – quite the opposite. That’s why so many bikers are turning to a sheepskin seat cover, long used by the medical profession to make grandma more comfy in bed they serve admirably on a long haul. Not only this but they are surprisingly thermo-stable meaning your bum will stay cool in summer just as it will enjoy the utmost luxury on a cold winter morning.

The fact is, riding with sheepskin feels like a privilege.

One of the features you’ll enjoy with sheepskin is its ability to wick moisture away, keeping you dry (you understand I’m not for a moment suggesting that you have a sweaty arse, it’s just the other bikers, they have arses way sweatier than you).

The softest sheepskin makes for a perfect bikers holiday, in the summer it’ll be cool, in the winter it’ll be warm.

When you’re on a bike going fast you want the temperature to change slowly, so slowly that your own fat arse can heat the seat faster than those vibrating molecules can dissipate their energy. At speeds like this you really need sheepskin.

Bikers bottom? Long journey ahead? Don’t sweat that shit out, turn to sheepskin. These sheepskins are specially selected (each one is individually picked) to have a strong double layer of fur, pick a short cropped skin for easy care. Each skin is supplied whole, you simply cut the shape you need and apply to the sadle – you’re on the road, in utter luxury.

Your arse will thank you.

Sheepskins dry quickly in the tumble dryer, check out our cleaning guide.  Check out our range of sheepskins for your perfect partner.

Make YOUR ass happy, ride with sheepskin.

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Dyeing With Lac

lac dye with barney removing water from cloth

lac dye used for tie dye

Lac Dye is a fascinating product, made from insect secretion and harvested by inoculating trees with Kerria Lacca insects.

Cultivation begins when a farmer gets a stick that contains eggs ready to hatch and ties it to the tree to be infested. Thousands of lac insects colonise the branches of the host trees and secrete the resinous pigment. The coated branches of the host trees are cut and harvested to create the lac dye – Wikipedia

The results were way more purple than we were expecting, having originally been expecting a deep red result. This is a sign of an alkaline solution (acidic dye solution gives more orangey colours) – so much depends on the additional treatments used that each dye can produce a range of colours, sometimes dramatically different from each other. Indeed we expected this colour from mimosa dye, which in the event turned out brown!

Basic process:

  1. Wash fabric in alum and cream of tartar solution in warm water
  2. Squeeze out liquid, add fabric to Lac dye bath (1 litre warm water, 20 g Lac powder)
  3. Give fabric a soak in copper sulphate solution

Tie Dye:

  1. After the initial soaking, squeeze out the excess liquid
  2. Lay the fabric out on a table and twist from the centre
  3. Secure at intervals with string or elastic bands (the tighter you tie the less dye will get through and the more distinctive the final pattern will be
  4. Proceed to the dye bath stage

 

All our dyes come from ecologically aware producers, working to strict employment ethics and environmental responsibility standards. Our Lac comes from a producer certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards).

Rinse fabric treatments thoroughly

OK, it’s first efforts like this where you iron out the kinks, but not a bad tie dyed pillow case – deep rich purple colour (like what we were expecting from the mimosa)

 

 

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Why People Are Returning To Natural Dyes

Synthetic Dye Mauve can be replaced with natural Mimosa

The first synthetic dye ever discovered was mauve. Found accidentally by William Henry Perkin, who at just eighteen discovered a purple colour leaching out of some coal tar he was experimenting with.

He spilt some alcohol and the resulting solution stained his silk scarf purple. This was in 1856 and some of Perkin’s dyed samples remain colourfast to this day!  – And so William’s efforts to drive sales of his new synthetic dye lead to the birth of the entire chemical industry.

 

The Dyestuffs Industry.

The dyestuffs industry was largely based on chemicals obtained from coal tar, a black, viscous by-product of gas production from coal. Initially regarded as a useless and filthy nuisance, coal tar turned out to offer an unimaginably rich treasure trove of chemicals. It’s astonishing that until about 30 years ago, nearly all synthetic dyes were ultimately derived from coal tar (and not only dyes, but chemicals like carbolic acid, TNT and saccharin – Open Univerisy

The industry brought with it vivid colours and ease of use. However, with these advantages came toxic waste products and a reliance on fossil fuels. The dye industry produces over 500,000 tons of colourants each year. It disposes of it according to local laws – which are variable.

There’s been a reaction too against all manner of artificial colourings. Even within the last thirty years Smarties would have been used to test for allergies to colours. So maybe now is a good time to have a think about how we colour our world and to herald the return of some of the first pigments used by man.

Our range of natural dyes and auxiliaries are certified by GOTS – The Global Organic Textile Standard and are made by producers who care not only for the environment but also for their workers.

William Henry Perkin was somewhat a product of his time. While the industrial revolution was perfect for the launch of his industry, we feel that it’s time to properly move on. It’s time for a new revolution, a step forward to more natural dyestuffs and a sustainable management of people and planet.

 

 

 

 

 

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First Go At Dyeing With Mimosa

Despite selling the highest quality powdered inner root bark Mimosa, we hadn’t done any dyeing with it… until last weekend. With the delivery of a new set of natural dyes and life in general we hadn’t had a chance to get to the fun part; having a play around with the products themselves. We didn’t get the vivid purples we were expecting, but as with all home dyeing experiments, we learned something and there is always next time!

Tie dyeing with mimosa hostilis powder
The Material Is Tied Up – After the pre-treatment, the excess is squeezed out and the material is tied up.

fine powdered mimosa inner root bark ukFine Powder Mimosa Goes In The Pan 

Not Quite What We Were Hoping For!

Although we were hoping for the famed vivid purples we ended up with a soft pinky brown. Looking forward to having a play around with different auxiliaries and seeing the full range of colours from all of our products.

 

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COMING SOON: The Nose Cosy!

small piece of sheepskin covers exposed tip of nose

Here at Dartmoor Sheepskins we listen hard to what you need. You told us your nose was cold, we give you the Nose Cosy™ Sheepskins for keeping your nose warm on a cold winters day.

How often have you cursed the cruel winter chill that brings with it the predictable running, sore and generally very sorry for itself nose. The sight of the pitiful red beak has become all too common on chilly winters mornings, we have for too long taken for granted that this is just the way of the winter months and accepted the fate of our poor facial features.

We say no more! Your nose is important and it deserves to be taken care of, and how better so show it the love it so badly needs that with a soft and fluffy nose cosy.

Made from the richest and fluffiest fleeces, carefully selected for comfort and resilience, your nose cosy will provide style and protection so you can say goodbye to red winter noses and hello to warmth and protection.

 

COMING SOON: The Strapless Nose Cosy, timeless, sexy, on fleek.

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One More For The Woad

woad paint on face of child

The earliest example of humans using pigmentation occurred around 36,000 years ago, dyed flax fibres were found in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dating back to 34,000BC while in Pakistan a piece of cloth dyed with Madder was recovered from an archaeological suite dating back to 3000 BC.

It has taken us a little while longer here at Dartmoor Sheepskins to catch up, but we now offer our own range of natural dyes, from the arresting blues of Indigo, the vivid purples Mimosa to the unique brown heartwood of the Acacia Catechu tree.

Woad and Indigo have a history that dates back to the Picts who used Woad as body paint (the name Pict means painted) and have been used commercially as late as the 1930s to dye police uniforms.

The traditional methods for producing Woad were a lot less pleasant than the modern day techniques with urine playing a big part in the production, Queen Elizabeth I banned any production of Woad anywhere near her as she found the smell so offensive.

In traditional production, after harvesting, the leaves were chopped and made into balls that were left to dry, Woad balls were valuable, so much money could be made from growing it that in the mid 1580s restrictions were made on the amount of Woad that could be grown as it was feared it would threaten grain supplies.

Once dried, the balls could be stored, when needed they were broken down and water and urine were added, the mixture would then be left to ferment before being used for dyeing.

Whilst we wouldn’t recommend dyeing your finest silks in vats of fermented urine, no matter how far away from the queen you happen to be, if you fancy trying your hand at traditional dyeing our natural dye range be found here.

 

 

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Full range of natural dyes ready for pre-order!

We are delighted to announce our new range of natural dyes, including ecstatic Marigold, vivid Mimosa and essential Indigo.

natural dyes from plants mimosa fungus woad
Head over to our shop for Indego, Mimosa, Marigold and more.

Our new range of natural dues has arrived in and we can’t wait to get started with this exiting new colour range. Along with the single plant dyes of Bio Indego, Mimosa Hostilis and Pomegranite, we also now have a new vivdly bright mix dye made from Marigold and Tesu. As well as this, we have manages to source some natural Lac dye, harvested from trees inoculated with Kerria Lacca insects, this amazing dye can produce colours ranging from soft dusty pink through vivid purple and scarlet red.

 

 

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The Top 5 Ladies Sheepskin Slippers available in the UK right now

It’s halfway through the school holidays and my son has taken to calling me Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. As such it’s somewhat of a comfort to think the school holidays are nearly half over. I’m just a glass nearly half full kinda guy.

But it does make me reflect that he’ll be my little boy for a relatively short time, my daughter is off to university already. So we must treasure our family, even if they drive us up the wall sometimes.

It was in this spirit that I compiled these Top 5 Ladies Slippers, these are slippers you will want to give to the woman in your life – giving them will feel good, because wearing them is going to make her feel special. Every time she puts them on it’ll be like you are cuddling her feet.

Enough from me, to the footwear!

In 5th place

sheepskin moccasin

‘Charlotte’ by puresheepskin.co.uk

First one the list is this classic, for me the quintessential sheepskin moccasin. Comfortable, practical, and lasts for years. Practical, that’s the word that stands out. Nice and practical, outdoor sole and all that. Yum, practical.

In 4th place

sheepskin ankle boot with laces

Finsbury’ by justsheepskins.com

I can start to get excited about slippers at this stage, this is a classic FMB, with good ankle support and the potential for fun in the snow. It’s a girl next door FMB, but it’s sill an FMB.

In 3rd place

pink slip on backless sheepskin slipper

Ladies Wooly Sheepskin Slippers by justsheepskin.com

Oh come on, tell me you can’t imagine putting your naked foot into this. Tell me.

Look me in the eye and tell me.

In second place

handmade sheepskin booties in harlequin pattern

Handmade Slippers by suziessheepskinboots.co.uk

You already know if your partner would like these handmade sheepskin booties, they come in loads of colours, and like our sheepskins, each one is created by hand.

Taking first place

red woollen slippers 'piped' with cream wooly lining

‘Babushka’ by celticandco.com

These are the ones. Look at that. Look at them! How awesome are these? How chuffed is she going to be with these! It’s almost like you’ll be a fisherman!

Well done you, she’ll love you for it!

 

We’ll be stocking a range of ladies sheepskin slippers, and slippers for men, all made in the UK. But for now why not consider our range of sheepskins, ideal presents, and of the utmost luxury!

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Everyone knows sheepskins are sexy, but how do you deal with the aftermath?

Sheepskin baby

Everyone knows sheepskin is sexy, but how do you deal with the aftermath?

Kids are hard work, no one would deny it. And before they even arrive you get told all sorts of things you should have prepared; the cot, the nursery, the specialist bum wiping aids. It just goes on.

tiny baby on sheepskin fleece
Creative Commons photo by Jody Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jodydigger)

If all goes well by your second kid you won’t be flapping about all the things you’ve yet to acquire, in fact, you probably have almost everything already because there is little in the way of specialist equipment you actually need. So naturally whilst I recommend sheepskin for babies, (they’re good for sleeping on, amongst other things) I don’t think you need to add it to anyone’s birth plan just yet.

Buy a sheepskin as a present for an expectant mother by all means, but hold back from trying to persuade anyone about the best thing for babies to sleep on, they are getting that advice from everyone else already. Better still, give them one of your old ones, tell them how you even used it as a changing mat with your little ones. Tell them that you like the way it helped your children stay cool in the summer, but any further than this and you might even put them off.

If, however, you are still in the (ahem) early stages of baby making and were fooled by the title of this post, you might want to check out this post on machine washing sheepskins.