Sheepskins are fully machine washable and easy to dry at 30 degrees.
Whenever your Dartmoor sheepskin gets in a bit of a state just machine wash at 30 degrees (or lower) & tumble on a low heat, or dry on a heated rail, shaking it out now and then.
Sheepskins are machine washable at 30 degrees Celsius and can be tumble dried at the same temperature. Wash a sheepskin on its own in a normal washing machine with your usual washing powder. Afterwards, tumble dry at a low temperature. Give it a brush with a wide-toothed comb or pet brush and your sheepskin will come up like new. A tumble dryer can leave the skin a little stiff and needing a good rub and a shake out. If you have sufficient dry weather and can comit to air drying, so much the better!
Tips for perfect cleaning and care of sheepskins:
- Set the washing machine at a low temperature – 30°C or lower. Your machine might have a WOOL setting which will work well (sheepskins are literally made of wool).
- Use a small amount of Biological or Non-Biological Washing Powder (all work at this temperature).
- Avoid additives like Fabric Softeners or Stain Removers, Bleaches or Whiteners. These will negatively affect the way natural hollow sheepskin fibers behave with regard humidity and heat.
- Tumble Dry on a Low Heat to prevent the wool becoming distorted, again if your machine has a wool setting this should work well – don’t worry if not, just keep the temperature low.
- Shake the sheepskin out and when dry give it a little work with a wide toothed comb.
When you first get a sheepskin you tend to show it special treatment. There’s something so obviously luxurious about it that makes you take extra special care. But soon enough the cat has slept on it, the kids have used it as a cape and it’s twice been a cushion in the garden. Soon enough, it needs a wash. People worry about how to wash a sheepskin because they don’t want to ruin the wool fibres or damage the tanned hide.
The solution is simple – keep the temperature low.
The tanning process stabilises the leather and it comes through the wash surprisingly unaffected. In fact, after a wash and dry a sheepskin usually comes up like new.
Dry it, don’t cook it!
The most important thing is temperature, too hot and the wool fibres will distort. Too cold is fine for the sheepskin but a biological washing powder needs a bit of warmth to encourage the enzymes to digest more dirt.
Other than heat distortion the sheepskin is pretty hardcore. We recommend them for motorcycle seat covers, for example. A use in which you can expect to see very hard wear, ground-on dirt and grease, and regular washing and drying. In this case the sheepskin will wear out quicker, but there’s no reason it can’t perform like new after each wash. Just remember to give it a wash in good time before you set off.
Drying Without a Machine
- Place sheepskin on radiator*
- Move it frequently “shake it out”
- Increase airflow
Timing is an issue. A sheepskin should be dried within a reasonable time. A soggy sheepskin is a sorry thing and should be dealt with right away. Don’t be tempted to overheat it because again you may distort the fibres. A radiator should be OK. Make a habit of rotating the fir and giving it a shake out each time you happen to pass. *If your radiator is too hot for your hand, then it is too hot for a sheepskin. Put the sheepskin over the back of a chair next to the radiator instead. Or lay it in the sun, alternating face up and face down. Same limits on heat apply.
We recommended sheepskins for all sorts, from motorbike seat covers to baby changing mats. The reason we can do this is because no matter what you throw at them, sheepskins always seem to be able to bounce back. Take a look at our range of sheepskins.