Wherever you place a sheepskin it will be owned by your pet. Once you accept this truth you are ready to grow as a person, and to build a truly awesome collection of sheepskins.
Use the attractive qualities of sheepskin to your advantage, by placing it where you would like your pet to be. Enjoy the fact that your dog claims the sheepskin by incentivising your preferred behaviour – and, when the builders/children/mother-in-law arrive, you can move the dog further under the table. Don’t feel sorry for the brute, he’s on my best sheepskin!
To sit on.
I’m not being facetious. Obviously a sheepskin will soften and provide bounce on your average arm chair, but chuck a sheepie down on damp grass before a picnic (Top Tip: longer hair can hold a tumbler of wine even in a stiff breeze).
Sheepskin hairs draw moisture away from the skin, particularly useful on a hot day. It’s scientifically interesting, here’s how it works.
To ride on.
Whilst not a miracle cure for numb-bum, many motorcyclists swear by sheepskins on their seat (for long journeys, especially). The thinking goes like this: the sheepskin will draw moisture away from the rider and any rain won’t fall under the rider’s bum. I ride a 20 year old BMW F650 Strada (single cylinder, being that you ask). It vibrates to hell and back and I live in Devon – so I’m well versed in in the effects of rain and vibrations whilst riding!
You’d think I would love to use sheepskin on my motorbike. I tend to use counter-leaning when riding, so my bum leaves the saddle, or at least moves upon the saddle, with every corner. I imagine a sheepskin won’t work for me in the rain, because it would get wet on my bike. But if you carve out those corners fully planted in the saddle, only a fool (or wavy disk brakes) will stop you. But take a tip from those long-haulers and be ready for your next long journey, however you travel.
Side note: A thread on a motorhomer’s forum linked to my blog post about how sheepskin handles atmospheric moisture. The commenter was highlighting why the original poster had a wet seat problem after leaving a sheepskin in an unattended van left for a month or two. The sheepskin had been harvesting atmospheric moisture, leaving the van all nice and dry. All except the passenger seat. Remember to air your sheepskin, give it a shake at any sun you end up seeing in this God-forsaken isle.
I can’t even pretend I have a designer’s eye. BUT, I can fake it by choosing the right sheepskin colour. Match the carpet colour with a sheepskin on the back of a plain sofa. Use a steely grey sheepie in the conservatory to reference any posh iron you’re lucky enough to have outside. Like a good gardener, you can ‘claim’ colours and shades from outside. This invites the eye to gorge on an extended feast, far bigger than your own room. A light coloured short hair sheepskin will seem to invite the sunshine in on a spring day. Drape it over an occasional table, or on the arm of your reading chair. A shaft of light becomes an architectural feature.
I maintain that a sheepskin is every bit as good as a roll mat or Thermarest-type camping mat. I’d definitely prefer a sheepskin, unless I also wanted a pool float. And therein lies the heart of the matter. The roll mat will react to whatever percentage of moisture it finds itself in with all the grace of a pool noodle.
The sheepskin, on the other hand, is comprised of moisture retaining gaps between the hairs – the hairs themselves are water repellent, which creates friction, and heat. It is in this merry dis-equilibrium that the sheepskin moderates humidity. Whereas the roll-mat handles moisture with the intelligence of a pool-noodle. I’ll make my case really clearly for those at the back: You never see a sheep shivering, and they stay outdoors more than I plan too.
Outdoor cinema and even for your favourite cafe (the one with terrible chairs).
Anywhere you are invited to sit down and endure – don’t accept a pain in the bum. Go prepared. Buy a sheepskin that’s thin, with a short hair if you want it to roll up nice and small – even a slightly longer or denser hair will increase the size of the roll. If I get transport right to the location, only then will I break out the fattest plushest sheepie. What was that, sorry? I can’t hear you over my enormous sheepskin! For everything else you want small and compact. Use it folded over double, still works the same.
The fact is you will probably find a dozen uses for any sheepskin you have. They are easy to clean and provide a luxurious warmth that’s hard to resist. You can throw one down for a baby one day, give it a blast in a standard washing machine and dryer and it’s ready for anything. That is, as long as you also have a sheepskin for the dog.