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Sheepskins Paused for now. Everything else is unaffected.

Sheepskins are worth waiting for, and that’s a good thing because production has been paused. That said, we’re still shipping our range of natural dyes and incenses from within the UK, including fine-ground mimosa hostilis inner root bark and some rather pungent frankincense, useful for space clearing.

Fill your basket and order with confidence.

All orders with Dartmoor Sheepskins are covered by PayPal Buyer Protection. Return Shipping is covered for most purchases too, it’s worth checking out what PayPay put in place in addition to your consumer rights. Our shipping is as normal for natural dye and incense, with no delays reported by Royal Mail or our customers. – open for business

Whilst sheepskin sales are on pause, our ranges of dyes, including mimosa hostilis and madder (rubia tinctorum) and incenses ship from our own home. Orders for these items are unaffected. Stocks have been marked at zero for items where biosecurity has made supply impossible, meaning you will not be able to add them to your basket at his time. The rule is: if you can place it in your basket, then we can ship it safely to your address.

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We do our best to be consistent, but nature will be nature.

Meet Gary T (short for Thompson). Flock mates call her “Mr T”.

Try as we might nature loves to throw a curveball. Take Mr T, for example, she comes from a batch of eggs with known parents. Neither of which should be able to produce a partridge coloured chick. I quite like surprises, but at over £5 per egg I do was wishing to have a bit of an idea about what to expect after 21 days incubation.

Nature plays with genes in a way perfectly unencumbered by our human weakness. She will mimic dad’s tail and spangle it with mother’s stars. She would tame the wild cock with the same lightness of touch with which she stops other boys and girls from even hatching. Mother nature can be somewhat predictable, the trouble is our predictions aren’t always wrong.

Chickens are ancient beings, and surprisingly durable. A quick check on ancestry dot com reveals the humble chuck is related to the T Rex (Mr T would be proud). But that was years ago, what are they like now?

Every chick looks like food to a mother hen. Even chickens eat chicken (unless the nurturing hormones are being released). Chickens have a number of genes that affect egg production. When these genes are expressed, mother hen will experience a flood of hormones that prevent her basic instinct to peck at, and eat, anything she can. Some hens exude this hormone strongly and will go broody at the drop of a hat. Others will get restless after the eggs have warmed up and then eat them all.

We humans have selectively bred over much of our shared history with chickens for the fighting genes, rather than anything more usable. Our main poultry breeding effort has simply been a massive cock fight. Speaking of cocks… Gary T is apparently a partridge, but she’s obviously expressed the unexpected. Either her parentage is doubtful or nature has thrown a curve ball. Either way, Gary T will make a beautiful garden bird with a lovely temperament. Maybe she isn’t ‘perfect’, but if she’s good enough for nature, then she’s good enough for me.

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Nothing Lasts Forever (and neither should it).

100% Biodegradable.

Everything we supply can be composted.

Everything we supply can be composted. Not only the bags and boxes, but literally everything.

We are chuffed to beans to be able to announce that all our products now come with free shipping to the UK. This keeps things simple, but more significantly all our packaging is now just as natural as the products inside.

Your Dartmoor Sheepskin order will arrive in plain old-fashioned brown paper and be addressed by hand. This isn’t just to let you know that we are actual real people (although we are), it’s to reduce our use of plastics and printing. We use a cellophane bag where needed, such as with our natural dyes, even this will break down harmlessly. We also use biodegradable sticky tape, because nothing should last forever.

Free eco-packaging and UK shipping.

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Save on snuggles – £10 off Sheepskin

Save on Snuggles

Take £10 Off

Take £10 off our full-priced sheepskin this month. More loveliness, for less. Shipping is included for UK customers (use the shipping calculator if ordering from abroad).

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SALE NOW ON – FULL COLOUR FRIDAY – 30% Off Natural Dye this weekend!

We don’t don’t do black. We do do very dark blue, do you do blue?

Take 30% Off Natural Dye in our Colourful Friday sale!

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The Science of Sheepskin

Modern high performance sheepskin combines the exothermic properties of wool with the hydroscopic quality of each individual wool fiber. The resultant fabric is as strong as leather, can absorb upto 30% of its own weight in water and can be washed and dried like a quality pair of jeans.

Man made fabrics can’t absorb water like sheepskin. This is because sheepskin’s absorbency doesn’t depend on surface tension (the physical property that makes water ‘creep’ up the sides of a jar). Instead, sheepskin ‘holds’ moisture within the air trapped between its wavy strands. Tight curly hairs inhibit air movement to such an extent that the space between them works in our favour, locking moisture comfortably away and producing heat as it does so.

Sheepskins produce heat as they absorb water

Wool is a hygroscopic fibre. As the humidity of the surrounding air rises and falls, the fibre absorbs and releases water vapour. Heat is generated and retained during the absorption phase, which makes wool a natural insulator. Used in the home, wool insulation helps to reduce energy costs and prevents the loss of energy to the external environment, thus reducing carbon emissions.” –Campaign for Wool

Sheepskins are naturally anti-bacterial, and will work surprisingly well as picnic rugs, particularly suited to nestling bowls and glasses away from the British weather. They also work well as baby changing mats and medical cushions – the moisture handling comes into its own on long journeys or when confined to a bed. Shake them out and they are ready for more.

Plastic isn’t fantastic

You can spend as long as you want snuggled up with a sheepskin. Unlike polyesthers, sheepskin releases zero endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Fight fire with fur

Wool is flame retardant, see for yourself in this short video.

No only are man made fibers derived from oil, but they also lack the heat and moisture handling properties of natural sheepskin. Sheepskin is flame retardant. Polyesthers are fuel, the difference couldn’t be more stark.

Plastic fabrics break up, rather than breaking down. Each time a man made fabric is flexed it sheds millions of tiny plastic micro-fibers that end up in our air, water and food. Microfibers are found in almost every living being on earth, whereas sheepskins are 100% biodegradable. In fact, everything you buy from Dartmoor Sheepskins, including the packaging, will return harmlessly to the earth.

All our products come in plain biodegradable packaging. Simply recycle, or compost at home.

99.6% of sheepskins are destroyed each year over ethical concerns regarding fur farms and animal exploitation. All Dartmoor Sheepskins are by-products of the meat industry, which consumes 5.5 million sheep a year but preserves just 60,000 hides. We think that’s a waste, do you agree?

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SALE NOW ON – CBD Oil From Cannabis grown in the UK

UPDATE: We no longer stock CBD products here at Dartmoor Sheepskins, sorry for any inconvenience. CBD is available in several high street stores, including Holland and Barrett and numerous independent retailers. Many (most) financial service companies will no longer process payments for CBD products.

THC is illegal in the UK, but many other chemical compounds present in cannabis are not. The good news is that the legal substances that cannabis produces can also have medical uses, and they are all becoming available under the heading CBD. Our CBD products are made from simple raw ingredients and contain no flavourings or anything artificial. George Botanicals grow cannabis in the UK (near Bath) and these products are produced under licence for use within the UK.

CBD is Cannabidiol, and it is found along with a spectrum of other goodies in these very precise 10ml dropper bottles. In this recent lab report you can see significant potential entourage effect with CBDV, CBG, THCV and CBDA in noteworthy quantities.

CBD lab report showing significant CBDV at 4.5%. George Botanicals British grown CBD. Contains CBDV, CBG, CBD, THCV and CBDA
Example of George Botanicals 20% CBD oil cannabinoid profile, showing significant levels of CBDv – Shop Here

Does CBD make you high?

CBD is a chemical substance found in cannabis that has medical benefits. It won’t get you high, because it doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis that makes you high.

NHS Guidance on Medical Cannabis

The NHS in their guidance on medical cannabis also warn about the quality, quantity, efficacy and legality of CBD products available on and off-line. One only has to read the descriptions of the oils, pills and potions to spot a number of ways that unscrupulous retailers could catch you out. The products we sell contain at least what we say they contain. They are produced under Home Office licence in the UK (0.2% THC is permissible under UK law as the minimum that is possible to reasonably detect, see recent lab report for example).

Sale Now On – Save £20 on British CBD oil.

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Love hurts (but it shouldn’t also make you bleed).

Rex is a loving chap, but very very sharp. He likes to climb onto Zarah’s lap slowly, using his sharp claws as grappling hooks. If he does this after walking through ink, he will leave a tattoo. Rex’s love hurts.

A cuddle from Rex can leave a purrmanant mark.

Rex likes to knead his owner, Zarah, with his savage paws. Zarah has no idea why he does this, indeed no one knows why any cat does it, all that we know is most of them do this at all stages of life.

“If your cat is curled up and kneading your lap while you’re petting him, he’s returning the affection and telling you he loves you right back. Unfortunately, this can be quite painful, since the happier he is, the harder he’ll dig in with his sharp nails. Try placing a thick, soft barrier between the cat and your lap, or gently place him on his back and pet his belly if it gets too intense. However, do not punish your cat for this behavior — he doesn’t relaize it hurts.”


Coping With Sharp-Clawed Cats

Making Rex safer and/or less painful has been a health and safety issue as well as a comfort issue. Cats walk and run through whatever is underfoot, they catch and eat rodents (and don’t use toothpaste). They might have impeccable personal hygiene, but antibacterial they are not.

Cat-Scratch Disease

It’s a thing. A particular bacteria (Bartonella henselae) enters the bloodstream via cat’s claws and the infection becomes systemic. It’s very rare, but it has happened. What’s more likely in an untreated case of Senior Cat Sharpness Syndrome is reluctance to cuddle on the part of the owner. Zarah had complained about this very symptom upon our first meeting. A few ruined pairs of tights and a holey jumper had turned the sight of Rex from an “ahhh” to “eek”.

What a surprise, a sheepskin fan, writing on a sheepskin website, is recommending sheepskins

Lots of different fabrics can work very well. Any fabric thicker than your cat’s claws will help. The only thing to watch for is thread on the carpet. For shear convenience and luxury Zarah opted to give Rex an old sheepskin. OK, that’s not entirely true. Rex himself claimed a nearly new sheepskin as his own, and no one in the family had the heart to complain. Rex is a very old man and any complaints would have landed on authentically deaf ears anyway.

At this point I’ll stick my neck out and suggest that most sheepskins will eventually end up at Pet Grade. But what if you are designing your perfect petting solution? Check out our clipped sheepskins. These have been shaved so that both layers of hair are the same length, leaving a very dense easy-care soft mat. Cats can plunge their claws into fleece without ripping shreds out of it, unlike with a woven fabric. The thick sheepskin hide prevents even the sharpest claws piercing through, and the hydrophobic fibers can be shaken in to a house-proud state in just a moment.

They don’t always land fur-side up, but they are always ready for use.

Some cats will prefer to scratch the “back”of the sheepskin, the thick sheep leather can be ideal for older cats to pull at their own claws (essential for cat self-care). This can have the added bonus of being warm and snuggly for the cat’s Prefered Human. Ask your cat which he prefers.

Don’t hurry to “retire” a sheepskin. If you have used and abused your sheepy over the summer, follow our simple washing instructions and you’ll see that cats aren’t the only things that get to enjoy nine lives. Until next time, happy sheeping!

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Competition time – Win a Dartmoor sheepskin! #WinADartmoorSheepskin

You could win a Dartmoor sheepskin by following us on Facebook and sharing our free competition! #WinADartmoorSheepskin.

How to enter:

  1. Like our Page.
  2. Share our Post (use the hashtag #WinADartmoorSheepskin)
  3. Leave a Comment.

To enter you need to do three things: Like our page, Share our competition post using the hashtag #WinADartmoorSheepskin and leave a comment.

We’ll only search on Facebook, posts made on other social networks are great for us, but won’t help you win.

We’ll pick the lucky winner at random from the comments and announce the winner on Facebook on our official page after 5pm on November the 5th (bonfire night). It’s a UK based competition. If you win from abroad we’ll arrange delivery at your cost (sorry about that).

Good luck from the Dartmoor Sheepskins crew!

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5 Brilliant uses for a sheepskin (and 1 awful one that will make you wrinkle your nose).

Sheepskin receives a misplaced special worship when new. Folks treat it like it’s never been dragged through a hedge by a sheep. As though, just now, it has become sensitive to grass or soil. Yet as soon as the poor thing gets dirty folks will relegate a sheepskin to the Pet League. This said, when you understand what a sheepskin is, you can then think much more freely about how you can use them.

Firstly, a sheepskin is a sheep’s skin. Dartmoor sheepskins come from animals that have been slaughtered for meat. Sheepskin will have served the sheep just as well as it will serve you. The changeable British weather will be kept at bay by thick, curly woolen fleece. Wool fibers are hollow and handle moisture and temperature as a connected environmental whole, making sheepskin all-season.

Wool is exothermic, meaning that whilst it absorbs moisture it gives out heat. Water molecules have the opposite polarity to wool fiber, when they collide they produce heat.

The individual fibers are hydrophobic, which comes in handy when you need to shake off a summer shower. Augmenting this ability to shed water comes one of sheepskin’s best known and most loved properties: its ability to wick moisture away from the skin.

It isn’t the wool itself but the structure of the fibers that allows wool to absorb upto 30% of its own weight in water. That it can do this whilst continuing to exhibit excellent thermal characteristics and still feeling dry, is unique and special. Man has yet to come close with his plastic fabrics. Also, at the end of its long life, sheepskin has the good grace to rot away harmlessly.

Into this mix we can toss the quick drying and machine washability of the modern sheepskin, and you have a mobile comfort-rug with numourous uses, some of them utterly horrendous.

The Good.

For picnics. Not to serve food on (except during high winds when cups etc can be nestled) but for sitting and laying on. Sheepskins are really hard wearing.

For festivals. Laying your head in a sheepskin is a level of self care that nurtures the soul whilst it soothes the body. Plan ahead, take some luxury with you. And bog roll, take bog roll too.

For long distance. Long rides on uncomfortable seats are bad for the mood. Might we suggest a soft moisture-wicking sheepskin?

For camping. Hiking is one thing, but for most camping trips a vehical of some sort is involved. In these cases take a sheepy. You will (almost) always have a better nights sleep with a sheepskin under you.

Because you care. Sheepskin emits zero endocrine disrupting chemicals. It’s a safe (and instant) baby bed. Stuck in bed for long periods? Use a fabric that actively helps, rather than just copes. Sheepskin excels at personal care.

The Bad.

Sandy beaches. These are awful with sheepskins. Avoid woodland twigs and leaves too, as these make a right mess. Instead leave the sheepskin inside the camper van or tent and have a No Shoes policy.

Food service. Great at picnics, I said, not great for serving food on. Bowls can be snuggled into fleece in order that they stay the right way up, but don’t let kids mash flakey pastry into sheepskin (unless they really have to).

On hot summer nights. Wool might have scientifically significant properties affecting how water and temperature interact with it, but on a hot night you want cotton.

Leisure vs pet care. Keep cats (and similarly possessive creatures) away from sheepskin, unless you are of weak will and the animal has completely possessed your soul. Pets love sheepskin.

The Ugly.

Amature baby changing. Possibly the worst thing that can happen to a sheepskin is a baby art-painting liquid yoghurt food with a coloured spoon from a pot marketed with cartoon dinosaurs. No one knows if dinosaurs ate bacteria riddled milk, but let’s suspend cynicism and assume it tastes good. This abomination (or pinnacle of natural parenting, depending how you look at it) is marginally pipped at the post for most awful sheep skincident by a common place sheepskin usage: Baby changing. Handled badly this can make adoption seem more attractive.

Normally, parents and careers are sufficiently skilled in baby wrestling before they take on the Outdoor Nappy. Sometimes, however, an unskilled relative or street drunk will step in to assist. Observe them managing a baby, preferably someone else’s, before letting them gain access to your precious sheepskin (or baby). If the carnage has already happened already happened, roll up your sleeves (and your sheepskin) and click here.