We thrive on beautiful, unique sheepskins. As a husband and wife team we can pick the perfect sheepskins. These are gorgeous items that will add luxury to your family home for generations.
Pretty patterns and soft durable hides
Every trip to our tannery is exiting, although we know roughly what we want to get there is always that moment when we go through the newly tanned fleeces and select the ones that we will be offering in our latest collection. Almost every time there is one that was not what we were thinking but that we cant resist for some reason. This time we were offered a lambskin that is softer than any fleece we have ever had before. It is smaller than out usual sheepskins, gently curled, soft colours and honestly we don’t know which side you would want facing upward, both the wool and the skin are as soft as butter.
One of our favourite parts of our tannery visits is getting to see our new range for the first time, no two sheepskins are ever alike but this time the ‘theme’ of the trip seems to have been softness, from the dappled browns of the ‘Pretty’ to the gently light brown spot on our new ‘spotty’ this is the gentlest collection we have had to date.
Some time ago we were contacted by the fantastic soap maker Nicole from Les savons de Nicole she wanted to try Woad to make a blue soap. We have been looking into new and more affordable natural blue dyes and were really exited to try out Logwood and pass some onto Nicole to try Logwood soap making. However, when it arrived we were disappointed to discover that the logwood powder was a deep and rich brown.
We offered Nicole some of our Madder to have a play with instead and you can read about the results here. We are often surprised at the beautiful and unusual results we get when playing around with natural colours but Logwood was one of the most surprising I have come across yet. When testing out the colour on a piece of fleece I discovered, on rinsing, that the water ran out a deep red and left us with a beautiful, solid dark blue!
I was very exited offer Nicole a sample of Logwood to have a play with. What happened with the soap was even more interesting, she sent us photographs of the process showing us the soap making process showing us the dye in the oils, the water and the water and lye.
The results looked very promising and the soap batter had a lovely deep blue colour.
Finished Product – Logwood Soap
Anyone who has worked with natural dyes will know that there is always that exiting moment when you get to see how your project has turned out, you never quite know what you are going to get and in the case of logwood soap the result looks…well, kind of like chocolate. Although not the blue we were hoping for we still love these beautiful soaps Nicole sent us, they smell amazing and they look almost good enough to eat!
Special Thanks to Nicole from Les savons de Nicole for the wonderful soap, we look forward to more exiting experiments in the future. If you would like to try out our range of natural dyes you can find them here.
We had the most interesting enquiry, it read: Can your dye last in sea water for three weeks?
We didn’t know. Nobody did. We wondered why you want a dye that only lasted three weeks as much as anything. What can you do in three weeks? Shoot a film? Shoot an underwater film…? Turns out it’s for dying seal pups on Farne Island, the National Trust rangers and volunteers tag the baby seals to track how the colony is doing. Once you’ve counted the seal, you paint it. I’m not saying all seals look alike, it’s just there are such large numbers.
There are between 15 and 20 islands depending on the state of the tide
Look out for the island’s colony of grey or Atlantic seals hauled up on the rocks or bobbing inquisitively in the sea. The islands have the largest breeding colony in England with some 2,000 pups born here each autumn.
David Attenborough declared Farne Island one of two places in Britain to see nature at its best. Tweeter @BarleySpillman asked “for those who can’t go abroad as easily, where in the UK offers the best opportunity to capture magnificent nature?”
Count us in
The National Trust volunteers count the seal cubs, then mark them to avoid counting them twice. The dye also allows the National Trust to keep track of mortality rates and watch for any trends. The task of the dye is simply to mark them for three weeks until their adult fur comes through. The dye needs to be safe, seawater resistant and to stick to the fur despite the natural oils that help keep the seals warm.
This year the rangers have experimented with our natural Madder Dye and we’ve just sent them some of our natural Turmeric Dye for testing. Like all our dyes they are both just plant material with nothing added or taken away. Both are considered non-toxic, which is a great starting point, however the real test will be whether it can survive in this challenging and unique environment.
Welcome to our new range of vibrant winter colours! Use the coupon code WinterCheer15 to save 15% right across our new (and old) dyes, incenses and perfumed oils. Perfect for you, perfect to give and perfectly priced. Winter is here, and it becomes more important than ever to bring beauty into your home. Our incenses are evocative and peaceful, our perfumed oils are delightful and fun (and at prices you can play around with). But right here I want to introduce you to our new range of natural dyes.
Pink soap story – At Dartmoor sheepskins we love unusual requests, most of our queries are around shipping times or fabric types but this one was unusual. We had an enquiry from Nicole from Les savons de Nicole who wanted to use our dyes to colour her hand made soaps. We have never thought of using our dyes for things other than fabric, wool and the such like so we were very excited by the new challenge.
We talked via email about various dyes and how they might work colouring soap without colouring people. We settled on madder which can be added straight to the lye water rather than infusing in oil first.
Voila! Pink Soap!
Nicole sent us some samples of the soap when it was made and they are beautiful! She said that she has only used a small amount of madder as this was her first try. She later sent a picture of some that she had made with more pigment and the results were equally beautiful.
Special thanks to Nicole for the beautiful soap and the interesting enquiry! If you would like to see more of her work you can check out her Facebook page here. If you would like to try our madder for any of your own projects you can get some of your very own here.
Whether it’s Sheepskin to the Shetland Isles, Frankincense to Frankfurt or Mimosa to Margate – for one week only we’ll post your purchases for free to wherever you are in Europe. Enjoy free shipping until November 7th with Dartmoor Sheepskins using the coupon FreeSheeping.
Subscribers to our newsletter get special deals and exclusive offers with every email. We never send spam. This week they were the first to find out that we will be shipping our entire range throughout Europe, for free. Just place your order and use the discount code: FreeSheeping.
Please note: FreeSheeping is a stand alone discount and cannot be used on sale items or with other discount coupons.
We specialise in unique natural substances, luxury lamb fleece, sacred incenses and perfume oils. We believe that luxury shouldn’t cost the earth. That’s why we source all our products ethically and sustainably. Stuck for a stocking filler? Take a look at our economically priced perfume oils – just £4 a bottle!
Give some unique tea, for free.
Why not give our beautiful colour changing Butterfly Pea Tea, as a present? We offer generous (and very pretty) samples for free, just pay P+P. Adults love the taste, and that it’s loaded with antioxidants, everyone loves the colour! Serve with a slice of lemon for a light refreshing cup of tea, squeeze the lemon to adjust the colour and flavour.
You bring the gold! Our Frankincense,Myrrh and other sacred woods and resins are beautifully evocative. They transform the way a room feels with aromas that fill the senses and delight. Try smudging with Palo Santo to clean a room and calm life down. Use our Copal to restore energy and cheers things up. Burn Frankincense and Myrrh and you’ll see that it is as relevant now as ever. Real incenses make Christmas golden, take a look at our range of incenses.
For the ultimate in luxury we recommend sheepskin. Used by man for thousands of years (and with very good reason!) Proper Dartmoor Sheepskin costs less than you might think and each one is unique. It is a quality product that will last for generations. Tanned the traditional way on Dartmoor for the utmost in softness and care. Cuddle a sheepskin, for less than you think. See our range here.
We stock a full range of natural dyes, free from petrochemicals, and these can make excellent and economical gifts. From Mimosa Hostilis to marvelous Madder, we even supply dyes for marking seal pups! If you want to keep in touch, sign up below.
These beautiful perfume oils are sometimes clean and airy, other times erotic and primal. Which ones work for you?
capture the essence of fine woods and flowers. Ethically sourced from artisan perfumers creating beautiful and evocative fragrances. These oils are not to be missed. Each one made with cold-pressed flower oils and steam-extracted woods and resins. Sometimes vibrant, othertimes dark and musky. At just £4 per bottle you can afford to mix and match, and make blends as gifts.
Our full range of Indian perfume oils for you to try:
A sheepskin rug from Dartmoor Sheepskins will always be of a superb quality. Tanned the traditional way, on Dartmoor, they have a sumptuous fleece on a hard-wearing hide. These are products that last for generations and are machine washable using these simple instructions.
We will help you get the right sheepskin.
Each sheepskin rug is unique, with the pretties varying by a huge amount. Because we are a small company we can find the right one for you. Place your order and leave a comment on your order us to let us know which one you’ve fallen in love with. We’ll find one to compliment your home.
Who will get to snuggle it first?
When your sheepskin rug arrives home you are not going to want to put it on the floor. Be sure to take the time to snuggle it first. Sleep on it. Plunge your hands right in. It might even end up on your bed, being used to soften a pushchair (or to keep a baby cool in summer).
Dartmoor sheepskins are remarkably good at wicking moisture away from skin. They will also help prevent bed sores when people are imobile or sick. We can supply the right sort of fleece to help yourself or a relative. Feel free to let us know how you plan to use yours.
Why choose a Dartmoor sheepskin rug?
For hundreds of years sheep have roamed Dartmoor, free from fences and pens, living a life outside. Over the same period tanneries around Dartmoor have developed the methods still at the peak of global sheepskin quality, still in use today.
When you handle a Dartmoor sheepskin you can feel how different it is to the generic products offered by bigger stores. These hides are whole, not made from pieces stitched together. These fleeces are thick, durable and machine washable at 30 degrees Celsius.
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“But this is Dartmoor” I said, as it was explained to me that the tannery, one of the oldest and best tanneries in the world, could no longer sell sheepskins locally. The Axminster Carpet factory was closing, with the loss of 300 jobs and the factory shop, which was where sheepskins were sold. An idea was forming. But could we make it work selling just sheepskin?
Could we really run a shop that sold just sheepskin?
We started DartmoorSheepskins.co.uk knowing that we would need to reach the whole of the UK in order to make it work. We built an online shop specialising in hand selected sheepskins, often patterned or with beautiful brown spots. Each unique, each one hand picked from the tannery. We fell in love with them and wanted them in our lives. We wanted to bring them into other people’s lives, as well as supporting an ancient craft. We are Chris and Shannon, this is our story.We started DartmoorSheepskins.co.uk knowing that we would need to reach the whole of the UK in order to make it work. We built an online shop specialising in hand selected sheepskins, often patterned or with beautiful brown spots. Each unique, each one hand picked from the tannery. We fell in love with them and wanted them in our lives. We wanted to bring them into other people’s lives, as well as supporting an ancient craft.
Since then we have grown into the store we have today, still called Dartmoor Sheepskins. Our range of products has grown with our customers. We now sell:
The more we looked into the industry, the more we knew we wanted to sell sheepskins. Millions of people eat lamb, and millions of lambskins are destroyed as a waste product of the meat industry. Only 0.45% of sheepskins are ever tanned. Conversely, the supply of more ethical fur is met with plastic fakes, designed to mimic the real thing.
We believe that a great deal could be gained from falling in love with sheepskin again. As a natural British resource, and as an utter luxury, but also as a pragmatic way to reduce waste and petrochemical use. British sheep have a pretty good life, Dartmoor sheep particularly so.
Sheep are generally raised outside in the UK. There is simply no reason to keep them indoors, so they enjoy a life on the land. The sheepskins we source are raised on Dartmoor. Read more about the ethics and the industry here.
Evocative scents that don’t cost the earth
Agarwood has a rich woody scent with fresh spice, faint floral hints, tobacco, leather, honey. A pleasant masculine fragrance. Strong. Agarwood is one of the most expensive woods in the world, but our oils are just £4 for an 8ml bottle. Have a look at our range here.
Butterfly Pea Tea is a delicious refreshing brew, rich in antioxidants and beautiful in colour. It responds to a little lemon juice by changing from blue into purple, see try it both ways to see which you prefer. Kids love to play with it and it’s good for them too.
We look forward to serving you, if you have any questions or suggestions we’re all ears. Remember, we started selling just sheepskin! Feel free to join our mailing list, where we give subscriber discounts and exclusive offers.
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