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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.

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Come home to a sheepskin, wherever you are.

Hard wearing and fully machine washable. Sheepskins are great to come home to wherever you are.

British summer often to throws a wobbly and that’s why it’s good to know sheepskins are easy to clean. Long-haired types will pick up twigs and other woodland detritus, so save them for bedtime. Keep newer sheepskins on a ground sheet or enforce a strict no-shoes policy. Housekeeping matters, wherever you sleep.

Machine washable at 30 degrees

Instant luxury seating, right by the fire.

As a sheepskin gets older you get less fussy about where you put it. It’s still the same sheepskin that was there at the birth of your new arrival, if no longer needed. It is still the same rug that helped you get out of bed on a cold morning. It’s just that tomorrow morning your day might not be starting at home.

Whilst a sheepskin might be nice on a trek, rolling into a sleeping-bag sized object is no excuse for the extra weight. Whilst we might boast about how easy sheepskins are to wash and dry, getting one wet in your rucksack won’t be fun to carry.

Where you can afford the luxury of a sheepskin is where you have a car. It’s no hassle to carry a rolled up sheepskin some distance, as long as you aren’t also lugging around everything else you need for the next three days at the very same time.

Where will you take yours?

A rug like the one above really comes into its own during a picnic, where bowls of food can be nestled into the fleece and stabilised even on the roughest moorland. The real question isn’t so much what will you use your sheepskin for, but where you will be when you use it.

Image with sheepskin washing instructions

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Can sheepskins keep babies cool in the heat?

It seems counterintuitive, but many people claim that sheepskin can keep babies cool in the heat. It’s a claim that’s sort of true.

war and peace socks on baby

Nothing will keep you cool like being well hydrated with appropriate shade, but for everything else there’s sheepskin.

Can sheepskin lower a baby’s temperature? Of course not. But unlike any man made fiber it works by wicking moisture away from the skin. This makes sheepskin ideal for babies in the heat.

Does sheepskin keep babies cool in the heat? Yes. Can sheepskin lower their temperature? No. – Use shade, fans, damp cloths if necessary. What sheepskin will do is wick sweat away from your baby’s skin and help maintain a steady temperature.

Use sheepskin as a bed, seat cover, picnic blanket or even emergency changing mat (easy washing instructions here).

Sheepskins also make a great addition to a picnic, giving you an instant soft bed for a flaked-out tot. Lay it out under a tree and baby should be fine with just a light cotton sheet on top. Pack water, obviously, and check baby’s temperature regularly – sheepskins help regulate temperature but they are not fridges.

From the NHS “Things you can do to cool someone down”
Follow these 4 steps:
1. Move them to a cool place.
2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.
Stay with them until they are better.
They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.

More from the NHS
Wash and Dryable at 30 degrees Celsius

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Sheepskins for prams, are sheepskins cool on hot days?

Keep baby cool in summer on a sheepskin

Sheepskin differs from man made fibers in that they wick moisture away from the skin, trapping air as they do so. Both these effects help stabilise the temperature for young and old alike. For young babies you will want a sheepskin shorn fairly short, leaving no long hairs to get in the way. Another benefit of short hair is the speed of drying, which can be surprisingly quick in a tumble dryer (full instructions here).
Wool fibres are crimped, and when tightly packed together, form millions of tiny pockets of air. This unique structure allows it to absorb and release moisture—either in the atmosphere or perspiration from the wearer—without compromising its thermal efficiency. Wool has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapour (up to 30 per cent of its own weight) next to the skin, making it extremely breathable.

BREATHABLE
Wool fibres are crimped, and when tightly packed together, form millions of tiny pockets of air. This unique structure allows it to absorb and release moisture—either in the atmosphere or perspiration from the wearer—without compromising its thermal efficiency. Wool has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapour (up to 30 per cent of its own weight) next to the skin, making it extremely breathable.

Campaign For Wool

Cool as a cucumber

Sheepskins make a great addition to a picnic, giving you an instant soft bed for a flaked-out tot. Lay it out under a tree and the baby should be fine with just a light cotton sheet on top. Pack water, obviously, and check baby’s temperature regularly – sheepskins help regulate temperature but they are not fridges.

Sheepskins have a range of applications where keeping cool is important. Bed bound folks find relief from sores as the soft cushioning effect spreads out pressure. The wicking property plays a key role. What many people don’t realise is that sheepskin can be washed and dried in the same time it takes to wash and dry a pair of jeans.

Tough and versatile

Motorcyclists too use sheepskins on long-haul journeys, finding the added comfort valuable and much preferable to the hard plastic standard issue bike seats. It goes without saying that sheepskins are also warm in winter.

“What makes them so good? Sheepskins are cooler than vinyl or leather saddles when it’s hot. Usually they’re pale in color and reflect heat. There’s shade between the strands of wool and, with aeration, heat dissipates fast, also wicking away sweat.”

– Adventure Motorcycle.com

Sheepskins are not magic and cannot make anything cooler. But they can be shaved short and serve as incredibly useful pram liners, ad hoc beds, seat covers and a multitude of other things. If you want one for a small person in your life simply write ‘SHAVED PLEASE’ in the delivery notes when you place your order. If you have a special use in mind don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll serve you just as we like to be served ourselves.

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How to choose the best sheepskin

British sheepskin has always been of world-class quality. Despite massive changes in the industry, we still lead on quality. Featured image by Ayse Rifat

Most sheepskin in the UK is destroyed as a waste product of the meat industry, very few go through the tanning process (read more here). Buying British sheepskin makes a lot of sense. The climate in the UK is perfect for the development of a thick fleece with fiber in at least two layers; a very soft inner down beneath a longer thicker outer coat. It is the inner down that provides that soft snuggly feeling you want to plunge your hands into.

Ethics matter, the life of the sheep is relevant. None of our sheepskin come from sheep that were killed to make our sheepskin. Dartmoor sheepskins come from animals that have lived a wild life on Dartmoor. Our sheepskins are a byproduct of the meat industry.

Hardy breeds develop thick hides and strong fleece out in the open, they also eat lots and are quite large. The only sheep that are bigger are generally from America, where regulation of growth hormones is less strict than in the UK.

Raised outside, without fences

A minority of British sheepskin will come from animals raised indoors – we do not supply these sheepskins. The reason that these sheep are kept inside is to prevent the animals damaging their skin on the barbed wire commonly used to control animals for meat production. Ironically, the most likely animals to be given this more expensive treatment will be those with extra valuable sheepskin, rare breeds in other words. This is not to say that all rare breed sheepskins come from animal husbandry of this kind, but a single tear in a hide will render it unfit for tanning.

We have no problems with barbed wire on Dartmoor as the sheep can roam freely across thousands of acres of wild beauty. So little of the sheep that we eat are turned into sheepskin (just 0.4%) that the quality is exceptionally high. No one in the UK goes through a value-adding process on sub standard starting material.

Turkey and Australia produce a lot of sheepskins, often of high quality, but do check that you are getting a single skin rather than pieces stitched together. You may wish to spend your money more locally, supporting British farmers as you do so. With prices from £59 delivered, Buying British need not cost more.

Reduce waste and petrochemical consumption

Environmentally speaking we should be using all the sheepskins instead of disposing of them as hazardous waste. Add to this our love of faux fur, made from petrochemicals and lacking in the qualities of real fur. Fake fur has a place in saving animals lives, there is no doubt about that, but destroying fur from an already slaughtered animal only to replace it with an artificial recreation is illogical. Buying faux fur is a perfect way to help animals that are raised solely for their fur. Want a mink coat? Get faux fur. Want sheepskin? Buy British sheepskin.

What to look for when buying sheepskin

How to choose the best sheepskin: Look for; thick hide, no thin patches or holes. Symmetrical shape. Different layers of fleece, inner fluffy, and outer thicker with greater variety of pigment. No bald patches. Uniform density of fiber across hide. Attractive patterning. If buying for a baby get a shearling sheepskin with the longer hairs shaved close (just request this in the order notes at the checkout if ordering from Dartmoor Sheepskins). If buying for endurance use (as a motorbike seat cover, or to help with someone who is bed bound) choose from our standard or “seconds” products. For all other purposes, pick the one you fall in love with. Got any questions or preferences? Contact Us.

British Sheepskin
Grade A
From £
79
  • Dartmoor Sheepskin
  • Flawless Quality
  • Free UK Delivery
speckled dartmoor sheepskin
The utmost quality British Sheepskin

British Sheepskin Seconds
Grade B
£
59
  • Dartmoor Sheepskin
  • Hard-To-Spot Fault
  • Free UK Delivery
Your guests won’t notice a minor blemish and the chances are, neither will you

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Like/Follow/Share for your chance to win a sheepskin for your Valentine*

Three people will #WinADartmoorSheepskin before Valentines Day – enter for free, read our (short) blog post with dead easy instructions…

*Or dog, whatever.

Enter our free giveaway and you could win Dartmoor Sheepskin just in time for St Valentine’s Day!

Ways to enter:

We have three lovely sheepskins to give away, and three easy ways to take part (the first two won’t cost you a penny and you don’t have to do all three).

One: Like our Facebook Page and share our competition post with your friends. You are welcome to tag people too if it’s the sort of thing they might like.

Two: Follow @Dartmoor_Skins on Twitter and share our Pinned Tweet promoting #WinADartmoorSheepskin (please add this hashtag to your retweet).

Three: Make a purchase on the site between the 1st of February and the 7th of February for a minimum of £40.

You need to have done at least one of these things before February 7th in order that we can get the prizes to the winners in time for the big day.

Small Print: Each person can have a maximum of three entries to the competition, by using all three methods. Any one person can only win a single sheepskin because sending two or three sheepskins to one person would seem unfair. On Twitter you must follow @Dartmoor_Skins and retweet our Pinned Tweet. Competition closing time will be at midnight on February 7th 2019 GMT. Actions taken after this time may not result in you being entered into the competition. Competition may be withdrawn at any time, we will do everything in our power to prevent this happening but y’know earthquakes and stuff. We will notify winners via the platform they entered on within 48 hours of the closing date. If you enter and win on Twitter you will receive a Direct Message from @Dartmoor_Skins and be @mentioned in a tweet, at this point you must contact us before Valentine’s Day February 14th to arrange delivery. If you do not make contact you forfeit the prize and you will not receive a sheepskin (unless you buy one, obviously). If you enter and win on Facebook we will tag you in the competition post and send you a chat message, again you must get in touch with us before the 14th of February or we will give the prize to someone else. If you enter and win by placing an order of £40 or more by midnight on February 7th, we will let you know by email and your sheepskin will be posted to you along with your order. Sheepskin prizes are strictly our choice, no negotiations will be entered into, it’s free and you’ll enjoy it, promise. Dog not included. Your house may be at risk, but definitely not because of these terms and conditions.

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Exquisitely Patterned, Beautifully Unique

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.

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Unique gifts, for less than you think.

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.

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Enjoy a sheepskin Rug – SALE NOW ON 15% Off

Enjoy a natural sheepskin rug, sale ends October 31st

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.

speckled dartmoor sheepskin, just sheepskin rug
Pretty sheepskins can be used to pick out design elements in a room

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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