Wool and sheepskin are natural products that must be cared for carefully if they are to retain their exclusive properties. Because protein is an essential component of wool and sheepskin, excessive heat must not be used for washing or drying - this is usually the cause of shrinking and felting-( exception being the Australian HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin).
Tanning of sheepskin ensures the wool fibres do not detach from the leather. Most tanning processes eg bark tanning, do this but tanning does not necessarily make the sheepskin washable. Chrome tanning, on the other hand, ensures the fibres remain attached to the skin as well as enabling the sheepskin to be washed in cool water ( preferably with Woolskin). HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins have been specially tanned so that they are machine washable in hot water and are Urine Resistant. Only this one patented method of tanning confers Urine Resistance. All other sheepskins are not urine resistant and they will lose their wool fibres when exposed to urine and faeces.
For all wool and washable sheepskin products we recommend the use of Woolskin in the washing process. Woolskin was specifically developed by the tanning industry in Australia so that wool and sheepskins would retain their properties after each wash. Do not use Woolite or normal household detergents for washing sheepskin..they will permanently damage the leather.
Click washing wool to learn how to clean, condition and disinfect wool and sheepskin products.