Australian Medical Sheepskin - AS 4480.1 - (BEST)

Medical Sheepskin:

You are hot, uncomfortable and sweaty. Australian Medical sheepskins can help. Certified Australian  Medical Sheepskins ( AS 4480.1) have 30 mm long wool fibers, and a high pile density that produces their unique therapeutic properties. These sheepskins have been tanned so that they are Urine Resistant (UR) and washable to 80°C, for thermal disinfection. AS 4480.1 Australian Medical Sheepskins are actually lambskins. These select Merino cross lambskins have finer wool fibers and greater wool pile densities than pure Merino lambs or the other parent. 


hitempurstamp.jpg Product Stamp    HiTemp Product Tag Product Care Tag 


Standards Australia  Standards Australia Certification:  AS 4480.1 1998 

Standards Australia publish documents that set out specifications and procedures designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistently perform the way they are intended to.

Medical sheepskins are chrome tanned to make them machine washable and have a very high wool pile density. Specialised chrome tanning produces a sheepskin that is Urine Resistant (UR) and machine washable in hot water; making them suitable for incontinent users. The wool is clipped to a fiber length of 30 mm for maximum pressure reduction. Tanning is necessary to prevent the wool from detaching from the leather.  Certified Australian Medical Sheepskins (AS4480-1 1998)  have even more prescriptive properties; making them the BEST available.    

Australian Medical Sheepskins and Medical Sheepskin products have been successful nursing aids for the prevention of pressure ulcers ( bed sores) since the early 1960’s. The value and comfort of Australian Medical Sheepskin products is derived from the springy 30 mm pile ( about 1.25") of these specially tanned hides. The high pile density ( number of fibers per square cm.) of soft, springy, resilient fibers creates a cushion that distributes body weight and pressure over a large area. Each fiber acts as a "mini-spring" that deforms to a body contour; particularly at pressure points.

Unlike other fibers, wool can absorb moisture up to 33% of the wool weight; without feeling wet. Wool fiber wick moisture away from the skin, keeping it dry - an important consideration for bed sore prevention. The wool pile surface also reduces friction and skin tearing (due to shear forces); making Medical Sheepskins ideal overlays for people confined to a bed or wheelchair. Medical Sheepskin improve comfort for the patient and reduction in the primary causes of bedsores, pressure sores and decubitus ulcers:

  • Pressure
  • Friction
  • Skin Moisture
  • Shear

Medical sheepskins of the past have been used very effectively in the home environment, but were not generally used in hospitals. This was largely because many patients were incontinent and sheepskins did not hold up well in these circumstances. Similarly, disinfection was a problem.

Today, these deficiencies have been remedied. As of 1998, a new standard of Medical Sheepskin was introduced in Australia. The CSIRO, in partnership with industry, developed new technologies that produced the : "Australian Medical Sheepskin  (AS 4480.1 1998)". Shear Comfort HiTemp UR Australian Medical Sheepskins exceed this standard.

The Australian Medical Sheepskin Standard: AS4480.1 = HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin

This Standard specifies the qualities of tanned sheepskins and lambskins that are needed for home health care, medical and institutional uses. Minimize the incidence, severity and duration of pressure ulcers ( bedsores and decubitus ulcers) by decreasing friction, pressure and humidity at the points of contact between the patient and the bed or chair.

Tanning is followed by a number of chemical and physical tests undertaken. The first, and most important is the boil test. Before the leather is unloaded from the tanning vessel, a measured square is boiled in a beaker for a given number of minutes, according to the type of skin being tanned. If, at the end of the allotted time, there is no shrinkage and the square hasn’t turned into a gelatinous blob, the leather is deemed tanned.  In the case of HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin, other substances are added to raise the boil point. This ensures the leather can be washed at high temperature for thermal disinfection.

Shear Comfort  HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins meet or exceed the Australian Medical Sheepskin Standard (AS4480.1 1998) and must have the following properties:

  • well trimmed and pre-washed.
  • homogeneous wool pile of uniform length and density, well-defined staple and crimp, straight to light curl in appearance, free from pilling and vegetable matter. Wool shall not be felted.
  • leather is free from excessive natural fat and grease, free of faults, symmetrical. Can be further processed to give increased urine resistance and labelled accordingly. Leather shall not give off any pungent or rancid odor.
  • HiTemp wool color must be Medical Green.
  • Wool fiber diameter shall be 26-34 µm and be 25- 30 mm long.
  • Flatness- at all times, the product should lie flat on a horizontal surface with minimum curling around the edges.
  • HiTemp Medical Sheepskins must have a minimum shrink temperature of 110o C and should not decrease more than 5 oC after 5 wash cycles.
  • Must be colorfast.

Sheepskins are a natural durable product and all are not exactly the same. There is some small variation from one Australian Medical Sheepskin to another. However, all authentic Australian Medical Sheepskins AS4480.1 must conform to the above criteria.

Wool Allergy?

There is very little scientific evidence that wool allergy exists. Allergies to wool are very rare and allergies due to dust mites and lanolin in the wool may be misinterpreted as wool allergies. Usually, wool responses are the pricking sensation caused by coarse wool - often experienced from the coarse wool used in sweaters. It is the ends of these coarse fibers that stick into you and cause the pricking response.

Authentic Australian Medical Sheepskins contain fine wool ( approx. 26 -34 microns) and the pricking sensation is not experienced while skin is in contact with the sheepskin. If there is a concern, we recommend covering the sheepskin with a sheet. These sheepskins are used extensively in hospitals throughout the world.

Some people are allergic to lanolin and others may be allergic to dust mites that could get into the pile. Because of this, we recommend the use of Woolskin for laundering- Woolskin will kill and remove dust mites and, at the same time, it will disinfect the fleece.


Australian Medical Sheepskins are now available in 2 tannage levels:

1. HiTemp UR Australian Medical Sheepskins:( M102) - Highest Quality: GREEN and the BEST available.

These specially selected very-fine wool sheepskins are chosen because of their very high pile density and wool characteristics. They have been specially tanned to enable washing up to 80 oC and drying up to 60 oC. These numbers are important for sheepskin and wool disinfection; an important consideration for clients who already have bed sores. The letters UR designate that the skin has increased resistance to urine; making them suitable for incontinent patients. Sheepskins without this UR stamp will break down in the presence of urine. Urine will cause the leather to crack and the wool will fall out. Use in the bed and wheelchair 24/7,all year; for maximum benefit.

HiTemp UR Australian Medical Sheepskins are FDA classified Medical Devices.

The FDA Classification is shown below.



2. Australian Medical Sheepskins- Warm Water wash (M101) - Excellent Value and Quality

These champagne colored sheepskins are of exceptional quality, having a very soft 30 mm dense pile. They have been double chrome tanned to enable washing in warm water. Use Woolskin for washing , disinfecting and conditioning these sheepskins. The M101 is not Urine Resistant( UR) and is not recommended for incontinent clients. The Australian Medical Sheepskin (M101) is most effective when placed on the bed and in the wheelchair and used 24/7 all year.


           HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin.                         Stamp on HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin



Comparison of Products used for Pressure Sore Prevention


Sheepskin Type  Australian HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin Overlay Pressure Smart XD1900 Overlay Australian Medical Sheepskin
   BEST: Air Dry BEST: Machine Dry Excellent Quality
SKU M102: Exceeds Australian Standard

AS4480.1 1998

M102XD: Higher pile density than M102:

1900g/m2 Merino Wool

Special Features

Wool has a softer feel or texture than the XD1900 product. Machine washable in Woolskin. Use warm to hot water. Dry in dryer until nearly dry. Finish drying on a drying rack.

Recommended for incontinent users.

Urine  Resistant:

30mm Merino pile

Machine washable in Woolskin. Dry in the dryer for easiest care. Do not overdry.

Use 24/7 in bed $ wheelchair.

Recommended for incontinent users:

Urine Resistant

30 mm Merino pile

Wash in cool -warm water. Spin dry in the washing machine. Dry on a drying rack with leather facing upward.

Large lambskins with very good pile density. Use 24/7 in bed and wheelchair.

Not Urine Resistant:

30 mm Merino wool pile


Colour Medical Green Royal Blue Champagne
Detergent Wash in Woolskin Wash in Woolskin Wash in Woolskin
Size Approx 26" x 38"

Natural Shape

26" x 40"


Approx 26" x 40"

Natural Shape


Click: Catalogue for more product information and to order.

Buying a HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin means that you have the best available. It will give lasting bedsore prevention, and can be laundered safely ( up to 50 times during C.S.I.R.O laundry trials and more than 200 times when washed with Woolskin) to achieve the high level of disinfection demanded by hospital infection control standards.

Disinfection levels and washability is increased even more with the use of Woolskin: Sheepskin Shampoo & Woolwash. Woolskin conditions the sheepskin leather while cleaning and disinfecting the wool.


m102-opt.jpgM102: HiTemp UR Australian Medical Sheepskin - BEST

HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins protect the skin from pressure sores, bedsores and decubitus ulcers; adding comfort along with improved well-being to a person confined to a bed or wheelchair.