Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ:
Q. Is sheepskin the same as wool?
Wool is the hair of sheep. This unique fiber must be shorn from the sheep once a year to prevent overgrowth. Overgrowth can cause body over- heating and excess weight in some varieties of sheep. Shearing is really giving them a necessary haircut. The shorn wool is sorted by a wool classer and then is sent for processing. Fine wool is used extensively for clothing and helping to solve medical problems, like pressure sores. Coarse wool is usually used for carpets, felt, insulation etc.
Sheepskin is a by-product of the meat industry. The skin is removed following death, fleshed and then tanned. After tanning, the wool, which is still attached to the skin, may be trimmed to an even height to produce Medical Sheepskins, shoes, slippers, wheelchair pads etc. If the wool is removed entirely, the cleaned leather is used for leather jackets, hand bags, coats, chamois, etc. Tanning is necessary to preserve the skin and to secure the wool fibers to the leather.
Q. Is sheepskin a by-product?
Sheepskin is a value added product of the sheep industry. Normally, animals are killed for human consumption and non-consumable parts are used in many ways. If the sheep’s skin and wool is salvageable, they are then directed to other industries. Double face sheepskin (wool on one side and leather on the other) is often used to produce footwear, floor rugs, babycare pads, wheelchair pads, drum heads, baseballs etc. The leather, also know as chamois, is often used for drum heads, high quality leather clothing etc. Extensive use of sheep by-products has ensured that the sheep industry is sustainable.
Q. Is sheepskin warmer than wool?
This is a very difficult comparison to judge. Sheepskin jackets and coats are very warm and comforting. A corresponding coat or jacket may not be as warm since they cannot trap as much air..this is what is doing the real insulation. Sheepskin has unparalleled warmth as compared to wool. Sheepskin is especially effective in heavy winds where it readily retains body heat. Sheepskin products are generally more expensive than a corresponding wool product; largely due to the amount of processing required.
Q. Is sheepskin good for bed sores?
Australian Medical Sheepskins (AS4480.1) have been proven to prevent pressure sores in clinical trials. Because of this and users experience with them, medicinal sheepskin is widely used in the field of medicine. Medical Sheepskins are natural products that are used to prevent and treat bedsores, pressure sores and decubitus ulcers. Medical sheepskin manages the discomfort and protects those confined to bed. Medical sheepskins (AS4480.1) pelts have been tanned so that they can be machine washed on hot water and are Urine Resistant. Such tanning makes the sheepskins suitable for incontinent patients. Best protection against pressure sores is achieved by 24/7 use.
Q. Is sheepskin breathable?
One wonderful feature of lying on a medical sheepskin is that the sheepskin pad is breathable. The wool fibers are hollow and springy, supporting the body weight while also promoting airflow. It is the breathability of the sheepskin that enables it to evaporate the absorbed moisture, keeping the skin and cool, In this environment, bacteria do not do well and infection chances are reduced.
Q. How do you wash a medical sheepskin?
The good news about medical sheepskin is that they are now machine washable in a recommended detergent. So now, you don’t have to worry about washing. Small stains and spills can be easily treated with a damp cloth. Remember to brush and shake it regularly to restore the pile.
- Washable Sheepskin products should be washed in Woolskin-Detergent and Conditioner or other approved detergents. Do not use Woolite- it will damage the leather.
- Sheepskins can be dry cleaned. Air thoroughly after such cleaning. Not all dry cleaners will attempt cleaning.
- Medical sheepskin should be tumble-dried on a cooler setting. Best however is air dry. Tumbling causes the wool to felt.
- To air dry, lay the sheepskin on a drying rack or over a chair with the leather facing upwards. Do not dry in the sun or near a direct heat source.
- Ironing and bleaching of the sheepskin should be avoided.
Q. Can I put a sheepskin in the washing machine?
There is nothing as soft and luxurious as something that is made out of sheepskin. Sheepskin is warm, soft and has high insulating properties. One of the advantages of some sheepskins is that they are machine washable. It is very important to know how to clean the sheepskin as the leather side of the sheepskin, if not washed correctly, can be permanently damaged. Just remember the below mentioned sheepskin cleaning rules and you are good to go:
- Wash the sheepskin with Woolskin or an approved detergent.
- Do not bleach.
- Wash separately when washing in the washing machine.
- Wash the sheepskin in cold or lukewarm water that is up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Do not iron or tumble dry the sheepskin, it is suggested to air dry the sheepskin.
Q. What is medical grade sheepskin?
Medical grade sheepskin is used as Bed Overlays and pads because of their high wool pile density and washability. Sustainable support provided by medical sheepskins relieves pressure points along with added prevention of bedsores and pressure sores. Medical grade sheepskin also acts assists the body to maintain a constant body temperature and reduces excess perspiration.
Medical grade sheepskin is available in many sizes and shapes; it is very easy to clean as it is specially tanned so that washing will not change the wool or the leather. The soft pliable leather backing enables adjustable positioning for wheelchair and bed use. Medical grade sheepskin is sanitized during the tanning process.
Q. What is sheepskin used for?
Sheepskin is widely used across a range of industries in the making of many products such as gloves, slippers, hats, seat covers, and rugs. It is also used to pad various products such as boots and saddles because of its dense and soft properties. Sheepskin is also fire resistant and static electricity free. This makes the home use of sheepskin safe and practical.
Sheepskin is used medically to protect people confined to a bed or chair. Medical sheepskins now prevent and treat pressure sores, bedsores and decubitus ulcers. Protect before it is too late!
Q. My father has a bed sore at the base of his tail bone. What can I do to help him?
Do not use a donut. This will make the bedsore worse, since it will cut down on the circulation to the effected area. Bedsores are caused by a number of factors. If you reduce or eliminate these factors, the bedsore will heal. The 3 most important factors are: Pressure, Friction and Moisture. Our M102, the HiTemp Urine Resistant Medical Sheepskins ( AS4480.1) will reduce all 3 factors and will give the skin a chance to heal. We recommend that you have your father lie directly on the sheepskin ( skin in contact with the wool) for added comfort and best pressure sore prevention.
Placing the heels directly on Medical Sheepskin will reduce or eliminate the causes of the sores. We recommend that you use the M103XD: Pressure Care Assistant. This is a pad of Pressure Smart XD 1990 ( 24" X 12" ) with side flaps that can be tucked under the mattress to keep it in place.
Q. I see that you have 2 kinds of Medical Sheepskin. What is the difference between them?
The HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin(M102) is the highest quality sheepskin available. The pile density is very high and the sheepskin has been tanned so that it will not break down in the presence of urine. Ideal for incontinent patients. Excellent washability. They can be washed up to 80C, providing thermal disinfection. Some of these sheepskins have now been in hospitals for more than 2 years and have been washed more than 200 times in woolskin.
The M101 Medical Sheepskin is a high quality chrome tanned lambskin. The pile density is very good and has good washability with woolskin. Wash in water with woolskin up to 30C. Wash as you would a good woolen sweater. These lambskins are not urine resistant and will break down in the presence of urine. Not recommended for incontinent clients.
Q. My mother is confined to her bed and wheelchair. How can I protect her from getting bedsores?
We would recommend that she uses the M102: HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskin in the bed and wheelchair. They are easily moved. To prevent heel sores we suggest you use the M103XD: Pressure Care Assistant . Both products should be washed in W103: Woolskin- the best product for washing sheepskin and wool.
Q. How do I order your products?
You can see and order our products from our secure on-line store. Here you can order what you need, pay with your credit card and get immediate delivery. To go to the store, click:Online Store
You can also call: 1- 800 - 463 - 1985 and talk to our Bedsore Prevention Specialists; if you would prefer. We can offer suggestions for your situation and you can also place an order by phone.
Q. How long will it take to get an order to me?
Most orders will arrive within 3-5 business days. Orders are delivered by Canada Post in Canada and USPS in the US. International orders are sent by insured Air Mail.
Q. How much is Shipping & Handling?
We offer FREE Shipping & Handling for all orders over USD $180.00 . This offer is only for orders shipped to addresses in Canada and the Lower 48 States of the USA. For all other Shipping costs, click Ordering:
Your Privacy is Our Concern!
Protecting our privacy is a top priority for us all. The following describes how we collect, use and protect any personal, business or data information you provide us with via our web site, email, telephone, fax or mail.
We use the PayPal connection (SSL) for a secure checkout procedure.
- What we Collect.
We use a standard log utility that provides statistics to us in regard to how many pages are being accessed on our site. While visiting our web site, this information is stored in a log file that indicates which pages are accessed, which files are downloaded and what errors occur. We review which top domain addresses view our site. This process does not collect any personal information about you or your business. These logs are stored in a secure area temporarily, until reports are run, then are removed from the server.
When you shop On-Line with our Catalogue, a Session ID tracks movements and your IP Address is stored for authentication reasons only. This is standard for all shopping cart programs. Your name, address and contact information is stored securely. Credit card information is obtained from you by PayPal and is not shared with us.
- What We Do With This Information.
Q. Do you guarantee your products?
Down-Under Wool stands behind their products; knowing that they are the best available. They are guaranteed against material imperfections and construction defects. If you have a problem with any of our products, please contact us and we will endeavor to solve the problem. We want to keep you as a valued customer and will do all in our power to keep you satisfied with our products.
You should be aware however, that sheepskin is a natural product and that every sheepskin is slightly different from others. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or occurrences out of the manufacturers control.
Please note: Sheepskin products will change their appearance once washed. After the first wash the wool fibres will revert back to their natural shape, providing even greater comfort and performance.
Should you have any problems with any of our products, please contact us first. We will discuss the problem and the possible solutions that we can offer. We will willingly accept the return of unused items. All returns must be post prepaid. The administrative charge for returning unused items, returned in perfect order, is 5% of the order. The total cost of the returned item, minus the original shipping cost and administrative charge, will be credited back to your credit card account upon reception of the returned items. Only items received less than 30 days after shipping will be accepted.
Items returned from the USA should be sent through the US Postal Service. The Customs declaration "Description of Contents" should quote the following :
" Canadian Goods Returning to Canada"
If an alternate method of return is used, we have found that brokerage/duty charges may be applied.
Returned goods should be sent to:
8141 Lamont Avenue,
Niagara Falls, Ontario
The RAN = Return Authorization Number, is obtained from Down-Under Wool by phone or email and should be clearly shown with the above address.