Do you order furs and skins from us for your company? Then it is useful to know how you and your customers can maintain the furs. For animal skins will last longer if they are given the right care. Fortunately, skins are not difficult to maintain. We will give you tips & tricks to keep your furs beautiful and saleable!
It may sound strange, but we recommend you comb a sheepskin every once in a while. Especially long-haired skins may felt after a while. This tends to happen when people sit or walk on the skins. You can prevent and solve felting by using a brush or comb. A comb with thin teeth works best, untangling the small tangles as well. You may use a small brush especially for pets. Brush slowly and with the hair direction, and your fur will look as good as new!
Washing sheepskins: why you don’t need to
Like cushions on a couch or a carpet on the floor, a sheepskin needs cleaning after a while. Still, it is absolutely not necessary to wash a skin (frequently). Indeed, it may affect the quality of the skin. Each skin contains lanolin by nature. This wool fat keeps bacteria at bay as much as possible. It repels dirt and makes the hair soft and shiny. When you wash a skin too often, the lanolin is lost. The hairs become stubborn, dull and break down quicker.
Prodding or airing the skin often suffices. Dust and coarse dirt will come off by themselves. You can also choose to clean the skin with a vacuum cleaner. Do make sure that suction power is in the lowest setting. This way, you remove the tiniest particles of dust and the hairs will remain undamaged and attractive. But what about liquids? It may occur that something is spilled on the skin. With a piece of kitchen tissue or cloth you can simply wipe it off. It is best to wipe in the hair direction. This prevents tangling.
Is the stain more stubborn or are you afraid the skin will not be clean enough? Special detergents are available for wool. Mix a little of this liquid with water and use the foam on the stain. With a damp cloth you can rub it off easily.
Washing Sheepskin by Scandinavian Method
Refresh your sheepskin by putting it in the (powder) snow with the hair down. A misty outside air is also perfect. In this case, hang the sheepskin on a clothesline or over the fence, for example. The snowflakes or fog droplets clean the hair naturally without damaging the leather. Leave the skin outside to hang for a few hours. Then beat the fur to remove the snow and droplets. This Scandinavian way of washing is centuries old and also very effective.
Let the sheepskin dry
As with all other leather types, a sheepskin can dry beyond repair when it has been too wet. Dried-out leather feels hard and has lost all its flexibility. It tears easily. For this reason, it is important to let the skin dry the proper way. You can get rid of most water by loosely rolling up the skin and squeeze it. With an (old) cloth you can pat the backside of the skin dry as much as possible. Hang the sheepskin to dry at room temperature. When the skin hangs too close to a heat source or is blown dry, there is more risk of dehydration. It is therefore recommended to let the skin dry in a gradual and natural way.
Cleaning animal skins
Just like furs, animal skins, including cow skins, are easily cleaned by prodding them outdoors every once in a while. Dirt that sticks between the hairs can be sucked off with the vacuum cleaner on its lowest setting.
In principle, leather is water-repellent. Spilled liquids will not be soaked in immediately, but do not leave it too long. It is best to use a cloth to remove the stain. By patting you can easily absorb all moisture. It is best not to wash the skin. The leather may dehydrate and lose its natural protective layer.
A skin will last longer if you keep it away from stoves and other heat sources. The leather will not dehydrate then and preserve its flexibility! Other locations may affect the quality too. Many people buy an animal skin to lay it on the floor as a carpet. Walking over the skin frequently may cause bald spots. You can limit cuffs by turning the skin a quarter of a revolution every once in a while.
Reindeer skins are a beautiful decoration, but are also vulnerable. The hairs of a reindeer are hollow on the inside. While it keeps the animals warm, it also means that a reindeer’s hairs break more easily than of any other animal. It is best not to walk over the skin, which will keep the reindeer skin attractive and full for a very long time!
If you have any questions about the maintenance of furs or skins, please leave a reaction and we will answer it for you!