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It goes without saying that if most consumers had a choice, they would choose a genuine sheepskin rug over a faux one! Real sheepskin is natural, eco-friendly, and durable, but you can rarely say the same about faux products that typically have shorter lifespans and feel far less luxurious underfoot.

But if you’re not quite sure how to tell them apart, especially when buying NZ sheepskin rugs online, you might like to pay attention to some of the following information.

The Quality

The quality of genuine sheepskin versus fake sheepskin will undoubtedly be one of the most telling signs about which product you’re buying.

You can rest assured that when you purchase genuine sheepskin rugs from Ecowool, you can enjoy natural materials within a beautiful rug made by experts in New Zealand. All sheepskins are expertly trimmed, machine washed, and dried in hot New Zealand sunshine.

The resultant fleece is then combed multiple times by hand to give it that beautiful natural lustre. By the time you receive your new sheepskin rug, it will have been through 25 stages of care at the hands of skilled New Zealand workers.

In contrast, synthetic product manufacturers produce faux sheepskin rugs in bulk in factories. As the materials are manufactured rather than natural, you can expect them to be nowhere near as hard-wearing as their natural counterparts, nor as high quality.

The Materials

Real sheepskin is just that – real! However, no animals are purposefully harmed during the manufacturing process of authentic sheepskin rugs. Instead, sheepskins are byproducts of the meat industry that would otherwise be thrown into landfills.

Ecowool cares about the environment and not only makes use of an otherwise wasted product but turns it into something that can provide pleasure for many years. Once it reaches the end of its useful life, it can be returned to the earth, where it delivers much-needed nutrients into plant-producing soil.

It’s hard not to feel warm and fuzzy inside when you learn how many practical uses sheepskin rugs can have. Although, the same can’t typically be said for fake sheepskins, which are made from synthetic materials such as polyester and acrylic with knit or woven backing materials.

Synthetic materials are produced with oil, a non-renewable compound renowned for its negative impact on climate change and global warming. They rely on petrochemical industries, aren’t biodegradable, and release microplastics into waterways with each wash.

Care Instructions

It’s easy to assume that natural products like sheepskin rugs require a great deal of maintenance, but quite the opposite is true. Alongside being durable, they are easy-care and typically only require vacuuming, shaking, and brushing with a carding brush to restore fluffiness.

If further cleaning is required, detailed care instructions for spot cleaning, handwashing, machine washing, drying, and dry-cleaning, are included with your purchase.

When you buy a faux rug, you often find that next to no care instructions are provided. You might also discover that your rug flattens quickly with use and may not be washable without causing significant damage.

The Feeling

If you’ve touched enough wool and fake wool products, you’ll know what they feel like and their differences. Real sheepskin fibres are densely packed, soft, and springy with a smooth finish. You can even retain this look and feel for years to come simply by brushing your rug with a carding brush.

While fake rugs feel luxuriously soft when new, many of them flatten with time and even feel prickly and slightly plasticky.

Reaction to Water

Even if you haven’t had much experience with real and fake sheepskin rugs, how both rug types react to water can be a telling sign.

Sheep’s wool is designed to keep a sheep warm, even when wet. You might notice that your rug feels warm, even when you’re carrying out spot cleaning.

In contrast, artificial sheepskin feels cold to the touch during cleaning, and water might even damage the rug. Artificial rugs also don’t have the same insulating properties.

The Price

As most people know, you get what you pay for. There can be a significant price difference between faux and real sheepskin rugs, which relates to quality. Pay less for a product that lasts a mere fraction of a genuine sheepskin rug’s lifespan, or pay more for a quality, natural sheepskin rug that can last families multiple generations.

Buy Your Natural Sheepskin Rug With Confidence

Everyone deserves to have all the facts when making a purchasing decision. Before you buy a new rug for your home, take the time to learn the differences between fake and real sheepskin rugs so that you purchase with more confidence. We can’t wait to show you the beautiful range of high-quality natural sheepskin rugs we have available.

How Long Can Real Sheepskin Products Last Compared to Fake Ones?

Real sheepskin products can last up to several decades, whereas fake ones typically only last a few years at most.

What Are Some Tips for Caring for Real Sheepskin Products to Ensure They Last Longer?

Regularly brushing the sheepskin, avoiding direct sunlight and heat, using a specialised sheepskin cleaner, and allowing it to air dry completely can help care for real sheepskin products and make them last longer.