New Zealand Sheepskins, Rugs & Footwear
Why sheepskin from New Zealand consistently get the best grades
The fibre that is most recognised for its usability and durability is sheepskin wool, and one of the most sought-after of all sheepskins are those from New Zealand. Is one wool that much better than the other? And what is so unique about New Zealand sheepskin that makes it so popular?
The value of a sheepskin has several contributing factors, including fibre diameter, the colour, strength, yield and crimp, with the fibre diameter the most important when it comes to quality and price.
Time and time again New Zealand sheepskins score the highest among the bigger wool producers and is known to be the whitest in colour which allows for a wider range of colours to be used for dyeing.
Another reason why New Zealand sheepskins get all the attention is how they are sold. Australia produces 25% of all the world’s wool, with 85% of that bought at open auction. New Zealand only produces 11%, and almost half of that is sold by sheep farmers directly to both end-users and private buyers.
New Zealand also prides itself on growing healthy, well looked after sheep using environmentally sustainable practices, making their sheepskin products the right choice for discerning buyers who care about the environment and understand why the products they purchase have such distinctive qualities.
Does it make a difference how and where a sheepskin rug is tanned?
Real sheepskin rugs are the skins of sheep with their unaltered wool fibres that are permanently fixed to the skin during the tanning process. A premium quality rug will not be tanned using harsh chemicals and will follow a tried and tested method that often takes years to perfect.
An example of this is the renowned Bowron tanning process that was developed in New Zealand during the late 1990’s and quickly became the new international standard against which other sheepskins were judged. This process uses cutting-edge processes combined with over 100 years of hands-on knowledge and experience to create truly remarkable sheepskin products.
Why sheepskin can be good for baby
Research has shown that babies whose parents include sheepskin products in their daily care are less likely to suffer from asthma and allergies like hay fever. The theory behind this is that wool is full of beneficial microscopic organisms that helps to bolster a baby’s immune system.
Experts recommend a sheepskin liner for a stroller or a play rug as a great way to expose babies and toddlers to the health-giving qualities of wool. Sheepskin is also soft, free of pesticides, and great at regulating temperature.
What makes sheepskin rugs such an excellent investment
Sheepskin wool will not shed as it is permanently attached to the leather, and gram for gram is stronger than steel, making it extremely durable and able to last a lifetime with proper care.
A sheepskin rug naturally retains its shape and is resistant to tears, wrinkles, snags, pilling and soiling. It is static and bacteria-free, wind-proof, and water and flame-resistant, with wool renowned for being the least flammable fabric commonly available.
There are few things as aesthetically pleasing as beautifully grown and crafted real sheepskin rugs, don’t underestimate the wow-factor that wool brings to any room in your home.
Why we should all wear sheepskin on our feet
Sheepskin has never and will never go out of fashion. Our earliest ancestors wore wool on their feet, and virtually nothing about the unique qualities of the fibre that makes it the best footwear has changed for thousands of years.
When used in slippers and boots sheepskin has a deep, thick pile that can naturally cushion and support a lot of weight, moving with the motion of your body and evenly distributing body weight.
Air can easily circulate through this pile to cool your feet, yet in cold weather the hollow wool fibres trap air to keep you warmer, and sheepskin absorbs sweat straight away and releases it into the air up to seven times faster than man-made fabrics.
Sheepskin is a remarkable renewable resource that many consider to be one of Mother Nature’s greatest inventions. Health-giving, warming, cooling, caring, and visually-appealing, there are so many reasons why every home and family should have at least one sheepskin product somewhere.