Sheepskin Footwear Buying Guide
All our sheepskin slippers and boots are made with 100% natural Australian Shearling Sheepskins, the finest in the world. The wool embeds the leather, not like the alternative lamb wool pile fabric, which tends to pull out with wear. The manufacturer of all slippers and boots is primarily Canadian and a quality producer of fine sheepskins products.
Sheepskin Boots are a growing fashion but have been around for centuries. They brought warmth and comfort to people from rural areas in China, Australia, and the Arctic,whose occupations among others included sheep shearing. Today people of all ages and occupations wear sheepskin boots for the very same reasons, for warmth and comfort. Yet they do so with the additional benefit of fashion and style.
Manufacturers tan and finish Shearling sheepskin for a variety of applications. For products like Sheepskin slippers, the leather is completely tanned but only partially finished. As long as the wool is of high quality, blemishes are not an issue. Producers give the wool side particular attention during processing. The nature of the wool determines the type of product. Garments and accessories, car seat cover skins, pads for buffing automobiles, paint rollers, or footwear lining can all be made of wool. Some products use only the wool side. The trimming of the wool in the manufacturing process makes the difference in each case.
Shearlings are known primarily for both the skin and wool combination, especially the
suede. Manufacturers grade the skin according to the quality of the skin as well as the wool. Trimming is least important in the processing. There are other common finishes. Nappa for instance is the most popular and well known for the smooth and shiny finish it provides. The producer might use techniques such as embossing or glitter.
Tanning and Dyeing
The dyeing process normally uses two dyes, one for the leather and the other for the wool. Manufacturers securely embed the dyes in the hide by bathing them in chemicals. This is to prevent that the dye transfers to garment or to fade or vanish in dry cleaning.
The majority of skins are chrome tanned. This gives a blue tint to the skin when it first comes out wet out of the tanning process. When dried it is completely white. Natural tanning refers to vegetable tanning, which provides the tan or brown colored hides. Manufactures sometimes
tint the wool to cover up the tan extract that leaches into the wool. The tint provides consistency to the wool color. Most sheepskin products on the market are less likely to be vegetable tanned skins.
Producers dye or tint the wool in a solid color, or leave it in its natural color. There is a process called "tip dying" which produces a two-color effect on the wool. The wool remains in its natural color or dyed a solid color during tip dying. After combing and straightening the wool, the manufacturer sprays the skins with a fine mist of dye that dyes the tips of the wool. Tip dying is to mimic the appearance of certain fur skins. Retailers prefer to us dye that simulates a natural color of the sheepskin.
The Markets and Sheepskin Quality
Fashion drives skin prices. However, demand for Shearling comes from both the skin side and the wool side. But even with no demand for Shearling, prices can rise due to a demand for "de-haired" lambskins. The finer garments come straight from lambskin. Sometimes there’s a bottleneck and tanneries just cannot meet supply demands. In recent years, the flooding of Chinese products has forced retailers to discount their prices. In spite of the stabilization of the industry since, sheepskin substitutes have come on the market, selling a substandard product of wool that is attached to a backing.
Authentic wool product does not shed, but loose wool due to cutting in the manufacturing
process will detach in time. Loose fibres will fall out but there is no shedding. The wool in slippers does wear, but only because of continual rubbing. Constant exposure to conditions in time will cause skin to deteriorate. However, it is substandard tanning that causes most wear problems with natural sheepskin.
Colors and Styles
Slippers come in various shapes, colors, and styles. Their soles come in either soft or hard leather or rubber. Some slippers come cuffed in down while others come laced or with a Velcro closure. You can choose from the boot or cabin style, the moccasin style, the clog or the classic slip-on with the open back. Colors vary and come in black or dark brown leather, or a
classic tan suede shade, with matching color or contrasting white cuffs. A full sheepskin exterior is also available, as are Persian lamb or cheetah exteriors.
Boots come in black, brown, chocolate brown, tan, and yes, pink. There is a raccoon or a rabbit fur trim, and others that button up, roll up, and down to fit the boot height of choice. Boots come either tall or in medium. All come in soft suede with rubber soles of varying thickness for trekking through those wet, slippery winter months. Of special note for the
trendy consumer are the fashionable black tall boots and the boots adorned with fur trim or buttons. Suede boots are practical and stylish and fit the occasion.
Sizes, Comfort and Durability
Both slippers and boots come in one size that fits any 1 to 5 year old child, another 6 to 10 year old, and one that fits all others. As a rule, slippers come with soft soles, and boots with hard rubber. Some slippers are equipped with hard soles for that combination of outdoor and indoor use. All boot soles are waterproof made for traction, a prime consideration for suiting up children in the cold but wet weather. For extra warmth and comfort sheepskin insoles are available, in a variety of sizes. Finally, sheepskin has therapeutic and medicinal qualities.
Boots and slippers promote blood circulation and alleviate skin disorders and irritations, not to mention foot odor. Sheepskin footwear is ideal for anyone of any age seeking comfort, warmth, and durability.