Well, its possibly time that I start sharing a daily blog with you. We have so many wonderful clientele that are as eager to learn about our products such as our ever popular collection of sheepskin rugs.
Since its not yet winter here and already -19, its nice to talk about cozy topics!
My first series of blogs will be about 'what does sheepskin feel like and why does it bring an instant sense of comfort and happiness to us when we touch it'?
Well, a fascinating topic (to us anyway), all sheepskins have a different feel, texture, bounce factor, visual appeal and physical size depending upon the age and breed of sheep that the sheepskin came from.
Today lets concentrate on our most popular type of sheepskin, from the 'Icelandic' breed of sheep.
Icelandic sheep as their name suggests, do in fact live in Iceland, where you will find a larger population of sheep than people. The Icelandic sheep roam free, and are owned by many families. In the spring during lambing, families gather to ear tag the offspring after which are released into the wild again. In November/December families once more come together to round the up sheep. At this point decisions are made to harvest the sheep for meat, to sell or to keep as breeding stock.
Our Icelandic sheepskins are the byproduct of the sheep that were sold for meat.
Icelandic sheepskins have a soft inner coat of wool and a longer more coarse outer coat. This enables the Icelandic sheep to survive quite nicely in a very harsh natural environment. The Icelandic sheep produces a premium fleece. The fleece is dual coated, with a fine, soft undercoat called thel and a longer, coarser outer coat called tog. The tog fiber with a spinning count of 56-60 and a micron count of 27-30, grows to a length of 6-8" in six months
Our Icelandic sheepskins are available in shorn (meaning the sheepskin has been sheared down to 2" wool) and long wool sheepskins (up to 8" in wool length). Both types have a very different and unique feel.
The shorn sheepskins are very easy to maintain as a sheepskin rug, the fibers can range in feel to very soft to quite coarse. These simply require a brush now and then to keep them looking wonderful. I find the feel to be rather magical, since I live with PTSD sometimes I find it tough to register any feeling in my hands and feet. The sense when feeling a shorn Icelandic sheepskin helps me focus and engage in the moment, it helps me slow down and breathe. The shorn rugs also show off the natural colours of the sheepskin really well, some are really quite stunning.
Long wool Icelandic sheepskins. These are wild and beautiful. They come in a whole range of colours, as do the shorn sheepskins however they display their colours quite differently. Often the undercoat will be a different colour or shade than the outercoat and I must admit when Im writing the individual sheepskin descriptions when listing them to the website, it can be tricky to describe the colours that I see in there. Sometimes I give up and simply post a lot of photographs!
Some of the sheepskins will be very soft to the touch, others can feel wild and coarse. Each one is absolutely amazing and I try to capture that in the photographs that I take.
The tannery that we work with tans the sheepskin with the most environmentally kind solutions available, they actually specialize in tanning Icelandic sheepskins. I have tried other tanneries also, but none have managed to preserve the natural beauty in such a manner as this tannery.
Well that's all for today. Its suppertime and I must feed Angus and Steven.
Thank you for being such wonderful clientele, you've kept me really busy today packing orders.
Tomorrow we will explore a different breed of sheep and sheepskin.