I was born in England, so the British sheepskin rugs that we bring in really do warm my heart.
Sheepskins have been valued for hundreds of years for clothing, bedding and furniture and for good reason. When a sheep was harvested for its meat the whole sheep was highly valued, and each part of the animal was used. Tanning hides would have been a skill that more small holders would have possessed at that time.
Nowadays the majority of hides end up being thrown out and its a tiny percentage that make their way to tanneries, even tanneries are tough to find these days.
Hundreds of years ago in Great Britain the most common sheep found had mostly brown or patterned fleeces/hides, when white coloured breeds were introduced only the rich could afford to wear clothes made from their hides and fleece. The white sheep were very much a symbol of wealth and hierarchy.
Great Britain has more sheep breeds than any country in the world - over sixty different breeds cared for by more than forty thousand sheep farmers on hills and lowlands.
We love to bring in sheepskins that originate Great Britain, these sheepskins are often very dense in fiber, with lots of depth and colour. Some are superbly soft, while others feel coarse, its really interesting to touch all the different types and imagine the harsh rainy, cold, weather that they had to endure.
When we write the descriptions for each sheepskin that we list on the website, I am trying to convey my first impression upon seeing and touching the sheepskin. It absolutely fascinates me.
These sheepskins make for gorgeous rugs, especially where you feet can easily enjoy them. As these sheepskins are often quite dense in fiber, they make brilliant seat cushions which provide comfort and warmth, plus we get a lot of customers purchasing them for babies and wee ones to enjoy as they seem to promote calming, restful vibes.
So I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about these sheepskins today, I must now go and talk to my chickens before making a cup of tea :)
Have a lovely afternoon.