Often used as a focal decorative feature in a lounge, hallway, bedroom, or conservatory, our sheepskin rugs make a luxurious addition to any home. On flooring like stone, brickwork, tiles, concrete or wood, a sheepskin rug can soften the hard surfaces while providing that cosy comfort and texture your home interior deserves.
Our sheepskin rugs are truly something special. Sourced from the beautiful Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea; they’re 100% natural “doubleface” sheepskin upcycled from a by-product of the local meat industry in Visby — a local town with spectacular views and picture-perfect buildings. The fleece comes from free-roaming sheep who have enjoyed a carefree life surrounded by the island’s natural beauty.
As the proud owner of such a premium quality item, you’ll undoubtedly want to keep your sheepskin in good nick, asking yourself “How do I clean my sheepskin rug? And how do I keep it looking its best for as long as possible?”
Have no fear — in this tutorial we share some simple tips to help keep your rug clean and odour-free without compromising the condition; and, by taking good care of your rug, you'll ensure it continues to bring many years of stylish satisfaction.
When is the perfect time to wash a sheepskin rug?
The honest answer (and one you’ll be pleased to hear) is rarely, if ever. This is because sheepskins are naturally dirt-repellent and low maintenance. Sheep naturally keep themselves clean. The biology of their skin and wool means that you don’t have to put much effort into cleaning the rug yourself — nature will do this for you. Handy!
Sheepskin rugs are often the preferred sleeping spot for cats and dogs. Our beloved four-legged friends enjoy relaxing on the silky wool, but this can make sheepskins a little hairy and possibly somewhat smelly!
For general upkeep, give your rug a gentle shake to rid it of any loose hair, dust, crumbs or dirt. Don’t vacuum — stick to shaking, brushing and airing which is ample to keep your sheepskin rug looking fabulously fluffy. It’s wise to remember that you don’t always need to wash your sheepskin rug. In fact, you should only do so if absolutely necessary.
If you do notice your rug is in need of a more thorough treatment, try spot cleaning the dirty section rather than washing the whole article. This will preserve the rug's form, whilst also saving you time, effort and detergent!
Washing your sheepskin rug — handwash vs. machine wash
We know that accidents do happen, and when they do you may feel it’s the end of your woolly world. But don’t panic! You can still give your sheepskin rug a good clean. The best and most gentle way to do this is by hand washing using lukewarm water and either a mild soap or specialist wool detergent.
If you prefer, you can machine wash your rug on a cold water setting (i.e. less than 40°C). Don’t use warm water though, as this will ruin the sheepskin. If you need guidance on what cleaning products to use, please contact us. We will recommend an excellent wool detergent and offer further advice on washing etiquette.
When it comes to drying, lay your rug in a warm room, away from a direct heat source — like a radiator. Keep it flat and shape the rug before it dries; this retains the lovely silhouette without any lumps or bumps. Vigorously ruffle the fleece so that it dries fluffy with plenty of volume. And finally, brush the wool with a soft-bristled brush once completely dry. This will keep it soft and matte-free.
What is lanolin?
Sometimes known as ‘wool yolk’ or ‘wool wax’, lanolin is a natural grease (sebum) that occurs in a sheep’s fleece. It’s what sheep secrete to protect themselves from the climate and environment, and has impressive waterproofing and dirt-repellent properties. It also maintains skin hygiene and is used as an effective emollient in many lotions, creams and lip balms (e.g. Carmex) to heal, protect and moisturise human skin.
Lanolin is also why a sheepskin rug is so comfortable. It’s fundamental in maintaining the condition of the wool, allowing it to stay curly and beautifully soft so it remains wonderful forever.