Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Sheepskin Rug for Your Home

Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Sheepskin Rug for Your Home

Sheepskin rugs add a touch of luxury and comfort to any home. Their natural warmth and softness make them a popular choice for home décor enthusiasts. However, choosing the right sheepskin rug can be a bit overwhelming due to the variety of options available. In this ultimate guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know to select the perfect sheepskin rug for your home.

Why Choose Sheepskin Rugs?


Before diving into the specifics, let's explore why sheepskin rugs are an excellent addition to your home:

  1. Comfort and Warmth: Sheepskin is naturally insulating, providing warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer.
  2. Durability: High-quality sheepskin rugs are incredibly durable and can last for many years with proper care.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: The luxurious look and feel of sheepskin can elevate the style of any room, providing texture, colour and depth to any environment.
  4. Health Benefits: Sheepskin is hypoallergenic and can be beneficial for people with allergies.
  5. Sustainability: Sheepskin rugs are a sustainable choice as they are a by-product of the food industry, contributing to a circular economy with minimal waste.




Sustainability and Environmental Impact


Sheepskin and the Circular Economy

Sheepskin rugs are not only luxurious and durable but also environmentally responsible. They are by-products of the meat industry, meaning no additional animals are raised solely for their hides. Instead, the sheepskins that would otherwise be discarded are repurposed into beautiful rugs. This practice supports a circular economy, where materials are reused and recycled, minimising waste and making the most out of natural resources.

Minimal Environmental Footprint

The production of genuine sheepskin rugs involves natural processes that are less damaging to the environment compared to synthetic alternatives. Sheepskin is biodegradable and does not contribute to the growing problem of microplastic pollution, unlike faux fur, which is made from petroleum-based products.

The Environmental Cost of Faux Fur

While faux fur might seem like a cruelty-free alternative, its environmental impact is significant. The production of synthetic fibres involves the use of fossil fuels and chemicals that contribute to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, faux fur products are not biodegradable, leading to long-term environmental issues as they accumulate in landfills and release microplastics into waterways. 

Not All Sheepskin Are The Same

When it comes to purchasing sheepskin rugs, it's important to remember that not all sheepskins are sustainably sourced. Be cautious of cheap sheepskins that may be produced with harsh chemicals in dubious conditions that are unsafe for both the environment and the workers involved.

Some sheepskins come from factories that employ heavy chrome tanning methods, which do not adhere to environmental standards and can have significant negative impacts.

For a more eco-friendly and safe choice, opt for sheepskins that are made either locally or in countries known for stringent measures ensuring minimal environmental impact. These regions often use tanning methods that are safe for humans and the environment.

Additionally, it's wise to purchase from trusted suppliers who prioritise environmental sustainability, human welfare and animal welfare. Countries that lack regulations in these areas can produce hides that contribute to pollution and unethical practices. By choosing carefully, you can enjoy the luxury of sheepskin while supporting responsible production practices.


Types of Sheepskin Rugs


Single Sheepskin Rugs

  • Description: Made from a single sheepskin pelt.
  • Best For: Small spaces like chairs, footstools, or bedside rugs.
  • Size: Typically around 60 x 90 cm.

Double Sheepskin Rugs

  • Description: Created by joining two single pelts.
  • Best For: Larger areas such as sofas, benches, or as a runner in a hallway.
  • Size: Approximately 60 x 180 cm or 110cm x 110cm, depending on the shape: side-by-side or back-to-back


Quad Sheepskin Rugs

  • Description: Composed of four single pelts sewn together.
  • Best For: Larger spaces like living rooms or as a statement piece in the centre of a room.
  • Size: Around 120 x 180 cm.

Sexto and Octo Sheepskin Rugs

  • Description: Made from six or eight pelts.
  • Best For: Very large areas, perfect for expansive living rooms or bedrooms.
  • Size: Varies, but generally quite large.


Choosing the Right Edges for Sheepskin Rugs and Throws

The edges of sheepskin rugs and throws come in a variety of styles, and the choice is mostly down to personal preference and the aesthetic you wish to achieve. Natural edged rugs offer an organic and rustic look, showcasing the sheepskin's inherent shape and charm. Straight edged rugs provide a more polished and structured appearance, ideal for modern or minimalist interiors. If you're aiming for a unique touch, consider round, curved, or oval edges, which can add a soft, flowing element to your space. Each edge style can dramatically influence the overall feel of your décor, so choose the one that best complements your home's style and ambiance. 

Choosing the Right Size

Consider the following tips when selecting the size of your sheepskin rug:

  • Measure Your Space: Always measure the area where you plan to place the rug to ensure a proper fit.
  • Room Function: For high-traffic areas, larger rugs might be more appropriate, while smaller rugs work well for accenting furniture.
  • Layering: You can layer smaller sheepskin rugs on top of larger carpets for added texture and warmth.

Selecting the Perfect Colour

Sheepskin rugs come in a variety of natural and dyed colours. Here are some popular options:

  • Natural White/Cream: Classic and versatile, fits well with any décor.
  • Grey: Adds a modern touch to your space.
  • Brown/Black: Perfect for creating a warm, cosy atmosphere.
  • Dyed Colours: Available in various shades to match specific colour schemes.

Understanding Sheepskin Quality

Wool Length

Wool Type

  • Straight Wool: Provides a sleek and modern look. Straight wool is your standard sheepskin style and what you see most often.
  • Curly Wool: Adds texture and a rustic feel to your space. The Gotland breed are the most well known and sought after curly sheepskins but the Icelandic and British sheepskins also come curly, too

Tanning Process

The tanning process affects the softness, durability, and smell of the sheepskin rug. Look for rugs that use eco-friendly and non-toxic tanning processes to ensure the best quality.

Caring for Your Sheepskin Rug

Proper care is essential to maintain the beauty and longevity of your sheepskin rug. Here are some tips:

  • Regular Shaking and Brushing: Shake the rug outdoors and brush it regularly to keep it fluffy. Using a cleansing spray like our Washed Woollies Restorative Spray is the perfect solution for keeping your sheepskin clean and luxurious looking.
  • Spot Cleaning: Blot spills with a dry cloth then use our Washed Woollies Restorative Spray with a slicker brush to manage staining.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause discolouration, particularly for dyed sheepskin rugs.
  • Professional Cleaning: Consider professional cleaning for deep cleaning needs.

Choosing the perfect sheepskin rug for your home involves considering the type, size, colour, quality and care. By following this guide, you can find a sheepskin rug that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your space but also provides comfort and warmth for years to come.

Moreover, by opting for a genuine sheepskin rug, you are making an environmentally conscious decision that supports a sustainable and circular economy. Unlike faux fur alternatives, sheepskin rugs offer a natural, biodegradable option that minimises environmental impact.

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