We want you to enjoy this beautiful, versatile, natural product for many years to come, so here are a few tips to help:
First, once you’ve unpacked your skin, give it a good shake and brush through with a metal slicker brush or metal comb, to fluff up the fleece again. We’ve already done this before packing your skin, but the pile can squash down a bit during transit. Don’t worry about any fold lines or creases on the suede back – these will plump out again after a few days’ use.
Lamb and sheepskin have wonderful properties - they’re:
• Antifungal & hypoallergenic...
all thanks to the structure of the fleece fibres and their natural lanolin (wool fat) content, so dust-mites can’t survive on them.
So, in the normal course of things, regular shaking and brushing in this way, airing it on a washing line on a fine day, or vacuuming with the nozzle at a low setting are really all you’ll need to do to keep your fleece looking as fabulous, unique and full of character as the day you bought it – easy!
Accidents do happen
Light spills should be spot-cleaned with a clean, damp cloth (cold water), then brushed. Any trodden-in dirt is best left to dry first, then brushed or shaken off – the lanolin will stop it from penetrating too deeply.
If you need to do any deeper cleaning, however, the good news is that most Ciora skins can be washed by hand, machine, or professionally dry-cleaned.
(Icelandic skins and dyed skins should only be spot-cleaned or dry-cleaned, and curly Swedish Gotland sheepskins should only be spot-cleaned, shaken and aired).
For best results
Never hand or machine wash your skin in hot water – it should be cold, 30°C max.
Never use conventional laundry powders/detergents or bleach. Any cleanser used must be a non-ionic, liquid detergent containing no enzymes, peroxides, phosphates, bleach or alkalis. Beware specialist woollen detergents too – if they don’t say they can be used on sheepskins, avoid them! There are specialist sheepskin wash products available, but a tsp. of mild baby shampoo or pure liquid soap will work as well, and a tsp. of fabric softener or glycerine can be added to the final rinse to help the suede regain its softness.
Never spin your skin. It should be gently squeezed, then rolled up in a clean towel to get rid of excess water after washing.
- And never, ever tumble-dry your skin, or dry it in direct sunlight, or close to any source of direct or artificial heat. Whilst it takes a bit longer, it should be air-dried flat, fleece up, on a clean surface. Gently stretch it back into shape immediately after washing, and repeatedly re-shape and flex the suede back throughout the drying period. Don’t worry if the suede begins to feel stiff or hard as it dries – just keep flexing it (over the edge of a table or bedstead is good!) – and after a few days back in use, it should feel as supple and soft as ever.
The final stages of our tanning process involve special combing and ‘ironing’ of the fleece fibres, and when wet their inclination is to spring back to their natural coiled state.
Brushing out your fleece again with a metal brush or comb just after washing, at regular intervals during the drying period, and once again when dry, will help keep it looking and feeling as fluffy, plush and beautiful as ever!