High Quality vs. Low Quality Skins

We take pride in the fact that our sheepskin garments at The Sheepherder are constructed using only high-quality shearling from the finest tanneries in the United States. When it comes down to it, there is nothing quite like the silky wool and smooth suede found only in genuine sheepskin hides, and when you order a shearling product from our Colorado shop, you can rest assured that authentic sheepskin is exactly what you’re going to get. Here at The Sheepherder, we leave the guesswork out of shearling garments, handcrafting high-quality sheepskin jackets, vests, slippers and accessories for every single one of our customers, satisfaction guaranteed. Despite their major differences though, it may not always be easy to differentiate between high-quality and low-quality sheepskin, which is why we have compiled for you the major pros and cons of genuine sheepskin and faux shearling garments below.

Authentic Shearling Coats and Slippers

Shearling, which consists of the skin from a yearling sheep or lamb that has only been shorn once, is a hide that is tanned with the soft wool still attached. Before we can create custom sheepskin garments with the material, the shearling must be processed, which takes a full 21 days. The resulting product is a soft, supple sheepskin, unlike the dry and scratchy sheepskin often found in imitation products. One of the most favorable features of genuine sheepskin is that, when the hide is processed correctly, it will naturally wick away moisture and remain cool even in warm weather. This is because real sheepskin has hollow hair shafts, which allows air to flow in and around the hairs, preventing sweating and keeping you comfortable year-round. In addition, when properly cared for, authentic shearling garments will last a very long time, unlike imitation products that may begin to show wear and tear early on.

Imitation Sheepskin Products

Regardless of how genuine they may look or feel, imitation or synthetic sheepskin coats, vests or slippers just aren’t the same quality you’ll find in an authentic sheepskin product. But how can you tell the difference between the two? Unlike genuine shearling, the wool you see in a faux sheepskin garment is a separate lining that is glued, mended or sewn to the suede. Imitation shearling garments are also usually made from polyester or acrylic – materials that are far less breathable than sheepskin and may keep you warm, but will also trap moisture and make you sweat. Although faux sheepskin products are typically cheaper than the real thing, the long-term usability and durability of the jacket, vest or slippers just won’t stand up to the authentic handcrafted garments we create at The Sheepherder. In the end, despite the fact that imitation sheepskin may resemble a genuine shearling product, the end product is far from authentic.