Hot or Not? Sheepskin and Other Clothing Items That Should Never Be Placed in the Dryer
A clothes dryer can be a lifesaver when it comes to doing laundry, but there are certain materials and clothing items that should be kept as far as possible from the high heat and rough tumbling of a clothes dryer, including sheepskin. Authentic sheepskin hides, like the ones we use in our shearling coats, slippers and other garments, are tanned and processed in such a way that they remain durable over time, can withstand the elements, and naturally wick away moisture from the skin. However, if you don’t use the proper technique to wash or dry your sheepskin garment, it can lose it shape, color or texture, and may even become ruined.
How the Dryer Can Ruin Your Sheepskin Garment
The first thing you should do after purchasing a genuine sheepskin garment, is apply a rain and stain shield to the suede or leather outer, to protect the natural material from water-spotting and excessive soiling. If your go-to sheepskin slippers or boots do become soiled over time, it may be tempting to wash them and then toss them into the dryer for a quick cycle, so you don’t have to go even one day without wearing them, but shearling can actually become discolored or take on a different texture in the washer, and may shrink and lose its shape in the dryer’s high heat, leaving your favorite boots looking misshapen and worse for wear.
How to Properly Clean and Care for Sheepskin
If the wool interior of your sheepskin garment becomes soiled or water-spotted, the best way to go about cleaning it is to hand-blot the affected area with a rag, cold water and mild detergent, being careful not to soak through to the suede. Carefully rinse and hand-blot the excess moisture from the boots using a clean, dry towel, and, rather than using a clothes dryer, set the shearling garment out in the sun or on a towel so it can gradually air dry. If the suede or leather of your shearling garment becomes overly soiled, you should take it to a professional dry cleaner that specializes in removing stains from leather and/or furs.
Other Materials Sensitive to the Dryer’s High Heat
Sheepskin boots are one of the most popular types of footwear out there, and, over time, they can become soiled and grimy from everyday wear. One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to properly cleaning and caring for authentic sheepskin, is to treat the spot or stain as soon as possible, rather than letting it set and become more difficult to remove. Like sheepskin, there are certain other materials and clothing items that should never be placed in the dryer, including bras, chiffon, embellished items, running shoes, bathing suits and pantyhose. If possible, these items should be hand-washed with a mild detergent and then air-dried, or taken to a dry cleaner for professional care.