What is the origin of your sheepskins?
Our sheepskins are primarily sourced from reputable suppliers in New Zealand. These exceptional sheepskins are made from 100% New Zealand Wool and meticulously tanned in Christchurch, New Zealand. One noteworthy aspect is that our products are a by-product of the meat industry, ensuring no animals are specifically raised or harmed for the sole purpose of using their skins. In essence, we make the most of a sustainable, natural resource that, when treated with care and precision during the tanning process, offers enduring quality that can last a lifetime.
Our Tibetan and Icelandic Sheepskins are sourced from Tibet and Nordic countries and also tanned in New Zealand.
What breeds of sheep do you use?
We employ a diverse range of sheep breeds, thoughtfully selected to match their unique characteristics with the intended end products. Our most common source is a half-breed sheepskin, which blends qualities from different breeds such as merinos, romney, and border leicester. When sheepskin tanners acquire skins, their primary focus is on the fineness and style of the wool required for the specific sheepskin products. It's the distinct features of the wool that take precedence over the specific breed, ensuring that our products consistently meet the highest standards of quality.
What dyes are used to colour the sheepskins?
We employ a range of dyeing systems tailored to the specific purpose of the sheepskin. Notably, none of our dyeing methods utilize AZO dyes, and we adhere to strict compliance with EU Reach regulations. This commitment ensures that our products are both vibrant and environmentally responsible.
Can exposure to sunlight cause my sheepskin rug to change colour?
Yes, like all natural materials, sheepskin rugs may undergo a change in colour when exposed to direct sunlight. Sheepskins do not possess the same degree of colour fastness as some synthetic materials. Therefore, we advise against leaving your sheepskin products in direct sunlight to preserve their original appearance.
How should I care for my sheepskin?
For comprehensive guidance on the care, storage, and stain removal of sheepskin, please refer to our detailed "Caring for Sheepskin" guide. It offers more information than you might have ever imagined about maintaining the quality and longevity of your sheepskin products.
What distinguishes a woven wool rug from a sheepskin rug?
In general, sheepskin rugs are crafted from skins with finer and softer wool compared to the wool used in woven rugs. Sheepskin rugs are created from the intact skins of sheep, with the natural wool fibers permanently fixed during the tanning process. On the other hand, wool rugs are fashioned from sturdy carpet wool fibers that are woven or injected into a backing material. These rugs use wool types designed for durability and foot traffic, allowing for intricate patterns to be woven into the fabric. In contrast, patterns in sheepskin rugs are achieved by piecing together sections of different sheepskins that have been dyed various colours.
Why do white sheepskin rugs have a subtle yellow tint?
Our white sheepskin rugs are intentionally designed to maintain the sheep's natural colour, which results in a beautiful, natural ivory shade with a hint of creamy yellow. This warm undertone is characteristic of the unaltered sheepskin. It's worth noting that dyed or darker-coloured sheepskins may conceal this creamy shade as they take on different hues during the dyeing process.
Are sheepskins subjected to a bleaching process?
Sheepskins do not undergo traditional bleaching procedures, as fabrics do, to achieve a pure white colour. We employ minimal bleaching in our washing processes, primarily aimed at preserving the softness of the fiber. The whitening effect observed on the wool fibers is largely a result of our tanning process, which naturally enhances the sheepskin's appearance without the need for harsh bleaching.
Can I use sheepskins for my baby?
For baby use, we strongly recommend our BabyCare rugs. These rugs are specially chosen to eliminate any loose wool or materials that might pose a choking hazard to a baby. Furthermore, they are tanned to allow more frequent washing. When selecting bedding or comforters for your baby, it's vital to heed the guidance of local childcare professionals, as their recommendations may differ from one country to another. Your baby's safety and comfort are of paramount importance.
Why do my sheepskin rugs have bare patches without wool along the edges?
These bare patches are inherent to the sheepskin and are areas where wool naturally does not grow. During the final trimming of our skins, we do minimize these areas, but we intentionally do not completely remove them. These patches are an integral part of what makes each sheepskin a distinctive and unique natural product, showcasing the authenticity of the material.
Do NZFUR+SKIN sheepskins contain harmful chemicals?
No, NZFUR+SKIN sheepskins are subjected to regular testing to guarantee their freedom from harmful chemicals. Given the variance in chemical standards worldwide, we diligently oversee and manage this process to ensure alignment with both local and international standards. Our stringent testing protocols are in place to confirm the absence of pesticides and heavy metals in our sheepskins. For transparency and your peace of mind, you can access the test results and records specific to each region through our sales offices.
What sets NZFUR+SKIN rugs apart in terms of quality?
NZFUR+SKIN distinguishes itself by offering the utmost quality through imported hair-on cowhides that undergo meticulous hand finishing. Our approach involves partnering with the most reputable tanneries in South America, where each hide is carefully hand-picked based on its exceptional quality and aesthetic appeal. Our commitment to quality is further underscored by extensive searching and on-site inspections, allowing us to collaborate exclusively with tanneries renowned for their unparalleled craftsmanship.
What is the odor emanating from my cowhide?
The cowhide rugs from NZFUR+SKIN are crafted from genuine leather, and during the tanning process at our tannery, chemicals are used to eliminate bacteria. Occasionally, these chemicals may result in a noticeable scent when you first receive the rug. To address this, we recommend taking the rug outdoors and allowing it to air out for a few hours, or up to a day. If the odor lingers, you can consider using a carpet refresher or powdered carpet deodorizer to help neutralize the scent.
Why does my cowhide display brandings and natural marks?
All our cowhides originate from natural cows, each possessing its distinct markings and hair characteristics. Some cows may have long fur, while others have short fur. You might find some with dark birthmarks or blemishes. This diversity is entirely natural, and almost all hides will bear their unique markings.
Consequently, it's expected that some rugs will exhibit occasional marks, brandings, and scratches. It's essential to understand that these natural blemishes are not defects; rather, they are simply scars unique to each animal. These distinctive features contribute to the authenticity of each rug, making it a truly one-of-a-kind piece.
How can I address creases and folds in my cowhide rug?
Creases and folds in your cowhide rug typically smooth out on their own over time. If you prefer to expedite the process, you can place a flat, heavy item like a hardcover book on top of the folded area. On the underside, you can lay a damp (not wet) towel or cloth, allowing it to sit for approximately 24 hours. Be cautious not to let the towel absorb too much water.
If a fold or crease persists, you can easily resolve it by lightly moistening both sides of the hide with water. Next, use a warm iron (on low heat) with a piece of cloth in between to prevent hair damage. Gently press the iron over the affected area until the folds have disappeared.
How do I clean my cowhide rug?
Cleaning a cowhide rug is a straightforward process due to its natural stain-resistant properties, making it both durable and low-maintenance. Here's how to clean your cowhide rug:
1. Dust and Debris Removal: Regularly vacuum your cowhide rug or shake it to remove dust and loose debris. Using a hard plastic brush can also help maintain the softness and fluffiness of the hair while removing dirt.
2. Handling Spills: For common spills such as wine, coffee, tea, juice, food, or soup, start by absorbing the liquid with a paper towel or sponge. Liquid substances rarely penetrate cowhide.
3. Wiping and Cleaning: To address stains or spots, gently wipe the cowhide in the direction of the hair with a damp (not wet) cloth using mild soap and water. An alternative cleaning solution is a mixture of 5% white vinegar and 95% water, which helps balance pH levels and eliminates odors. Avoid soaking the hide or getting it excessively wet.
4. Rotation: Periodically rotate your rug to ensure even wear.
Please note that cowhide rugs should not be machine-washed or dry-cleaned. Following these simple steps will help you maintain the beauty and longevity of your cowhide rug.
Do I need a rug mat under your cowhide rug?
Not at all! Our cowhide rugs are of exceptional quality and feature a soft, suede backing that adheres effectively to hard surface floors. You can confidently place your cowhide rug without the need for an additional rug mat.
Are your cowhide rugs suitable for high traffic areas?
Absolutely! Our cowhide rugs have withstood the test of time and are perfectly suited for high traffic areas. We recommend simply rotating your rug every few months to ensure even wear and enjoy the enduring quality of our products.