Why is sheepskin used for slippers?
Sheepskin has been used for footwear since at least 500 BC: they have been found on feet of a mummy in China and even the philosopher Plato refers to them. Sheepskin is excellent insulation; its structure creates air pockets which keep the feet at an even temperature. It is a naturally absorbent material which draws perspiration from the feet and disperses it into the atmosphere, up to seven times faster than synthetic materials. Another advantage which sheepskin has, over synthetic materials, is that is doesn’t build up a charge of static electricity. The two different cell types found in sheepskin both absorb moisture, but they swell at a different rate and this creates movement between the fibres which operates as a form of self-cleaning. Sheepskin also contains lanolin, a waxy substance which is widely used as a softening agent in many leather conditioners, this means that sheepskin is comfortable to wear for people with sensitive skin and is good for the circulation of the blood and general relaxation. Sheepskin slippers are soft, comfortable and durable, sheepskin fibres can be bent over 20,000 times without tearing. They are warm in winter and cool in summer and they even repel dust mites and mildew. Some sheepskin slippers are made entirely from sheepskin, but a more common practice is to attach soles of a more durable material.
Do sheepskin slippers smell?
Sheepskin is a natural, organic, absorbent material and therefore slippers do have a pleasant light odour when new. Whether or not they develop an unpleasant cheesy feet odour will depend on the smelliness of the feet which use them and whether socks are worn.
Can sheepskin slippers be washed?
Sheepskin slippers can be washed when necessary but be aware that over washing will deplete the natural oils. Never machine wash: hand wash in cold water using a mild wool detergent. Always dry the slippers naturally by stuffing them with paper towels and replacing them as necessary. Never use a hair dryer or place the slippers near a strong heat source such as a radiator. Brush the wool while still damp to restore the fluffy appearance.
How to deodorize sheepskin slippers
Baking soda is great for absorbing smells, it can be applied on its own or mixed with cornflour or something pleasant smelling, such as lavender. You can put the mixture directly into the slippers or into a light sock and then leave over- night. Activated charcoal will also work, though that’s a bit messier and so will fresh, flavoured, tea bags.
Will sheepskin slippers stretch?
One of the delights of owning a pair of sheepskin slippers is that they will mould to the shape of your feet, so buy a snug fit, but not too tight, because you don’t want to put unnecessary strain on the stitching.
What makes a good pair of sheepskin slippers
A key factor which determines the quality of a pair of sheepskin slippers is the quality of the pelt. High quality pelt will have minimal scar tissue and is consequently much stronger. High quality stitching is the other factor which will have an influence on the comfort and durability of your slippers.